Please find some links and notes from the 2 Regular Guys Podcast. Terry and Aaron take a look forward at what we would like to see in the industry for the coming year. 10 Things We Would Like to See. The ideas range from new products to new techniques, to new ways of doing business. We even call out some folks from time to time. Don’t miss this lively show and listen to what the 2 Regular Guys want for our industry. Plus enjoy some new fun segments for 2017!
Our regular listeners know this, but 2 Regular Guys are all about garment decorating, a bit of fun, and no rants or lectures or selling. We are not doing this for our employers, but rather for our industry. For the past 4 years, 2 Regular Guys have been the first and the most listened to garment decorating industry podcast on this planet! We are humbled by all of you tuning in each week. We work hard to bring you information that will make your business better, and our industry better. Take a look at our incredible weekly guest list and you’ll understand where this industry goes for news, interviews and the heartbeat of garment decorating. Thanks for listening!!
- Lexington, Kentucky-based Lexmark International, a manufacturer of laser printers and enterprise software serving a variety of industries, including retailers and sign manufacturers, announces that its acquisition by a consortium of investors. The investors were led by China-based Apex Technology Co. Ltd., which designs, manufactures, and markets inkjet and laserjet cartridge chips for remanufacturers and distributors; and PAG Asia Capital, an investment management firm. Legend Capital, which is also based in China, is part of the consortium also. The transaction was approved by Lexmark shareholders and had to receive regulatory approval from the U.S., China and certain other foreign jurisdictions. Lexmark’s headquarters will continue to be in Lexington.
- Amazon is among the suitors for bankrupt retailer American Apparel, Reuters reports, a deal that would represent “a major push for the e-commerce company into branded fashion and apparel” after it “quietly” launched at least seven private label fashion brands last year. Any bankruptcy court bid would have to exceed $66 million, and other companies Reuters says are in the hunt include Forever 21, Next Level Apparel and Authentic Brands.
- Shout out to David of Tee-rific Graphics – www.ourcustomtshirts.com
10 Things We Would Like to See in the Industry
1) Aaron: I think I’ll jump right in with a pretty forward though and just get us started. I think as an industry we are getting better at cooperating a little bit, but there are still too many “old school” mind sets out there that feel like they have this great info they need to keep under wraps because if they let it out someone will steal it. Well the real fear is that if they let it out someone will do it better. Well guess what the information is out there. There is very little new other than the way we do things, the way we treat our customers and our stakeholders.
2) Terry: I’m doing a DAX Seminar called Sportswear Garage, where I talk about starting either a screen printing or direct-to-garment business from your home. I think it would be great if a company offered a professional startup kit. In the past, most of these “be a garment decorator in a box” offers consisted of higher than normal pricing and lower than normal quality of equipment and supplies. I’d like to see a true professional package including garment and supply sources and “here’s how you do it right” instruction as well.
3) Aaron: In looking at last year’s notes and listening to the show, I was shocked that I didn’t talk about 3D sublimation. I’m hopeful this is the year. I think it was close last year, but some, unfortunately, missteps and a few political things might have slowed it down a year or 2. Right now I see technotape as the leading candidate with a piece of equipment I was able to test before leaving my last job. It made a perfect full wrap phone case every time. I think they need to get their pricing sorted out and find a good US partner but I know they are doing well with their 3D press in Europe.
4) Terry: I’d like to see (and maybe this already exists) a clearinghouse of graphic designers who do contract work via the internet. It’s a very common question that I hear. Simple answers to questions such as: rate, specialties, services offered, turn around time. But this clearinghouse would be specific to garment decorating, which is a different beast as we all know.
5) Aaron: So I have to steal from your last “want” but I’d also like to see a clearinghouse of sorts for decorating blanks. We need a Amazon like, true ecommerce company to shake up the blanks world. This could be sublimation, garment or any of the supplies really. I think before China really invades, we have to make the procurement of blanks and supplies much easier process than it is now. No one should have to fill out a credit card authorization form, returns and shipping should be free and let me set up a subscription that I don’t even think about for that maintenance tank or roll of paper.
6) Terry: I’d like to see a reasonable option for printing performance wear using a direct-to-garment printer. There has been limited success with even more limited garments, but I’d like to see an option where most of these garments could be printed.
7) Aaron: I’m not sure if this is a “like to see” or just a pet peeve, but I’m going to go with it… I would like to see as an industry, that we stop being cheap. I can not tell you how many times I have read in a Facebook group or Forum someone asking where can I find X Y or Z. I know there is X product out there, but it is $100 and that is not in the budget. There is no reason these $100 heat presses should be used for someone who is truly in business. Sure if you are doing it as a hobby, fine, but posing as a business and then putting out horrible products hurts everyone else. The next time that customer looks at something and they see someone offering sublimation, screen printing, embroidery, vinyl etc. they are going to equate it to crappy product they got from sone who had a $100 heat press using cheap inks and hammermill paper. We need to stop looking at things as their price tag and look at them as to what return on investment they can provide to me. Will you spend extra money, up front, but in the end will it actually save you money on not having ruined products, bad customer experiences, lost work because your equipment is not working or just plain headaches.
8) Terry: I’d like to see a trade show seminar (or maybe something bigger) specifically dealing with online selling. Again, maybe this exists at one of our trade shows, but I’ve not seen it. Seems that many of the people entering the market and people expanding their sales are looking to internet selling. And I’m sure there are seminars that touch on this, but an in depth seminar I believe would be helpful and well attended. This is a huge subject for the novice.
9) Aaron: This somewhat ties back to my first one, but I felt like I had more words for the soapbox. Along with cooperation and working to better our own company and not worrying about what the other guys is doing. I would love to see our industry embrace a communication platform. This could be tough as we know these platforms change all the time, but at the beginning it was forums, which have lead to Facebook groups with several other stops iterations and items along the way. We need one central place where people can go, have an open and productive conversation and trust that the information they are receiving is right. Today, you have to scour several industry forums, make your way through the randomness, hopefully make it through a Facebook group without getting in a flame war or being kicked off by an overbearing moderator that control all the content, or wade through hours of video hoping that the information is right or useful. Honestly 90% off all the info on YouTube is wrong or at best the long way around the block so to speak, so people really have to work hard to find out information that should be common knowledge to our industry or better yet and Industry Standard. I applaud SGIA for starting their tech tips, but I hope they branch out of the normal go to folks they use for info as that seems stale. We will see what Ford does, but industry standards would be a dream come true, but probably a pipe dream.
10) Terry: This one is for industry equipment and supply vendors. Since the industry has become compartmentalized, if that’s the right way to describe it, each of us should have a start up package for current industry participants. By compartmentalized I mean it’s become common today for a business to offer more than one decoration method. Maybe screen printing, DTG and large format sublimation, or some combination of all the available decoration methods. I’m sure some people do this already to a certain extent. But someone already running a decorating business is not the same as a startup. We vendors in our own niche in the market should have a complete package geared to the person who wants a turnkey new department for their business. It’s may seem like a minor differences but I think all of us would do better by packaging our products for newbies and for customers already a part of the industry. A current business owner has different questions…
- Could one of my current employees do this on an as-need basis?
- Where are the efficiencies with my current business – art, equipment, inventory?
- How much space is actually required? Plus utility requirements?
- How can this technology crossover with my current business?
- Getting Smart with Some Simple Marketing Strategies – ISS Long Beach Seminar – January 22nd
- Complete Screen Printing Business Course – Atlas Screen Supply in Chicago – February 11-12
- The New World of Digital Decorating – Mind’s Eye Graphics in Decatur, IN – February 24-25
- Complete Screen Printing Business Course – Workhorse Products in Phoenix – March 11-12
- PPAI Expo Jan 10-12
- ASI Orlando Jan 19-20
- ISS Long Beach Jan 20-22
- CREATIVATION (CHA Show) Jan 21-23
- NBM Ft Lauderdale Feb 16-18 (Co-Locate with GOA)
- DAX Kansas City Mar 3-4
Screen Printing: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business Just $4.95 as an e-book.
Direct to Garment: A Practical Guide to Starting Your Own T-Shirt Business Just $4.95 as an e-book.
Scheduling and Estimating Production Time for Garment Screen Printing Just $2.99 as an e-book
This show is brought to you for a full hour by: Equipment Zone, with 20 years experience selling garment printing equipment nationwide. Equipment Zone offers the new Epson F2000 SureColor direct-to-garment printer, their own VelociJet-XL DTG printer, and the all new SpeedTreater-TX automatic pretreat machine with a full 16”x24” pretreat area. Equipment Zone also carries a full line of DTG inks and supplies. Go to EquipmentZone.com
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