Starting a Decoration Business in 2024: Lessons Learned and Adaptations


Join us for a reflective discussion as we delve into the intricacies of launching a garment or product decorating business in 2024. In this episode, hosts Terry and Aaron candidly share their insights and experiences, reflecting on what they wish they had known when they first embarked on their entrepreneurial journey. From challenging misconceptions about expertise to exploring the evolving landscape of the industry, they highlight key lessons learned and adaptations for aspiring business owners. Tune in as they discuss the importance of adequate funding, diversified decoration options, and leveraging modern resources for informed decision-making. This episode marks the beginning of a two-part series, with next week’s episode focusing on equipment selection for startups in today’s dynamic market.

Our Success Group

Our regular listeners know this, but 2 Regular Guys are all about garment decorating, a bit of fun, and no rants, lectures, or selling. 2 Regular Guys was not created for our employers but rather for our industry. Since February 2013, The 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 improve your business and our industry. 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!

Ready to have clarity and confidence in your business? Attend FUNdamentals Live on June 7th and 8th in O’Fallon, MO.


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Dad Joke

Terry: Did I tell you that last week I went to a wedding that was held at the base of a cell tower?

The ceremony wasn’t that great, but the reception was incredible.

Lessons Learned

Aaron: Let’s start talking about any garment or product decorating business. And let’s go with, If I knew then, what I know now.

  • The belief that everyone already in the business knew more about the process, the business, and everything else.
  • The belief that everyone who started a business worked hard to be an expert at the craft
  • Questioning the value of the end product based on a lack of experience and technique

(Ideas from Erich – Could be for either of you)

  • I would start looking for my cooperative ‘dream team’ of other decorators and service providers sooner and not think that I need to do everything under the sun.
  • I would act on ideas faster and with less perfectionism. Quality is important, but someone else is watching and thinking as you do, and the first one to market often gets to set the scene about a product, style, or market. More output and less attachment to individual outcomes.
  • I would court the ‘best-fit’ customers that suited my strengths rather than ‘shotgun’ my message and hope for the best. Less desperation in taking every client on – unprofitable relationships should have been corrected or dropped sooner.
FUNdamentals LIVE - June 7-8th.

Aaron: Let’s shift gears and talk about what we would do differently in today’s world of decorating.

  • Be better funded to get started right
  • Have a couple of decoration options, without going overboard
  • So much easier today to get training before diving in.
  • So much easier today to research companies and their equipment before taking the plunge.

Ideas from Erich

  • Curate my marketing samples more clearly and dive deep into unique specialties that I can best service. Believe and invest more in unique concepts and showing my solutions.
  • Work more on personal customer outreach and relationship building; the novelty of online marketing is over. It’s still a great tool, but where I was once championing digital channels to a reticent group of analog-first embroiderers, now the digital channels are often flooded or diluted in efficacy, whereas depth of relationships and serving underserved communities and needs, as well as generally staying ‘people-first’ will always be powerful.

The Secret Sauce

We serve up bite-sized tips for our #regulators to instantly spice up their decorated apparel business. Just like the perfect wing sauce, these quick tips can transform your business experience, adding flavor and depth to your operations. Each video in this playlist is a nugget of wisdom, carefully selected for its potential to bring immediate value to your work. So, whether you’re a seasoned pro or just getting started in the decorated apparel industry, dip into our ‘Secret Sauce’ for insights that can help you soar. Remember, the right tip at the right time can be just the secret ingredient you need for success.


FUNdamentals Live! June 7th and 8th, 2024. Embrace the transformation at FUNdamentals Live – We will be joined by busy action takers running creative businesses who want to break the cycle of overwhelm by investing in an in-person retreat just outside of St. Louis, MO that equips them with a structure to run a business they love, on their terms.

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