Company Shirts

Summer’s coming, and for us in the swagbiz that means it’s SHIRT SEASON. We’ve been doing a ton of business in screen-printed and embroidered shirts this past month, so I thought I’d share a few thoughts on that subject and some of my favorite picks.

Unlike some of our competitors here in Portland, we outsource all of our embroidery and screenprinting instead of doing it in-house. As the owner of the company, that’s great for me – I don’t have to spend my time wrapped up in the production end of things, which leaves me free to develop more business and pay more attention to my clients.

I think it’s a good arrangement for our clients, too, because outsourcing the decorating gives us more options and flexibility. For example, we had a client call last week who needed a couple hundred t-shirts printed up in a hurry for a Cinco de Mayo event. Our usual screenprinter is running at about 3 weeks production, but we know of another local screener that charges just a bit more but can do the job in 5 days… so we were able to send the order there and get the shirts done with time to spare, without rush charges. The shirts came out looking great, too!

Another interesting call came in yesterday – a woman was referred to us by a good client of ours and she needed moisture-wicking shirts for a rowing team, with a colorful logo, and had a price limit of $15 per shirt. Did a little searching around and was able to source them from a supplier in Colorado ( and offer her several different styles to choose from that will be within her price range, with no setup charges.

Colorado Timberline has a ‘Kornit’ machine, which sublimates 4-color process artwork directly onto their Poly-Dri moisture-wicking shirts, at a price that is MUCH less than 4 color screen printing ($2 per shirt for imprinting, no setup charge!). And they offer 3-5 day production! Colorado Timberline only works through promotional distributors (such as my company, Advance Promotions), so if you’re reading this and are curious about getting some shirts done, just call me at 866-247-4320 and I can help you out.

Other than that, the big thing has been GOLF SHIRTS! We’re selling TONS of the Port Authority style K420 right now, which is a nice shirt at a great price that comes in a ton of colors. See it on SanMar’s website: Also comes in a ladies’ cut, which pretty much looks like the same shirt, but is cut smaller through the armholes and is not as long in the torso. I’m always glad to see companies get shirts in a ladies’ cut for their female employees – nothing looks worse than a huge, man’s style shirt hanging off some poor woman at a trade show! It doesn’t cost any extra to order shirts for women that actually fit… and it looks SO much more professional!

Well, it’s 3pm on Friday afternoon here in sunny Portland. I’m such a good boss, I’m taking my staff to see Cirque de Soleil this afternoon as a company ‘thank you’ for an absolutely stellar first quarter – our sales were more than double Q1 last year. Signing off for this week, hope everyone has a great weeknd – Swagqueen Di

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