Cash In With Car Enthusiasts

The J. Carroll Corp. (asi/529690), a 20-year-old decorating company in San Luis Obispo, CA, is carving out a niche creating colorful T-shirts for car shows, especially after hiring automobile enthusiast and graphic designer Kristina Albrecht. Albrecht estimates the shop churns out commemorative car show shirts at least twice a month. J. Carroll is working on expanding both the number of shows it works with and the amount of merchandise it decorates for each.

Albrecht has had particular luck with the Bud Classic Car Show, a growing event in Northern California that originally sought Albrecht out via her personal website two years ago. She brought the client with her when she was hired on at J. Carroll. “Every year, they just let me design what I want,” she says. “It ends up being a pretty big order.” J. Carroll helped boost that order with strategic use of freebies. A complimentary hoodie included in last year’s batch of T-shirts prompted show organizers to tack 150 hoodies onto their T-shirt order this year, Albrecht says.

Albrecht also reminds show organizers and the decorators servicing them not to neglect the women. “A lot of these shows, it’s not just the men, it’s the wives too,” she says. “They don’t necessarily want just the standard, boxy T-shirt. They want something a little more flattering.”