October '15

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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58 || P R I N T W E A R O C T O B E R 2 0 1 5 A T-shirt advertising the tour schedule of a rock band; a tote bag from the local su- permarket; a pair of flip-flops sporting the logo of a popu- lar sunscreen; a hat from a major hunting or fishing store. What do all these things have in common? They're all a form of advertis- ing known as promotional wearables, and this specific product category can also be a major profit center for your business. WHAT TO WEAR Promotional wearables is a category of promotional products that encompasses, naturally enough, things you can wear. It is one of the larger categories of promo- tional product sales and it encompasses much more than just the T-shirt or hat that most people probably think about when explaining what promotion- al products are. Promotional wearables can be anything listed in the paragraph above and a great deal more. Shoes, headbands, scarves, mittens, fanny packs, wallets, and purses—the list goes on and on. If you can put it on your body in some way and it features some type of logo or adver- tising, it's a promotional wearable. For decoration businesses, pro- motional wearables can be a very lucrative market if you know how to sell them, capi- talize on decoration techniques, and proper- ly utilize available equipment. If you want to gain a share of this market for your business, there are several things to do before you can start offering these items in your shop. First, determine what decoration tech- niques you want to offer. Take an inventory of your existing equipment and expertise. What is already in your shop that you can use for decoration? If you already have an embroidery machine, you can obviously of- fer embroidered goods, such as caps, bags, and polos. A heat press gives you a wide variety of options including screen print Put Your Promotion On Navigating the World of Promotional Wearables B Y K R I S T I N E S H R E V E Kristine Shreve is the director of marketing for EnMart and parent company Ensign Emblem. She devel- oped and writes the EnMart Embroi- deryTalk Blog at and the SubliStuff blog at www.sub- She additionally main- tains the EnMart Twitter feed ( and Facebook page ( Reach her by email at

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