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.

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

local St. Louis custom t-shirt printing

local St. Louis custom t-shirt printing

screen printing company in St. Louis Kirkwood Trading Company

Local St. Louis custom t-shirt printing

We get a lot of customers who have ordered their shirts through an online company and while there have been many successful orders, the bad ones have been truly a bad experience. The shirts weren’t ready on time, the shirts didn’t fit, the printing was sub standard, the list goes on and on and when people try to contact someone they end up talking to someone 5 states away who offers little help.

In any given month we receive at least two phone calls from people who ordered their custom t-shirts online only to find out a day or two before they need their shirts that they won’t be ready. So with little options they call us for a quick turn around.

What’s nice about using a local St. Louis custom t-shirt printing company is you avoid both shipping costs and shipping times. Don’t be fooled by companies that offer free shipping because you can’t ship something for free and the shirt company certainly isn’t paying for the shipping, it’s simply built into the cost of the t-shirts. So you are waiting longer for your t-shirts and paying much more than you would be ordering them from a local St. Louis custom t-shirt printing company.

Ordering through a local St. Louis custom t-shirt printing company also allows you the benefit of seeing and feeling the shirts if you want so you know what you are buying. Quality isn’t an issue as you know exactly what the shirt looks, feels, and wears like. Plus you stimulate the local economy. Often times you pay less aside from saving on shipping simply because the pricing locally is less than it is in bigger states.

While Kirkwood Trading Company does most of our work via online and email, which allows both us and the customer to track orders as far as sizing, direction, and specific specs for a job, we are always a phone call away and many times customers like to come in and meet with us when placing an order. Though it’s not neccessary so there is the convenience of working online for customers who like to work that way. We always send digital proofs to our customers to they can see exactly how their shirts will look when they receieve them.

There is so much more of an advantage when working with a local St. Louis custom t-shirt printing company. You can talk to live local people, visit the shop to see samples, discuss in person your particular needs be it t-shirts, jerseys, spirit wear or corporate wear. And you save on time and shipping costs associated with ordering online from out of state companies. You get a better price and dealing with a smaller volume than a t-shirt giant we can manipulate our print schedules to meet every customers deadline without charging more and guaranteeing you’ll be happy with your custom t-shirt order.

If you are in the market for custom t-shirts Kirkwood Trading Company will be happy to discuss your needs and provide you with a free price quote and discuss time frame, cost, and all the neccessary steps to ensure a good custom t-shirt buying experience.

fraternity sorority custom rush shirts

Fraternity sorority custom rush shirts

Kirkwood Trading Company

Fraternity sorority custom rush shirts

As a new school year is upon us and so to is the need for custom rush shirts. Greek life are fantastic at coming up with catchy themes for their rush t-shirts and as a local St. Louis screen printer, we get a big kick out of the various themes. There are definately similar themes among colleges in various geographically areas. Greek life on the coasts promote the sun and beach while midwest fraternities and sororities tend to have liquor themed custom rush shirts. There is no doubt that college kids are creative when it comes to designing custom rush shirts and creating a design that is very appealing. At one time or another we have printed custom rush shirts for fraternities and sororities in every chapter.

The nice thing from a screen printers perspective is once we do a job at one college or university for a chapter, our name gets spread around to the other chapters around campus.

More often than not the designs we receive from greek chapters is just an idea, a rough image of what they want their shirts to look like. Kirkwood Trading Company works with these students to convert their idea into a refined finished product, a custom rush shirt.

One common theme among fraternities and sororities no matter their geographic location is their choice of shirt, comfort colors. Comfort Colors for greek life and various fraternities and sororities are a staple. Kirkwood Trading Company carries a full line of Comfort Colors tees, tanks, hoodies, and more.

We ship custom rush shirts all over the country in about 1 week with competitive pricing and the highest quality screen printing. We’ve built a nice following among the greek life do to our quality, customer service, and fast turn around.

Give us a call and we’ll be happy to take a look at what you need and how we can help.

Custom Disney Vacation T-shirts

custom disney vacation t-shirts

Family Vacation disney tshirts printed

Your dates set, your fast passes are scheduled, your ready to go experience Disney World with a great family vacation. What better way to celebrate than with custom disney vacation t-shirts? T-shirts unify the family and make great keepsakes. Not to mention keeping track of those family members who tend to stray from time to time. Disney vacation t-shirts have become a staple of any visit to a disney park. I was just there two weeks ago and there were more families with custom Disney vacation t-shirts than families without. It brings the whole experience together.

If you have never ordered custom t-shirts before don’t worry. We have you covered. We’ll discuss shirt color and design options and we try to keep it pretty simple. Feel free to bring us a design you like or we can work with you to come up with a completely custom design for you. Either way works for us and it’s a fun little gift you can present the family. In fact many families use the custom disney vacation t-shirts to surprise and break the news to the family. Nothing says we are going to Disney World like familiy disney shirts.

You can even go on our website and design your own disney shirts or as we mentioned above, give us your ideas and we’ll put the design together for you. Whether you need 3 shirts for a small family or 300 shirts for a cheerleader competition, we can do it all. The best part if we keep is easy, cost effective, and can meet any deadline. Kirkwood Trading Company ships custom t-shirts all over the United States so you can expect to get your shirts in just a few days without breadking the bank.

You set your date, you have your schedule, all that is left is contacting us for your custom disney vacation t-shirts. We’ll keep it simple, easy and cheap. Contact us today for a free price quote.

T-shirt printing for non-profit organizations

t-shirt printing for non-profit organizations

Kirkwood Trading Company Custom T-shirt screen printing

T-shirt printing for non-profit organizations

Kirkwood Trading Company has been screen printing custom t-shirts in St. Louis for over 20 years now. In that time we have met a lot of great people and printed t-shirts for a lot of great causes. Everybody has a story when they order their custom tees and some are funny, scary, sad, and uplifting. With our history of printing t-shirts we have always looked for ways to give back. A few years back we created a donation budget which is maxed out for the foreseeable future because we have worked with people who have custom t-shirts made for great causes. However we didn’t want to stop so we have created discounts when we do t-shirt printing for non-profit organizations and have even figured out a way to not only discount the shirts but always give back as well.

If you are the head of a local chapter for any non-profit organization who hosts events where your participants order custom t-shirts, you need to contact us because what we do for an organization wide donation will blow anything you’ve ever done out of the water. We can make a huge impact on run and walk events.

On a smaller scale when t-shirt printing for non-profit organizations we offer discounts for things like run and walk events. We understand your purpose is to raise awareness and funds for research. We try to help any way we can and offering discounts on shirts you want to purchase is the best way we know how.

A few things we do aside from discounting the shirts is volunteering any design work if needed. Typically there is a charge when we design a shirt for a customer but when it comes to t-shirt pringing for non-profit organizations we waive those fees with a few exceptions. Those exceptions generally revolve around the complexity of the design and the amount of time it takes to create such a design.

From the beginning Kirkwood Trading Company works with our customers so we are all on the same page quickly. We understand what you need and when you need it. Through the years we have become very good at providing our custom t-shirt screen printing service in a manner that doesn’t take a lot of our customers time. We send digital proofs out to all customers so there is never a mystery and all pricing is set before hand so there are never any surprises.

If you are involved with a foundation organization contact us. We’ll be happy to discuss our t-shirt printing for non-profit organizations and how we serve a national clientele from coast to coast in a timely fashion for a lot less than other screen printing companies.

Best Custom T-shirts For Cheap

Best Custom T-shirts For Cheap

Kirkwood Trading Company

Best Custom T-shirts For Cheap

The age old question, what are the best custom t-shirts for cheap? It’s actually a question with 2 answers since we are talking about a t-shirt that has a print on it. Before we get started let’s assume we are on the same and using the word cheap to mean inexpensive. Our customers are always looking for budget friendly options and they want to get the most bang for their buck possible. We like to give people options and let them decide what works best because generally people expect us to bring our expertise to the table. This typically comes in the form of helping them choose the right shirt or giving them design ideas or advice on how to best print their image.

The Best Custom T-shirts for Cheap
is going to be a 5.3oz preshrunk cotton t-shirt by Gildan, the worlds largest t-shirt manufacturer. The style number is Gildan 5000 or G500 depending on the distributor. They offer over 60 colors to choose and they are the leading source for new and trendy colors. If you are looking for a budget friendly t-shirt, the Gildan 5000 is your shirt.

So now you know the shirt to choose for the best custom t-shirts for cheap, now let’s talk about the other part, the printing.

When it comes to screen printing let your quantity be your guide to how many print colors you want on your design. The less ink colors used in the a custom t-shirt design, the less it costs. So a single color print is going to be more cost effective than a 6 color print. With that being said, if you are ordering custom t-shirts and your quantity is going to be between 12 and 24 shirts, you almost always want to keep that to a single color front and back print or a two color front print. When you get into 3 or more colors on that small of a quantity the shirts can become cost prohibitive. You want cost effective, you are looking for cheap. In addition, white t-shirts are the least expensive and colored shirts are the most expensive with a few shades of grey falling in the middle. You can order a few thousand shirts with a 6 color print and it will be just as economical as a 12 shirt order with a single print. The key is to match the quantity with the print color for the best custom t-shirts for cheap.

One thing Kirkwood Trading Company does is provide their customers with options when they give a price quote to a customer who is uncertain of what they want. Often times a customer is looking for a higher quality t-shirt and screen print but has a lower budget. By giving them options they can pick and choose what is more important to them and choose options to match their budget. Sometimes a customer has to have a higher quality softer shirt and they can sacrifice and eliminate some print colors to meet their shirt budget. Other times customers can’t or won’t sacrifice the number of colors in the design but can live with a t-shirt that isn’t as soft. We’ll be happy to give you options be it for custom t-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies, polos, etc.

Kirkwood Trading Company offers an online quote form, a design studio where customers can design their shirts online, and we are always a phone call or email away as well to answer any questions. You can reach us here at our contact page. Contact us