3 T-shirt Sales Ideas That Work Right Now
When Colette Wilhelm took to Facebook on March 31, she saw a post that asked what people are selling during the “rough times” that the COVID-19 pandemic has forced us to endure. Her response was unequivocal: T-shirts.
"Shirts," she wrote. "Shirts with positive messages. DTG shirts with senior portraits for schools that won't have graduation. Shirts sold for $25 to families of school children where a set amount is donated to scholarship funds for students who won't get scholarships because they can't compete because school is canceled. 'Here for good' shirt campaigns that benefit small businesses. Shirts. All day long."
Wilhelm is the owner of Contract Impressions, a screen printing, embroidery and engraving/laser etching business in Cape Coral, Florida. In a follow-up conversation with Promo Marketing, she expanded on her ideas above, offering three solid T-shirt sales suggestions that rely on branded apparel to convey positive messages.
“There’s absolutely no question that people are struggling and frustrated,” she said. “However, we don’t need to abandon hope that the present market can still be beneficial to us.”
In remaining positive, Wilhelm suggested that T-shirts can be somewhat of a balm to the feelings of despair that are gaining strength among members of the promo world. This is how she broke down her thoughts, and how people can rely on her advice to continue to show that the promotional products and apparel industries will not succumb to doom and gloom.
1. Senior portrait T-shirts
Wilhelm noted that direct-to-garment shirts with senior portraits for schools that will not have graduation would brighten spirits. Given that many states, including Promo Marketing’s Pennsylvania base, have decided to end the academic year, many individuals will deservedly feel cheated out of enriching memories. These garments, therefore, would remind young adults that their educational efforts were certainly not in vain and that their sacrifices will serve as examples for younger learners.
This is similar to what we've seen elsewhere in the education market, most notably in a recent effort from Trailhead Designs, a screen printing and signs business in Damascus, Virginia. The company printed banners featuring local high school athletes whose senior seasons were lost due to school closures. The town hung the banners on its main street, winning widespread praise.
2. Scholarship fund efforts
Wilhelm said that scholarships should certainly be top of mind, too, as students plot their next academic stop. She suggested that shirts sold for $25 to families of schoolchildren would be helpful, too, if there is a set amount of revenue donated to various funds for youngsters who cannot earn scholarships because they are not competing in their respective sports.
“How are places going to recruit student-athletes?” Wilhelm said. “Think about what so many kids are going through right now. They’re losing without even competing.”
3. Small business survival
While the federal government flip-flops over the future of small businesses, those who run them are searching for any sort of answer to their financial woes. Wilhelm suggested “Here for good” T-shirt campaigns that benefit small businesses could lessen anxiety and could continue to promote small businesses as the lifeblood of our economy.
Through her personal Facebook page, she touted the efforts of Print Hedz, another Cape Coral business, that is overseeing a Pay It Forward program. This revenue-sharing, T-shirt-centric initiative calls on small businesses to send out blasts to their most "loyal supporters," who, in turn, will order shirts that will generate $10 in profit for each sale. Designed to keep small businesses going "in whatever capacity we can," the Print Hedz move is something that Wilhelm considers apt and repeatable as said establishments hope for more standard interactions with their customer bases.
“In our line of work, we are always stating that we have answers to our clients’ problems,” Wilhelm said. “At this point, yes, problems have changed, but we still have the solutions.”