Read on to find out how the company's inventiveness led to a new ink product that's as appealing to the nose as it is to the eyes.
By Lori Leaman
JEP works exclusively through print brokers representing clients that span a wide range of markets. For instance, one client, Bandwear.com, is a full-service merchandising company that specializes in creating unique branding products and ad-specialty items. Through this client, JEP prints various apparel items for well-recognized companies, such as Sony Records, Warner Brothers, Clear Channel Radio-Dallas, BMG Music, Nokia, and McDonald's. JEP customers typically have a store front, active Website, and an in-house marketing department that creates and delivers artwork to JEP. Customers also supply blank garments to JEP; however, JEP's staff is always willing to help customers locate a reputable source for blank goods.
Inspiration for innovation
The JEP crew was working with a piece of artwork one evening, trying to come up with ways to get it to look and feel like a strawberry. Their goal was to produce a design with a smooth, flocked surface and a sugary look on the top portion of the strawberry graphic. From this brainstorming session emerged the idea to make the design actually smell like a strawberry. And that idea compelled JEP's owners to take screen printing beyond the obvious and develop a permanently scented ink that could be applied to virtually any fabric. Over the next few months, the company experimented with a variety of formulations and eventually developed a gel carrier that could be mixed with various agents to produce a broad range of fragrances.
Once the new coating was a reality, Watson and Hewitt immediately applied for a patent for their product, which they called DuraScent. They gave the name ScreenScenting to the process used to apply DuraScent to a fabric. The process involves fusing virtually any scent onto almost any material, including apparel, bedding, linens, kitchen and bath products, promotional products, and more. On Sep. 7, 2001, Watson and Hewitt visited Rich Hoffman, president of M&R Sales and Service, to get his impression of their new product. According to Watson, the response they received was, "You've got lightning in a jar!"
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