September '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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90 || P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 5 rhinestone entrepreneur. Instead of using a clothes iron or a hot-fix applicator, an in- dustrial press will save time and energy, and help the adhesive quality. Much of the busi- ness's reputation relies heavily on whether or not rhinestones hold firmly to apparel and accessories. If a poor-quality machine is used, the apparel could lose stones. Prod- ucts that are exhibited in public and show lost stones or poor adhesion will be detri- mental to future business. When it comes to heat presses, a business owner should assess their own realistic goals and poten- tial for increased marketabil- ity. Always evaluate the heat press's surface area, pressure settings, and added features to decide which machine will best serve the business. Automatic clam shell press- es are beneficial as the heat- ing elements automatically release once the pre-set time expires. This permits garments to go unat- tended without the possibility of burning so multiple pieces of apparel can be produced concurrently with other processes, and achieve a greater division of time without constantly supervising the machine. An appropriate sized heating element should be considered before purchasing the heat press, as well. Consider, for example, a heating element that may only be 11" X 15", which is typically good for stan- dard-sized T-shirts and apparel. Any larger items or goods that need multiple decals, such as team jerseys with double digit num- bers, could require more than one press with a small or standard platen. This can cause problems because to raise the platen, reposition the item, and apply another press will cost time and increase the risk of irreg- ularly matched decals. Remember that a heat press will save time and money, and sparing expense on a quali- ty-made heat press could hurt adhesive lon- gevity. Functionality, quality, and the vol- ume of heat-pressed items a business pro- duces are all factors in determining which heat press will work best. PLACEMENT METHODS The needs of a larger business that produces a mass quantity of rhine- stone apparel vary greatly from that of the smaller entity. For those starting out in the industry or merely wanting to provide a small selection of rhinestone options for their customers, a vinyl cutter and adhesive flock is likely sufficient. In this process, a decorator manu- ally brushes stones onto numerous pieces of transfer tape to create a SHINE ON! W earing rhine- stones is just one of many ways to use these versatile stones. Decal materials can help boost a business into the accessories market, as well. Lap- tops, car windows, coffee makers, phones, bicycles, TVs, and most any other item with a smooth, flat sur- face is eligible for a bling finish. The marketing potential of offer- ing another outlet for shimmering designs will only increase sales and add a unique tier of products and options for patrons. Coming up with the next unique and creative offering for customers could help a business stand out in the local decal and apparel market. Cutters range in capacity and size. Choosing the right one for your rhinestone business will help increase output and profits. SELLING RHINESTONES

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