Refresh Your Spirit Wear

Refresh your spirit wear

Custom spirit wear for schools and teams

Refresh Your Spirit Wear

The number one reason spirit wear sales fall flat is because what you are offering is either not the right products for your target or the products stale. Think about your spirit wear and the apparel you have offered over the past 3-4 years. Has it changed or is it always the same products?

Granted, most of the schools and teams we work with have what we call staple items. These are items that stand the test of time and are always good sellers. These are your basic hoodies and t-shirts with a simple text of logo. They simply say Kirkwood, or Affton, or Pacific. These items will always sell but generally because they are associated with a town as well as a school. That’s not always the case but it helps.

However you need to sprinkle in new and trendy items to prevent your store from becoming stale.

Now more than ever there are new styles and blends that are really changing the face of fashion trends. Blends with designs, dye sub shirts, and various patterns on sleek fabrics are the new trend. Older style shirts with the new softer cotton and poly blends are making a huge come back. Girls and women now have more options than before.

When it comes to athletic uniforms they are also following suit with more design in the accents of sports jerseys. They are actually becoming so cool and popular that schools are starting to offer them because non athletes like the trendy look.

It’s all new and new sells. Colors change, styles changes, fabrics change. The key to a successful spirit wear campaign is riding the hot wave. Staying on top of the trends to get the most out of your spirit wear sales.

Keep the staples but spirit wear has to be an evolving venture.

Kirkwood Trading Company has been a St. Louis screen printer for 24 years. We provide the highest quality screen printing and embroidery, and now dye sublimation because we employ people with the same vision. We can work with your team sport, company, or school to help you achieve record sales on your new spirit wear, team wear, or corporate apparel order. Through our free online spirit wear stores we can help you generate more revenue while increasing your marketing reach through apparel.

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.

Custom Promotional Scarves in Saint Louis

custom promotional scarves in Saint Louis

Kirkwood Trading Company Custom T-shirts screen printing

Custom Promotional Scarves

We are introducing some new technology that will allow us to provide completely custom scarves to fit your needs. It’s almost as if we are printed what you want on them, but we aren’t. These scarves are a soft weave with zero texture, yet with sewing techology you get a completely custom scarves that are soft and warm.

Starting with the frayed edges, these can be custom to fit the colors you want. No limitations.

Next each side can be customized completely separate from the other. The most common look is to have your school, team, company, or event printed on one side and then the other side is a little more personal. We have done these scarves for football teams where one side looks like a football field. Swim teams where the side looks like a pool, and corporate scarves with their company slogan.

These custom scarves are great for fall and winter sports and spirit wear in general. Our clients successes thus far have been selling them through one of our free online spirit stores or be creating an order form. Either way works great but the free spirit wear store puts all of the work on us and takes it all off of you.

Really until now there haven’t been a lot of options for custom scarves with the free reign that we allow on design. Most options were a low quality sublimated scarf with little substance. These custom scarves are great quality with some weight which equals both fashion and warmth.

Colors, print, two different sides to the scarf, you name it and we can do it. We can provide you with one of a kind custom scarves that will boost your sales and provide great promotional value.

Contact us for a free quote and we can see what your thoughts are and put some ideas together for you.

Custom t-shirts for a birthday party

Custom T-shirts for a birthday party

custom birthday party t-shirts

Kirkwood Trading Company prints custom t-shirts in St. Louis Missouri

Custom t-shirts for a birthday party is a great new trend because they are fun, inexpensive, and make a great party gift. This is a great idea for any parties that is geared around team based events or simply to keep track of the attendees on a birthday party outing.

Often times our clients come to us with a basic idea for a custom t-shirt for a birthday party. We then take that idea and create a design that is both unique and memorable. Custom t-shirts for a birthday party popularity isn’t limited to childrens parties either. We print custom birthday party t-shirts for over the hill, dirty thirty, and any age that is a true achievement from sweet 16’s to 50, 60, and all others.

Team based children’s birthday parties have gained popularity do to various places that cater to birthday parties such as lazer tag and paintball destinations. Custom birthday party t-shirts can be done in a couple different colors so you can set teams. Olympic parties are popular in Olympic years and t-shirts make a great party gift for these too.

Really though every likes to receive a t-shirt so they make a great keepsake amd party gift. Sometimes the kids will come up with the design and other times we are asked to put something together. Either way is fine with us. Just make sure you check with us on the best way for a child to design a t-shirt. There are certain ways a design can be created that bests transfers to a great t-shirt graphic. We’ll be happy to discuss how.

Now lastly, custom t-shirts for a birthday party are great for parties that involve a public destination such as a zoo or amusement park. Having color coordinated t-shirts allows the party hosts to keep track of their party attendees more easily. Having all attendees in the same colored t-shirts makes it very easy to keep track of the party and keep it together.

Just remember, people get birthday party t-shirts for all kinds of reasons. These are just some of the more common reasons, but really, we’ve printed shirts for a variety of reasons for parties.

Ordering custom t-shirts in Saint Louis

ordering custom t-shirts in Saint Louis

Kirkwood Trading Company Saint Louis screen printing

Ordering custom t-shirts in Saint Louis, on a local level, has so many benefits compared to online custom tees websites. Aside from the price savings, which we will get to later, there is a level of convenience and quality that you only get with a local screen printing shop.

Let’s just look at the simple benefits of ordering from a local business. First, any business spent on local business stimulates the local economy. Making money here and spending money here is great for everyone. Ordering custom t-shirts in Saint Louis just makes sense.

Second, with local businesses you can visit them in person, see and feel the shirts and see samples of their printing and build a relationship. With online companies you can’t do that. They might have iffy printing techniques and you’d never know it because you don’t see samples.

Third, price. We get calls all the time asking us if we can price a job because an online company is expensive and on top of the per shirt price being higher than it should, there are A) additional shipping costs, or B) orders advertised as free shipping when in reality shipping is never free. It’s just built into the final price of the product.

While any business hates talking about mistakes, they happen. For one reason or another a job is done incorrectly. If you are unfortunate to be one of those customers your chances of getting the order made right is a thousand times better with a local company compared to an online company. We recently had a 200 shirt order completed 3 days before a customers event. It was a last minute rush job and lines of communication got crossed and there was a mispelling on the shirt. The fault lied with both us and the customer and we were able to replace the shirts and have them in hand the next day.

We have had to replace several orders that customers placed online that were incorrect and they weren’t going to get replacements in time. If you live in Saint Louis, ordering custom t-shirts in Saint Louis will save you time and money.

The one major problem with online custom t-shirt companies is that most don’t print the orders themselves. You design your shirts on their website, you pay them for the orders, but they don’t print the orders. They generally have shirts drop shipped to a screen printer somewheren in your region to print the shirts. Once printed the screen printer then ships them to you. So the person you are paying for the shirts never actually sees the shirts. That’s fine when you buy a car from a salesman who didn’t make your car but at least the salesman is representing the company. Here, if there is an issue you have to contact the online company, they have to contact the printing company, come up with a solution, and then get back to you. Things like this get eliminated by purchasing on the local level.

Custom Printed Rally Towels in St. Louis

custom rally towels in St louis

Kirkwood Trading Company screen printing of St. Louis

Custom printed rally towels in St. Louis with Kirkwood Trading Company. Your source for all things logo wear. Rally towels are a great inexpensive marketing tool that people love and it garners fan participation. The great thing about rally towels is the price point is very low. Let’s face it, you don’t order 12 rally towels. You order hundreds if not thousands, at a time. The best part if you are reading this as part of a sports team or event, often times you can get these rally towels free.

How? sponsorships. Look at any major sporting event from any major sports team who gives away custom rally towels at their events. In addition to the team name and logo and slogan, you’ll notice something else on every towel. Yes, you guessed, a sponsor generally in the name of a company.

It’s marketing exclusivity. Sponsors love this type of investment because their name is in front of every fan and it’s a captive audience. The best part is often times they are the sole sponsor which means no competition. While the towels will have the Savannah Squirrels logo and catch phrase, somewhere on that towel will be something like Everywhere Bank USA. They’d be the ones floating the bill for YOUR towels and in return they get exclusive advertising. Custom printed rally towels are a win win situation for everyone.

Rally towels are the yin to the yang. They bring the level of spirit up ten fold. They serve a purpose which is why you see every major sports team have towels for every major playoff event. They are a moral booster.

custom printed rally towels come in a variety of colors. There is generall a standard size for a custom printed rally towel but generally you have an option for a finished edge or a frayed edge. When it comes to towel color and print color prices will vary because different printing methods will be used when printing certain towel and ink combinations. The most common rally towels color is white as it’s the least expensive and neutral so any team color can be printed.

To learn more about the cost of rally towels contact us at your convenience here.

To design your own you can visit our online company Talkingink

Custom Printed Field Day T-shirts

custom printed field day T-shirts

Kirkwood Trading Company

custom printed field day t-shirts

Field Day, the time honored tradition of blowing off school to play games with our classmates. If you’re lucky it involes some sort of competition against the faculty for bragging rights and some sort of coveted prize.

What’s field day with out custom printed field day t-shirts. As more and more schools create a field day more and more schools are ordering custom printed field day t-shirts. It’s become a tradition…sort of like graduation. while students look at both with equal anticipation, field day is one of the last occassions where all of the school is together at one time participating in fun activities.

Kirkwood Trading Company has printed tons of custom printed field day t-shirts over the years. The biggest trend is getting a custom shirt to setup different teams. These shirts are either done with a custom design or a the same t-shirt design printed on different colored shirts.

We can assist your custom printed field day t-shirt needs anyway you need them. They don’t have to break the bank either. Generally when it’s a school wide event and you are talking about a few hundred custom t-shirts, the price is very attractive. It also doubles as a nice keepsake for the students. Few things save a memory like an awesome graphic on a t-shirt.

You can spend as little as a few dollars per t-shirt just depending on your individual needs. We have some schools we work with every year who simply get the same design printed on a variety of colored t-shirts.

Lastly, they make a great marketing tool when the kids where the shirts around town. Great marketing for the event and the school. And kids love sporting logo wear from the school they attend.

Kirkwood Trading Company is happy to provide free price quotes on custom t-shirts and logowear. We have competitive rates locally and generally online t-shirt companies can’t even compete with local pricing.

You can contact us here and use our online quote form or give us a call or shoot us an email.Online Quote Form

Custom 5K Race Tees and tanks

Kirkwood Trading Company custom 5K tees and tanks

screen printing in St. Louis

Custom 5K race Tees and tanks

Through our fundraising arm of Talkingink, we have been building custom stores for people to sell their spirit wear and logo merchandise. It makes sense naturally that we would also include the fulfillment of printing shirts for organizations raising money and awareness through 5k races. If you have ever participated in these events then you need typically your registration fee includes a custom t-shirt created for that race. Kirkwood Trading Company has been screen printing in St. Louis for over 20 years. In that time we have printed t-shirts for numerous 5k race shirts. Everything from the major national foundations to the smaller local race events.

With competitive pricing and quick turn around we have made strives in the bulk order screen printing community because we engage the client to find out there needs, and then make it very easy to fulfill those needs with little of their time.

5K race shirts are a great item to present the participants because if done correctly, the race will have hundreds or thousands of walking billboards for their event. Since the cost should be built into registration fees, there is no cost to the foundation or organization.

In addition to screen printing custom 5k race shirts, we also assist in custom t-shirt design. While many organizations have a graphic artist design their shirt each year, others don’t. They need a professional service to create a great design that people love to wear. Kirkwood Trading Company can help in the design of the shirt and depending on the quantity needed, often times this comes at no additional cost. We love designing and seeing the collaboration of your ideas and ours come to life in the form of a 5k race shirt.

In addition to printing for the race organizaters. We also print custom team shirts and tanks for those who want to wear a something a little bit more “them.”

If you are hosting a 5k race and need to have tees and tanks printed, contact us and we’ll be happy to price your shirts as well as give you options on different materials and styles.