Decoration Diaries: How a Promo Distributor Turned a T-shirt Order Into Much More (and Gained New Customers)
Damien Smith admits he got into screen printing by accident.
“It was for fun originally and morphed into a business over time,” he said. “We went from [a] one-head press to now automatic press and embroidery and other applications.”
Smith founded Smith Enterprise, Mount Laurel, N.J., in 1998 and grew it into what it is today. The company’s current decoration capabilities include three automatic screen printers, three 12-head Tajima embroidery machines, three heat presses and two Epson direct to garment printers. It also offers shipping and fulfillment options, and outsources sublimation work.
When a parent organization at a Philadelphia charter school approached him with a chance to provide students with T-shirts and various school supplies for its Student Incentive Family Fun Day at Clementon Park & Splash World, it gave Smith an opportunity to upsell with more branded items that fit into the school’s water park field trip and become the go-to promo distributor for a community. Keep reading this third installment of Decoration Diaries as Smith tells us how he did it.
The client’s need: We made up a care package for a company. They needed imprinted apparel and promotional products. We put together T-shirts, [flyers], hats, pencil and pads—book bags as well. It was for [an] academic [parent group] and the theme [was] Swing into Summer (SOS). The client objective was to inform the schools that their tutor service is available for at-risk children and to use their service.
The execution: It was for a school that was doing a school trip already, and we helped to enhance it with shirts, beach balls and towels. They had a budget, and [I] was able to stretch it. And we added the beach ball and towel as upsell items that they purchased. I don't believe everyone got a towel or beach ball, but they purchased a decent amount and those that wanted them got them. Not sure if any direct referral came from this promotion, but a few parents [and] teachers have contacted us since this event for their personal objectives they had where they wanted imprinted apparel or promotional products.
The obstacles: [There was] some time issue getting pencils and pads on time—just had to wait [an] extra three days.
The outcome & advice: [The outcome was] excellent. Try to develop a theme or purpose to buying decisions when possible. [It] gives the order more life and chance for upsell, referrals.
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.
Related story: The Promo Distributor's Guide to Apparel Decoration