Spirit Wear Ideas

Spirit wear ideas

Custom printed spirit wear in St. Louis Missouri

Spirit Wear Ideas

Okay, the new school year is fast approaching and you want to improve on last year’s spirit wear sales. The most common theme we hear from new customers is that spirit wear sales have become stagnant in recent years. We ask our new customers 2 main questions to find out where the issue lies. Question 1: What products have you been selling? Question 2: How do you sell your spirit wear?

The answer to question one is generally always the same two answers. They have been selling the same products for so many years or they have no branding and are continually switching up their spirit wear. The best answer we can provide them is to have them understand how the successful college brands work. They have there staples that never go out of style and they sprinkle in new and trendy apparel each year. Most importantly they have a brand identity in everything they do. That’s the key. We get so many schools who contact us to put together spirit wear who don’t have a branded mascot. Meaning if they are the Bears, they don’t have a set bear mascot logo. We hear all the time that they just want some kind of bear. So that means my bear will be different from last years bear because there is no brand identity.

The answer to question two is either the school shells out a bunch of money to buy shirts they hope they can sell on registration night or they use an order form. There are definintely occasions when buying shirts to sell at event are neccesary. However with spirit wear that’s not always the case. Order forms are a lot of work and have to constantly be manned by someone to collect them, check them for accuracy, and then reach out to all the stragglers. It’s a big effort.

Spirit wear ideas and coming up with new items is tough, we get it. You are in the field of education, not marketing. That’s why we enjoy what we do because we can take a schools spirit wear and take it from where it is to a whole new place that creates brand recogniation and is a profitable venture. Let’s face it, you don’t offer spirit wear just so all the students look cute, you sell spirit wear to raise money and create brand recognition. It’s your schools calling card that says look at us, it’s a great place to get an education.

With that being said we bring a lot of fresh spirit wear ideas with us in both apparel styles and brands as well as designs. We’ll take a look at what you’ve been doing and show you how we can improve on it. The first thing is creating the brand. The second thing is making sure we put you in the best position to sell the most spirit wear.

Kirkwood Trading Company is a 24 year old screen printing business in St. Louis. We started out doing spirit wear for schools and teams and we have continued to work with many schools and teams all over country. If your spirit wear is in a rut give us a call. We’ll see what we can do to help.

Team Fundraising

Team Fundraising

Kirkwood Trading Company custom t-shirts team fundraising

Team Fundraising

Team fundraising is nothing new but we are introducing a new way to raise funds that will generate more success. Previously team fundraising was carried out by selling candy bars, cookies, or pizzas. Another way teams raise funds is through selling advertising for their yearly calendar and things like that.

Kirkwood Trading Company is symplifying things to bring you more success to generate more revenue on your team fundraising.

Team Fundraising made easy
Kirkwood Trading Company offers free online fundraising stores that teams can easily utulize to raise funds. In previous posts we mentioned the study that shows people tend to give more often to a cause when they recieve a tangible item in return for their donation. People are also more prone to use plastic than cash. So an online team fundraising store makes sense.

But it doesn’t stop there. Here is how these FREE team fundraising stores work.
1. We work with the team and put together t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats, bags, coaches shirts, and other apparel the team wants to sell online.
2. We build a dedicated store with the the teams products and provide a link the team can promote to family and friends.
3. Kirkwood Trading Company handles all order processing and answers any product questions.
4. We set a date for the store to close and begin order fulfillment
5. All orders are individually bagged and either shipped or picked up to be handed out by a team representative.
6. The cost of goods is subtracted from the revenue and we provide the team with the difference which is their funds raised.

These online team fundraising stores are geared towards streamlining your fundraising efforts. We do all the work after an initial meeting and cater these stores to offer the products you want to offer.

Here is a link to a sample team store. Click on sample store on the page to view the store. Sample store

Contact us for your next fundraising venture and we will be happy to meet with you and discuss options and how we can help.

Custom T-shirts local vs online

custom t-shirts local vs online

Kirkwood Trading Company t-shirt screen printing in Saint Louis

custom t-shirts local vs online

As a screen printing company that specializes in custom t-shirts and logo wear, we often get asked the question by people in passing how do we compete with large online custom t-shirt companies. The quick answer, the easy answer is PRICE. We also get a lot of potential customers who send us links or pictures of shirts they have mocked up on large companies websites which made us think. If they have gone through the time to design their shirts on this big companies website, why are they contacting us to talk about their custom t-shirts.

So we did a little research and here is what we found.

Ordering custom t-shirts from a large online company
First of all the whole process is pretty automated. I’ve never tried to call customer service but with the amount of automation and the self help sections it appears it’s geared towards answering any questions on their site. This isn’t neccessarily a bad thing, but could be a potential pitfal for people who like to speak with a live person on the phone.

When it comes to custom t-shirts local vs online. Here is what you get with online companies.

1. They advertise free shipping but really the cost of shipping is built into the per shirt cost. We know USPS, UPS, and FEDEX don’t ship things for free. Especially 40 pound boxes of t-shirts.
2. Most, if not all orders are not even printed by the company you are ordering from. You order from Company A, they have shirts dropped shipped to Company B who does the printing. In the meantime, Company A ships boxes to Company B with Company A logo on them. When Company B finishes printing your shirt order, they pack them in boxes sent by Company A, and then are shipped to you. COMPANY A never sees the shirts you ordered. So quality control is left up to a 3rd party.
3. Since two companies are involved in printing your t-shirts both companies are getting paid, a piece of the pie if you will. This causes your t-shirts to cost more than they need to.
4. The time frame is usually 2 weeks or more. To get your shirts sooner costs you extra.
5. It’s rumored that when you order t-shirts from big online companies you have to pay an opt out fee so their company logo isn’t printed somewhere on the shirt.

Bottom line is there are some cools design tools and it lets you completely automate your purchase. The down side is time frame, having multiple companies involved in the process, all leading to a higher cost per shirt than you need to pay.

When it comes to custom t-shirts local vs online here is what you get when ordering from a local company.

Ordering custom t-shirts from a local screen printer
When you contact a local screen printer generally it’s pretty easy to contact someone by phone to answer questions or place an order. As the owner of a local screen printing shop it’s very seldom a customer calls to place an order without having a few questions. Dealing with a local screen printer is a more personlized service.

1. There is no shipping cost as local means you can pick up your shirts or in some cases have them delivered.
2. Your shirts are boxed in manufactures boxes that they were delivered in from distributor
3. Only one company is involved in most cases unless you are dealing with a print broker. Our company handles everything in-house from customer service, artwork, printing, and complete order execution.
4. Local companies are more flexible on time frames. You may pay a rush order fee in certain circumstances but generally local companies can accomodate their customers tight time frames. Our standard turn around time is pretty fast, it’s 4-6 business days. Most companies are two weeks are less on a local level.
5. There are no hidden fees to remove any local companies logo from your shirts.

Bottom line is the less hands involved the higher the quality product you receive and the price is much lower because fewer hands are touching the order.

You can contact Kirkwood Trading Company for a free quote by phone or email. You can use our online quote form or our online t-shirt design studio.