Creating a successful online spirit store

creating a successful online spirit store

Kirkwood Trading Company St. Louis custom t-shirt screen printing shop

Creating a successful online spirit store has never been easier. First and foremost now more than ever people are making all kinds of purchases online. Second, Kirkwood Trading Compmany provides it’s clients with a free online store where schools, teams, and organizations can sell their custom spirit wear. So the costs that are associated with selling spirit wear are no longer there because there is no need for costly inventory or space. There is no longer a need to purchase a domain name and hosting plan. Kirkwood Trading Company now provides all of these things completely free to our clients. What’s more, we also completely build the store for you, handle order processing, and if need be, shipping and bagging. All you have to do is sit back and collect the revenue. Yes, it’s that easy.

First Things First
When it comes to a successful online spirit store you don’t need to reinvent the wheel. The mmost successful stores contain 80% of the staple apparel and 20% unique apparel that is geared specifically towards your clientele. By staples we are talking about t-shirts, hoodies, shorts, hats, jackets, bags, etc. By unique apparel we are talking specialty apparel where you know they’ll be a hit. This might be a baseball tee, a unique cut women’s cut tee, it could even be a unique one time design, which we’ll get to in just a bit. Staples are important because they are expected, they typically remain the same in both style and print year after year and a perfect case and point would ba high school spirit wear store. If a schools colors are black and gold then more than likely a staple would be a black hoodie with a gold print that says something like Springfield. Something a student might by a couple times throughout his high school career but it’s common enough that town citizens, incoming freshman, and the like all buy this staple year after year. Staple items are the life blood of a successful online spirit store. The unique items are to gain additional revenue from the people who own the staples.

Go unique to get more sales
One thing we find successful is when a school or team offers a new and fresh design that is only offered for a limited time and then never to be seen again. This creates buzz and buzz creates sales. Nobody likes to feel left out and if a particular shirt with a unique design is only for sale for a limited time, then people will jump on it. It’s a way to create buzz, attract new customers, and get additional sales from existing customers.

We do this exact same thing for a local club sport here in St. Louis. They have an online spirit store 3 times a year for a few weeks each time. They offer about 20 different items. Of those 20 different items 15 of them are always the same, there staples. 4 items are completely new and fresh with each time the store is reoponed, and the 20th product, is always a brand new limited edition design that is only for sale during that particular time the store is open. If they have 200 memebers, they’ll see about 160 of this unique limited edition shirt alone. The rest of the sales are from the staples and unique designs. But what is nice is that you’ll find people who ordered apparel from their store in the summer, so they typically won’t order anything in the fall, but the summer people will most certainly buy that one limited edition item in the fall.

Having something limited edition is a great way to gain additional sales.

If you have an interest in learning more about how Kirkwood Trading Company can help you with your custom online spirit store, give us a call or send us an email and we’ll be happy to discuss what we can do for you to help you generate revenue without spending any money. We promise, it really is that simple.

Custom Logo Tees Fast

custom logo tees fast

Kirkwood Trading Company St. Louis

Custom Logo Tees Fast

Printing custom logo tees fast is what we do. Why wait 2 weeks when you don’t have to. Kirkwood Trading Company prioritizes each order so that they get out in a reasonable amount of time so our customers are looking at days, not weeks. Our typical turn around time is 4-6 business days.

Here at Kirkwood Trading Company we have built our reputation on meeting or exceeding customer deadlines. With our 20 years of screen printing experience in St. Louis we have our process dialed in and have always been completely reliant on all of our services. The only thing we do rely on is the apparel distributors for the shirts and apparel. All of our printing and graphics services are done in-house which saves our customers time and money.

Let’s face it, people are busy and while a large percentage of people have a plan to order t-shirts and give plenty of time, sometimes things slip our minds for a multitude of reasons. That’s okay, Kirkwood Trading Company has you covered. We can assist in the artwork, we have among the most experienced screen printers, and as a company, we know how to prioritize to get your job done.

In order to assist us in providing you with the best service and product possible, here are a few things our customers can do before they place their order.

1. Artwork is key. Jobs go a lot smoother and a lot faster when we receive proper artwork which would be a vector file. This is a scalable file that allows us to provide color separations, size to correct proportions, and print a sharp looking design. If you have a jpeg or bitmap file, these are raster images and cannot be color separated. So these types of files need additional work which can delay a job. This would all be discussed with our client before hand so they know what to expact and what is reasonable.

2. When it comes to shirt style, color, and quantities, knowing these even during the quote process will make things smoother and easier. If you plan on placing an order having all of this information ready is paramount.

The more information we have the more ready a client is prepared on their end, the smoother and faster the entire process will go. Like anything.

Top 5 T-shirts to customize

top 5 t-shirts to custsomize

custom t-shirt screen printing in St. Louis

Top 5 T-shirts to Customize

This list of top 5 t-shirts to customize is based on the past 3 years of our personal clients buying habits which is based on quality, color availability, price point, and durability. As a local St. Louis screen printing company we can agree with these choices and give you the reasons and feedback to back that up. So if you are in the market for custom t-shirts you may want to take a look at these top 5 t-shirts and see if their popularity aligns with the goals for your custom t-shirt order.

Performance T-shirts A4 3142 unisex
While performance tees have come a long way over the past few years with several companies now offering a 100% moisture wicking polyester t-shirt, it can be hard to choose the best one for you. I’ll tell you a diry little secret: 100% polyester is 100% polyester and there isn’t going to be a difference between a $50 t-shirt or a $4 t-shirt. The main difference comes in the weight of the shirt and for consumers of custom t-shirts, color availability and price point.

The A4 brand is a great up and coming brand. While they are well established and known for quality shirts at a great price, only in the past few years have all of the major distributors picked them up. They offer several styles including men, women, and youth and they get into the popular trends of sublimated designs where you can buy their shirts with camo patterns or accent piping. They offer socks, shorts, sweatshirts, and more.

Screen Printers Perspective:
They are readily available, come in enough colors to satisfy most of our clients, and the shirts themselves are very durable so we don’t have to handle them with additional care in order to not cause runs in the fabric.

Customers perspective:
A4 boasts the best price point among 100% poly moisture wicking t-shirts and they have a nice color selection as well as nice ladies and youth compliments to their 3142. Customer feedback has been really positive which is great because it’s usually us turning new clients onto this product to save them money.

Fashion T-shirts Next Level 3600 cotton crew
Fashion tees have beceome a big trend in recent years with more and more people wanting a softer tapered cut t-shirt. Next Level would have several t-shirts in the Top 5 T-shirts but only this one because of price point, feel, and availability puts it in the top 5 t-shirts. It’s ringspun cotton so it is softer than your typical shirt.

Screen Printers Perspective:
It’s a great price point and great availibility. Only downside would be limited color options and of those a lot of earth tone colors.

Customer Perspective:
Customers are able to get into a trendy shirt at a lost price point. This is great for branding, especially when selling shirts or promoting something because they have soft feel everyone wants.

Garment Dyed T-shirts Comfort Colors
If you are in high school or college, then you know comfort colors. These are garment dyed shirts that sit in a category of their own and pretty much have complete market saturation. They have TONS of unique colors and a soft feel for a garment dyed shirt. These would be the most popular shirt among the 14-22 year old consumer. In addition they have several styles that include pocket tees, tank tops, and sweatshirts. The only downside which should be ending soon is their availability as their stock has suffered greatly and cost them some major dollars because they have been hard to get. That should change though with Gildan purchasing them at least that is hopefully the plan.

Screen Printers Perspective:
Their price point is a little higher for a solid colored t-shirt but customers who order this expect that. Their limited stock can make fulfilling customers orders difficult, but they are easy to print on, durable, and when they have stock in the colors the customer wants, it makes for a rewarding order.

Customer perspective:
Unique colors and softness stick out the most. Again, they have a higher price point but customers expect that and are willing to pay for it. But the unique colors stand out among all of the others which is great to get a message across. So for some years they have been in the top 5 t-shirts

Most Popular T-shirts
: Gildan 2000 and 5000
Gildan is the largest T-shirt manufacturer in the world and more than likely if you see a custom t-shirt, it’s a Gildan brand shirt. They have 2 styles really, the are in the top 5 custom t-shirts to customize. Their 2000 – 6oz 100% preshrunk cotton and their 5000 5oz 100% preshrunk cotton. The 5000 has the best price point and comes in over 50 colors. The 2000 comes in over 70 colors. The price point is great, every single distributor carries them, their availability is second to none. They also come out with new colors each year and curb the poor selling colors so you always get the latest and greatest color trends.

Screen Printers Perspective:
Withhout a doubt their low price point, high quality, and huge color options make them a fit for 90% of the custom t-shirt consumers out there. They are very durable, the cotton is preshrunk, and their fit is the gauge by all shirts. So you get a standard fitting t-shirt that comes in a lot of colors and even sizes for that matter. You can get virtually any Gildan t-shirt on a one day ship which make them great for rush orders.

Customer perspective:
Customers love Gildan because of their color choices and their durability and most colors come in both youth and adult so they are a great fit for virtually anything under the sun be it awareness walks, fundraisers, trips, family reunions, or whatever.

Blend Shirts Gildan 8000 Dryblend
Gildan came out with their 8000 some years back and it’s their 50/50 cotton poly Dryblend. So it has some moisture properties and is a little softer than their preshrunk cotton styles. They have over 30 colors available in this style and it also comes in youth and long sleeve. The price point is the same as the Gildan heavy cotton tee so it’s a great option for a myriad of ocassions.

Screen printers perspective:
Availability is great, durability is great, lots of color options at a great price point. Easy to print on and easy to sway a customer into a more modern blend shirt since the price point is the same as a cotton.

Custom perspective:
Customers are getting a softer more modern trendy shirt at a great price with lots of color options. You can’t go wrong with this blend.

Honorable Mentions:
There is an abundance of honorable mentions that didn’t make the top 5 t-shirts to customize. Some of them could just be the consumers aren’t aware of them and other times price point and avaialability don’t make them a good match.

Any Gildan product is going to be a great buy. Their durability, availability, color options, and price point make even their new tech performance shirt and softstyle shirts something to consider. Everything is moderately priced from Gildan and you simply can’t go wrong no matter your purpose for ordering custom t-shirts.

Fruit of the loom, Jerzees, hanes, are all in the same category as Gildan with practically the same price points and same color options.

Next level has a great lineup and compete directly with Bella but Next Level tends to have a better price point. There are specialty brands such as LAT, Rabbit Skins, Boxercraft that also offer a variety of products and colors as well.

When you are in the market for custom t-shirts contact Kirkwood Trading Company in St. Louis. We serve a clientele across the United States and offer super fast turn around times and ultra competitive pricing.

You can contact us here Free quote

T-shirt Fundraising made easy

T-shirt fundraising

Kirkwood Trading Company

T-shirt Fundraising made Easy

Smart fundraisers know that people like to get something in return for their donation which is why a t-shirt fundraiser makes sense. In fact, studies show that people tend to give more when they get something back for their money. It doesn’t have to be a something of equal value like most people think, because let’s face it, that would defeat the purpose. Although the perceived value is something that really encourages people to donate. Let’s say you want to buy the latest trendy t-shirt at a store, more than likely you will end up paying $25, $45, or much more.

Now imagine selling a custom t-shirt for your cause that has a price tag of $15 or $20. Plenty of people out there will buy a $20 gag t-shirt for a single use ocassion. So to sell a fundraising t-shirt for $15 or $20 where the buyer can wear it all the time is a no brainer.

The most successful fundraising campaigns will have a broad audience with a high number of possible contributors so the t-shirt cost is very minimal. In order to have a successful t-shirt fundraising campaign, ideally you want to buy a high volume of shirts. Of course that all just depends on your goals.

Custom t-shirt fundraising is a great way to have fun by coming up with a unique design catered to promote the cause. They can be serious, funny, abstract, it doesn’t matter. And that’s just it, t-shirt fundraising can be cateret to fit your specific audience and geared toward the outcome you wish to portray.

The best part is there is no cost to you to get started. You can do away with costly inventory and taking the time to sell them to each individual. Kirkwood Trading Company provides you with a free web store where we’ll handle all of the order processing and if need be, shipping as well.

It’s easy to get started with a simple email or phone call. We’ll be happy to talk with you and help you with design, best practices, and whatever we can do to help. A successful t-shirt fundraiser is a goal that serves everyone involved.

You can contact us here. Contact Us

Custom Band T-shirts

custom band t-shirts

Kirkwood Trading Company screen printing in St. Louis

Custom Band T-shirts

custom band t-shirts are a means to promote a band while at the same time earning additional income through the merchandise. We work with several bands from all walks of life from the big global bands to your smaller scale local cover bands. While an international signed band might order 10,000 shirts for an event, a local cover band may only order 100 shirts. In that respect the purpose is exactly the same, both bands are order custom band t-shirts for the same purpose.

Our biggest custom band t-shirt client are the local bands ordering 100-200 shirts at a time. They have a dedicated following and are able to push new designs onto their followers a few times a year. It’s a great way to grab additional income from the pay of the gig itself. Any additional money for the local bands is a bonus simply because they love what they do and most have full time jobs.

But there is nothing like a cult type following. These are your customers and they gobble up their favorite bands merchandise. So it’s always a good venture to invest in offering band merch.

Custom band t-shirts – screen printed success

So I touched on this briefly above, but the best way to get the maximum dollar out of your local following is to switch things up. A lot of times bands will have t-shirts screen printed with their band logo on them, a staple in any event. Another way to take advantage and to keep things fresh is to constantly have different designs to offer your fans from time to time. Keeping it fresh is a great way to get people buying time after time. With more people buying, new fresh designs, your brand is out amongst the people on the shirts of fans backs promoting your band.

Best practices, keep it simple. The smaller the quantity you order the less ink colors should be involved. You want to keep the shirts cost effective for a return on investment so keep them budget friendly. Stick with one or two color designs for the best return. Your cost is lower and you can sell them for a lower price point as well.

Custom tshirts in Oakville Missouri

custom printed tshirts Oakville Missouri

screen printing services for Oakvill Missouri by Kirkwood Trading Company

If you are looking for quality custom tshirts in Oakville Missouri, Looking no further than Kirkwood Trading Company. Specializing in custom t-shirts for over 20 years in St. Louis, we have the best prices and fastest turn around. With state of the art technology we can provide the latest printing methods to ensure your t-shirts look as good as possible. We make ordering with us very convenient and hassle free. Our pricing is setup so it’s point blank and you will find no hidden fees or additional costs.

With a 4-6 day order turn around and in-house graphic artists, no job is too big or too small. We can print anywhere from a 12 piece minimum order to as many as 12,000 t-shirts or more.

Convenientl located in the central location of Kirkwood, we have grown our clientele to include schools, churches, businesses, foundations, organizations, and much more.

In addition to screen printing logo wear at point of sale, we can also provide our customers with free spirit wear or team stores as well as fundraising stores. All of these are new services we have provided over the past couple of years to a great reception amongst our clients. No longer is costly inventory a requisite to sell logo wear.

For questions or a free price quote, feel free to contact us at your convenience.

Tips for a successful t-shirt brand

tips for a successful t-shirt brand

Best practices on how to make money with a t-shirt brand

Tips for a successful t-shirt brand

Let’s face it, if creating a successful t-shirt brand was easy, everybody would be doing it. If you think you have an idea for a successful t-shirt brand, ┬áthese tips may just help you out. If nothing else this cliff notes version will help you avoid some common pit falls. Pit falls we’ve seen over 20 years and hundreds of customers who had ideas for a succesful shirt brand and why most flop and while some are still customers today.

1. Know your market. : We get a lot of customers who come in and and place an order for their custom t-shirt brand. We always ask what their target market is 80% of the time they really have no idea or it’s so broad that they are already fighting an uphill battle. Know your target market and cater to them. For instance, if your brand is targeting high school and college aged kids you might want to put your designs on the Comfort Colors brand shirts and tanks. This brand is uber popular amongst that age group. A little pricier than a standard basic t-shirt but nobody wants a standard t-shirt unless you are one of the larger global brands who can sell their custom t-shirts on name alone. A successful t-shirt brand can take time. Knowing your market can put your brand in the fast lane.

2. Don’t be stingy: The 2nd biggest mistake we find when printing customers t-shirts after not knowing their target market is cheaping out on the shirts. Look, we get it. You’re a start up and you want to keep costs down. But if you go with a basic tee, I can tell you don’t know your targer market because while a basic tee is cheap, everybody has a few in their closet already and unless it’s a super awesome design, people will pass. You want to cater to the current trends which right now are softer more tapered cut shirts. Yes, they cost more than a basic preshrunk cotton t-shirt, but your margin will be greater because if it feels like a higher quality shirt material, people are willing to pay more. A lot of our customers who we print their brand shirts for have the same idea.They want to order the first run of shirts on the less expensive basic shirts and after they sell them and make some money they want to come bag and upgrade to a more modern high priced shirt. This could possibly work but we haven’t seen it personally. Typically what happens is they sell their 100 shirts and when a new design comes out, even though it’s on a nicer shirt, you get buyer regret or a consumer been there done that mentality and sales on another order fall short. Know your audience, and cater the shirt from the very start. Skimping on the right shirt for your market can be the difference between a succesfful t-shirt brand and a disaster.

3. Design and color combination: One of the most effective ways to sell a brand is to have a great shirt color ink combination. If you are selling apparel for beach seekers, you don’t want to use dark colored t-shirts, you want to have bright colored options. Weight wise you would want to stick with light weight, in the case of sun seekers perhaps a performance poly. Either way you go you want to look at the trends which are currently softer lighter shirts with tapering. In order to have your brand stand out, a catchy shirt color with a complimenting ink color can make a dull design very desirable. Where as having the wrong combination can mean the difference between a dud and a shirt that flies off the shelves. A mediocre design with a catchy color combination can make an average t-shirt a successful t-shirt brand.

4. Maximize your quantity: We get customers with the latest and greatest t-shirt idea from all walks of life and we’ve seen it all. There are those customers who come in and want to order 5,000 shirts right off the bat and then there are those who want to start small at 12 or 24 shirts. While you don’t have to already be wealthy to launch a t-shirt brand, having some capital certainly helps. I can tell you right now that every customer who has ordered only 12 or 24 shirts to launch their custom t-shirt brand has never been back for a repeat order, never. Probably becuase in these cases their target market is friends and classmates and at the end of the day, getting paid for the product was probably a lot of work. Consequently we have never had anyone who came in and ordered 5,000 t-shirts to launch their t-shirt brand ever place a reorder either and chances are they probably have 4,500 shirts sitting in a basement somewhere. A successful t-shirt brand will not leave you with an inventory that gets dusty.

At Kirkwood Trading Company, we want you to succeed. If you succeed and we remain your custom t-shirt printer, then we succeed with you. So we tell people start out small. You don’t need to start out with a 5,000 t-shirt order. As much as we like printing 5,000 shirt orders, when it comes to the case of a t-shirt idea, we know that more often than not you end up with a basement full of shirts. We will help you analyze your market and maybe we tell you start with 100 shirts or 1,000 shirts. You can always order more but if it fails, you are stuck with a lot of costly inventory. If you want to start with 24 shirts, we’ll discuss with you why it’s not a great idea and see how close you can come to a targer order for such a brand. It may be more money up front but if you can swing a 100 shirt order at lower price per shirt, you’ll have better saturation with 100 shirts than you will with 24 shirts.

With custom printed t-shirts, like every product, the more you buy the lower the price per piece is. It’s key to find that magical number for your cost verses retail. What will your gross be as well as your net based on a given price point on a given quantity.

Look at these tips for a succesful t-shirt brand as all being equally important. Look at them as a recipe for sucess and if each step is given it’s do dilligence, that could be the matter between a successful t-shirt brand and a flop. Think of these 4 points as a recipe for a cookie. You forget to add the chocolate chips and you don’t have a successful chocolate chip cookie.

If you are in the market for a custom t-shirt brand contact us at Kirkwood Trading Company and we’ll be happy to discuss options with you. We can share current trends, help or critique designs, and give you best practices based on our 20 years of screen printing experience in the Saint Louis area.

Custom Charity Walk Event Tshirts

Charity walk event tshirts

Custom Tshirt Screen Printing in St. Louis

Custom Charity walk event tshirts

The fundraising season is upon us with various charity walk and run events taking place. Few things are as cost effective when it comes to marketing than a custom t-shirt. The exposure each shirt gets compared to it’s investment makes logo shirts among the best money spent for getting a name or event in front of people.

Let’s do some simple math. A $10,000 billboard seen by 50,000 people basically costs around $.20/cents per impression or per person who sees it. An $8 custom t-shirt that is seen by 300 people costs around $.02/cents per impression or per person who sees the shirt. You cannot compare 50,000 people seeing something and 300 people seeing something and assume more people will purchase or get involved with the product because 50,000. The important thing is the cost per impression. Multiply that 300 people seeing a t-shirt and multiple that by 500, 1000, or 2,000 t-shirts. On 500 t-shirts, those would be seen by 150,000 people and when it costs $.02/cents per shirt for that impression, few things are better than t-shirts when it comes to marketing.

The custom charity walk event tshirts are always a big hit. That’s why they always order them because they know the impact that having each participant walk away with a logo shirt for that fundraising effort is only increasing awareness which equals dollars spent on that particular cause. Take Autism for example. It is now a household term do in part to more diagnosis meaning it’s hitting more homes first hand. But with that comes the awareness and the incredible number of people who sign up for these walks and then get the t-shirt for participating. It’s a huge cycle that just makes the end goal of finding a cure that much more reachable.

What’s more is the team aspect and the fundraising teams ordering their individual custom charity walk event tshirts. They are raising awareness and showing unity amongst those in their inner circle that care. The t-shirt shows the unity and makes for a great marketing piece and a keepsake at the same time.

Custom charity walk event tshirts – people love them

When it comes to t-shirts, people love them whether it’s a t-shirt from their last vacation or their latest walk event. Custom charity walk event tshirts are about two things. First, people tend to donate or donate more when they recieve a tangible item in return for their donation. So tshirts make a great cost effective gift. Second, the exposure is second to none. Compare cost and exposure to other ad mediums and you’ll find custom charity walk event tshirts are a great commodity year after year.

For further information or to request a quote for your custom charity walk event tshirts, you can contact us here.
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Custom Prom Tank Tops

Custom prom tank tops

Kirkwood Trading Company

Custom Prom Tank Tops

So this is the 2nd year in a row we are seeing a trend for orders for custom prom tank tops and t-shirts. The traditional order has a design, school name, a reference to prom, and then on the back they are customized with the year, and then your dates name on the back.

The popular custom prom tank tops are comfort colors. Still a popular brand among high school and college students. While a higher price point compared to most brands, students are willing to pay for the trend and with so much customization they already expect to pay a higher price.

Kirkwood Trading Company provides a one week turn around on such orders as long as we receive everything from the client that is requested. Shirt style, color, and sizes. A list of names and the design is in a vector format ready to go. From there we can order your t-shirts or tanks on a Monday and have them ready to go that Friday.

Custom Kickball Team Tshirts

custom kickball team tshirts

Kickball T-shirts

Custom Kickball Team Tshirts

St. Louis is a growing hot bed for adult kickball leagues. What better sport is there to relive our playground youth in a fun environment where age doesn’t determine the enjoyment. With more and more teams getting organized the need for custom kickball team tshirts arises.

Hey, we get it and we don’t blush easily. So when someone comes in with and wants their team name Shift Kickers or Dragonass on a shirt, we love the humor.

So if you are looking for custom kickball tshirts Kirkwood Trading Company has you covered. We have a full catalog of the most popular shirts from cotton, blends, performance tees, and even the really soft trendy tees from the most popular manufacturers. We’ll take your design and print it on some tshirts and you can be the big hit of the league.

Need help with for a graphic for that awesome team name you came up with? No problem. Our graphic artists can put anything together.

Short on time, no problem. Our typical turn around time is 3-5 business days in most cases. We can print, number and letter your custom tshirts in just a few days and it won’t cost you an arm and a leg to be unified out there on the field of battle.

Give us a call and we’ll be happy to put a price together and earn your custom t-shirt printing business.

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