March '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 5 M A RC H PRINTWEAR | 47 decorators. Knowing what those clients want only helps secure the sale. "This is one situation where decorators re- ally can ask their customers what they want," Davis says. "Customers know what they want, so if you can provide it, you're in." ADD-ON PRODUCTS Along with a full line of apparel, decora- tors should offer accessories that they can package as upsells, and terrycloth products are popular in the resort wear market, says Murray Siegel, marketing director of Tow- el Specialties. Whether a towel for laying out by the pool, a golf towel for the resort's own course, or a luxurious robe in a suite, decorators can capitalize on several terry- cloth options—all of which offer a sense of memorability. Most people have dozens of T-shirts and hats, so a terrycloth souvenir is likely to leave a lasting impression. Besides their distinctive nature, terrycloth boasts a long life span, making for a pow- erful advertising piece, Siegel adds. Take a beach towel, for instance. "The average lifespan of a beach towel is about 15 years, so if the advertisers are looking to get their brand out there for a long time, towels are great because they last as long as, or longer than, any promotional product out there," Siegel says. Screen printing and embroidery are the two best ways to decorate terrycloth, but there are some considerations to keep in mind. For screen printing, Siegel suggests using water-based ink rather than plastisol ink. As people dry off or lay on a towel, wa- ter-based ink feels better on the skin. With embroidery, terrycloth's high pile requires some tweaking because stitches need to be added into the design. The same logo for a hat or shirt won't work for a towel; however, when one of those more basic embroidery orders comes in, decorators can use this as an opportunity to practice embroidering on this material and present it to the client for a big impact and additional sale. "It may be worth the effort for decorators to do some redigitizing of their own," Siegel says. "If they get an order for a few hundred hats or shirts, throw in a few towels to see what kind of reaction they get. People aren't always used to seeing logos on towel, and they might like it quite a bit." Keep in mind, the imprint area of a beach towel is much larger than a T-shirt platen or typical embroidery job, Siegel says. Some towel providers offer specialized decorating services, so even if a decorator doesn't have the capabilities to print or embroider on such a large area, this market is still within reach. "Don't feel daunted by the fact that you can't imprint to that size," Siegel says. "It shouldn't stop decorators from selling big beach towels, and they don't want to lose the sale to someone else." When it comes to making the sale, deco- rators should be proactive in their approach, Siegel says. Unlike some of the more com- mon apparel options, customers tend to forget about terrycloth possibilities. Don't wait for the customer to ask for terrycloth products. Instead, attend to prospects with terrycloth products in hand. "Decorators should have sample kits at the ready," Siegel says. "Those kits should have a couple of basic beach towels, like a medium weight and heavy weight, and maybe a fashion towel, like a striped towel. You should also throw in a couple of golf towels and maybe a blanket and robe. Just by virtue of having those products ready to show, you're going to close a lot more sales." With the many style options for resort wear, decorators have plenty of opportu- nities to capitalize on this market. Under- stand your customer's needs and offer the right products, and your apparel decorating business will be in the position to well serve this niche. "At the end of the day, don't tunnel vision a resort into one particular look," Yeung says. "Know who you're presenting to and what the customer is looking for. Build a presentation based on the feedback you've received and research items for that particu- lar customer. It's a great way to find success in this market." pw M&R SALES AND SERVICE, INC. 800-736-6431 · 630-858-6101 See the video at MRPRINT.COM /DSR5 Uni-Kote Automatic Screen Coater Uni-Kote Automatic Screen Coater Image ™ STE II Eco-Rinse Automatic Screen Rinsing System WINNING COMBINATION Integrated CTS Imaging & UV LED Exposure System Exposure System WATCH M&R'S DIGITAL SCREEN ROOM IN ACTION! See the video at

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