Decoration Diaries: How a Creative Application Led to a Best-Selling Branded Apparel Item (and $11,000 in Sales)
At American Solutions for Business (ASB), Glenwood, Minn., streamlining business, enhancing productivity and increasing creativity—all while reducing client costs—is the goal. So, you won’t find internal decoration capabilities at its facility. Instead, the distributor focuses on creating the best team to produce its apparel, marketing e-commerce and fulfillment services.
ASB created the Partners for Progress program that includes a network of more than 15,000 of the industry’s leading suppliers and decorators, which Amy Spychalla, vice president of strategic operations support at ASB, noted gives clients the ability to set themselves apart from their competition.
“American was founded on the belief that partnering with manufacturers rather than manufacturing products ourselves enables us to meet every customer need with quality products and solutions,” she said. “This structure allows us to be extremely flexible in meeting the changing needs of our customers. Thus, we are able to concentrate on and invest in what we do best—serving the customer and putting their needs first. The result is a more cost-effective and efficient system of customer care.”
A distributor for almost 40 years, ASB outsources embroidery, screen print, heat transfer, direct to garment, laser applique, pad printing and patches, but still has the ability to provide unique decorated solutions to its customers, said Katie Kahler and Steven Alfano, ASB account executives, as well as Aldina Nasic, ASB account manager. On top of that, a proprietary e-commerce platform provides on-demand ordering.
For one client, this allows for quarterly refreshes for a company store—or “swag shop,” as ASB dubbed it—containing company pride pieces, along with traditional polos. For the fall line, the team shared how some decoration creativity on hoodie and sweatshirt pieces led to a best-selling piece of branded apparel. Keep reading this installment of Decoration Diaries presented by Next Level Apparel to learn how.
The client’s need: Our customer is a nationwide mortgage company whose loan officers and employees love to have fun with fashion-forward apparel. As part of our fall product launch, their marketing team requested apparel mirroring the "Greek letter" look that we often see on college campuses during this time of year. We worked with our trusted decorators to determine that laser applique was the best decoration method for this application, and the designing began with the partnership of our customer's design team.
The execution: After looking at options for Greek letters to represent the company, we decided to forgo the Greek letters [and] use three letters from their company name to achieve the same look. We ultimately decided on three laser applique letters across the chest, and the company logo embroidered on the bottom of the sweatshirt pocket. Part of the complexity of this design is that it is not offered at quantities of one, so we had to group orders from our e-commerce platform manually and drop ship to the end users.
The obstacles: Due to the complexity of the design, there was some communication challenges with our decorator for the first order, but repeat orders have become much easier!
The outcome: We used high-quality sweatshirts and decoration methods to create a unique design. ... It has been our most popular single item [in the last] year! We have received 230-plus orders, resulting in $11,000 in sales over the fall and winter season.
For details on how to participate in a future edition of Decoration Diaries and share your apparel decoration project success, email Amanda Cole at firstname.lastname@example.org. Click here to read more Decoration Diaries, or click here to download "The Promo Distributor's Guide to Apparel Decoration," a free resource from Promo Marketing. Decoration Diaries is presented by Next Level Apparel.