Well, it’s like this…
Things were going pretty well. I mean for a one-man business, run after hours, where I did everything, and I mean everything, create and run the website, design all the shirts, create the art for the printer, order tshirt inventory, work with the printer to get them printed, pickup, pack, ship, etc… all me.
Started in 2014, the first two years were a slow start, but I still managed to sell 100 – 200 shirts each those first two years. That nearly quadrupled in 2016, and went up to nearly 1000 in 2017, and it stayed there, well, until 2020, where it dropped down to 2014 numbers, and it was even less in 2021. 2022, I did sell 1, no really.
We all know what happened, the ‘pandemic’, and then the follow on supply chain issues. By the time supply chain issues started easing, which was actually fairly recently, I was concerned that using my older transfer inventory would not yield the quality product I pride myself on, and printing up more transfers, well, the cost of doing that, combined with more potential supply chain concerns, it was just not a sustainable working model.
That, combined with the fact that my website, which had had numerous updates over the years, was starting to fail due to conflicts in code, and redoing it was just a daunting task.
I actually considered, several times, just throwing in the towel, or the tshirt as the case may be.
So why the change…
Somewhere during all that, I tried a different printer, actually I do not even recall why, I think I saw some article about DTG(direct to garment) providers and I wondered how I could work with them. I set up and account, and uploaded a few designs, and checked out the service. It was not too bad, the profit margin was a lot less, but so were my hands on, and they did nice work. There might just be something here.
I flash you back to all that pandemic, supply chain, not sure about my future in this business paragraph above.
And then the epiphany…
So just recently, I had this thought. What else could I do with my designs, to keep them out there, that give me more control over products etc…? And I had an idea. I could [insert new idea here, sorry you need to wait on that], and I would have complete control over inventory and everything, and still design new items. HEY! That just might work.
But I need to start fresh, and consider items other than tshirts, so why not rebrand, create a new site, start fresh, with old designs.
And in the meantime, I can use that DTG printer I found to keep selling the tees while I build other products.
It all gave me hope, it motivated me, it made me happy, it just might be the path forward to keep doing what I really love, designing and making people happy.
So here we are… to be continued…