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Signworx: Dreaming of DTG

(June/July 2017) posted on Tue Jul 11, 2017

How one sign shop owner transformed his business with determination, a thorough plan, and creative commerce.

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By Kiersten Feuchter

What happens when someone needs shirts, today? That’s where being willing to go the extra mile is an essential part of the Signworx business model. It’s rare, but Wright cites a recent example: “I had an email at 7 o’clock in the morning saying ‘We need shirts now’” from a group running a 5K. The team was able to run down to the local A.C. Moore, pick up 15 shirts, and print and deliver them by 6 p.m. “Now,” Wright says, “we have a client that’s definitely happy and is going to be coming back to us.”

The on-demand mentality also helps keep the machine busy – which in the world of DTG decoration, also means clog-free. Signworx has become something of a beacon for new DTG users, hosting YouTube videos on AnaJet’s website and representing the supplier at tradeshows. But they built their expertise on trial and error. One weeklong vacation and a clogged white printhead was enough to teach the essential lesson of direct-to-garment: Maintenance is a must. Wright says they run the machine every other day at a minimum.

‘What else can we print on?’
The Signworx family is anything but complacent. Not long after purchasing their DTG printer, local business was taking off, but that didn’t prompt them to kick back and relax. They started looking for the next opportunity, and the question soon became, “What else can we print on?” Someone had the idea to try pillows; they bought a few pre-sewn shams at Michael’s, and they were a hit. But then, they thought, “We could do this ourselves…just get a bolt of fabric and sew a square. It’s not that hard,” says Wright. So they bought a sewing machine and starting churning out custom printed pillows.

These were a natural fit for the e-commerce space, but as anyone who’s tried to market through a website since the advent of search engines will know, standing out online is a challenge. Wright says learning and maintaining SEO for their own e-commerce site quickly became more trouble than it was worth.


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