Today’s promotional market has more options for apparel than ever before. Industry distributors and their customers see market blanks in retail almost on a daily basis. Ten years ago, the gap between retail fashion and promotional blanks was very large. Today, however, many blank suppliers have crossed over into the promotional market and supply many styles that also are popular at retail.
Your solution is to stand apart. You can go completely custom. Understandably, some distributors are reluctant – a bit overwhelmed by the options, concerned about price and turn time, etc. “As with anything good, there are some downfalls,” says Doug Stayman, president of In Your Face Apparel (IYFA, asi/62493). “The large offering of market blanks has also created a challenge to wow your customer with truly one-of-a-kind apparel.”
Should you choose to go custom, look for a supplier-partner with capabilities to design and produce a garment that cannot be found anywhere else. Here are three considerations:
- Custom apparel offers you the opportunity to give a customer something unique and exactly what they want. Their garment will stand out from all the off-the-shelf blanks with basic imprints. Does your vendor offer design assistance and custom cut and sewn solutions?
- When you custom-build a garment, you eliminate the chance that your recommendation will be taken by the buyer and shopped around as a commodity. Once a garment brand has been decided, a customer can dictate the desired brand and the decoration method and put it out to bid, which results in a lower margin sale. Skip the easily copied and go with a vendor that can mix and match decorative methods to produce one-of-a-kind, multi-decorative designs. For example, IYFA offers a multitude of decorative options from rhinestones and glitter to nailheads and rhinestuds, sublimation and foil to screen print and specialty inks.
- Create a partnership. By giving customers options that are not available to your competition, you are now a higher perceived supply partner. Repeat orders are more likely.
It does take experience, however. When you enter the market for custom apparel, you need an expert like IYFA on your side. In 2003, the small custom apparel company began by providing quality service to its customers. Since then, IYFA has evolved into a dynamic apparel manufacturing and custom decorating facility. “Our goal is provide our customers with fun, creative, and innovative high-quality apparel products based on current fashion trends and knowledge of industry leading processes,” Stayman says.
Based in Dallas, TX, with manufacturing facilities in New York, Los Angeles and Mexico, IYFA is able to ship coast to coast with fast turn times. Its experienced, in-house creative team provides customers with unique, one-of-a-kind designs. And with global manufacturing and sourcing capabilities, IYFA has the flexibility to meet all your customers’ custom apparel and decorating needs. To learn more, visit www.inyourfaceapparel.com.