May '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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80 || P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 6 sure your accessories are cost-effective. Especially for orders requiring customization, Everakes says that time is important to think about, since sometimes customers need an exact PMS match. Not to mention, in many cases, if the client thinks the turnover time is taking too long or their order is particularly time-sensitive, they may try to take their busi- ness elsewhere. A huge part of being proficient is using the right equipment and pieces that are large enough to accommodate the types of orders you want to fulfill. As an example, you might have a hard time decorating larger socks from top to bottom with a standard heat press. Likewise, using heat transfers on oversized bags or other big items with a smaller press could prove tricky depending on how large the design in question is. It's also important not to cut too many corners if you're looking for ways to keep your venture into bags and accessories affordable. While there are a lot of methods you might adopt to save money, there are some that just shouldn't be done. Roti warns that one of these practices is cutting down paper, which he doesn't recommend as it can cause a jam if the paper isn't perfectly square. "The small amount of money saved could be lost with the amount of time it takes to clear the jam and execute any maintenance procedures, like a print head adjustment," he continues. As a possible alternative, he points out that there are smaller paper options available from most distributors to help avoid those kinds of messes. Additionally, in order to keep your turnover relatively short and take care of any potential problems, it helps to have some preparations com- pleted before you try to make any suggestions to your client. "Before you market anything to a client, be sure that you have actu- ally created the product," Roti says. "If you have produced a product successfully prior to selling, you have already worked through any chal- lenges that can occur." Accessories can certainly be a worthwhile addition to your shop, es- pecially after you've found the right market for them, be it in sports, promotional products, or beyond. However, just like with almost any other piece of apparel out there, knowing how to overcome potential is- sues with the accessories and bags themselves is key to making sure your customers are satisfied and coming back for more. While figuring some of this out may be a matter of trial and error, diving into accessories and bags could result in more sales for your shop at the end of the day. BAGS & ACCESSORIES

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