It’s been a real hot summer for much of the country, including our location in New Jersey. I have to give special thanks to our warehouse crew. They have (and still are) braving temperatures reaching 100 degrees in our warehouse. The fans do provide some relief but…hot is hot!
If you been reading our Facebook posts (www.facebook.com/proworldinc.com) you will see that we have added two more employees. They are Charlie and Gizmo, two of our employee’s pets. They’re not getting paid much, but then again, they don’t do much! Anybody have any suggestions for getting them to be more productive?
So what’s new? Lots, and we are very excited about it. We just introduced four new, budget priced heat presses. They are a manual 16 x20, a mug press, a swing away hat press, and an exclusive semi automatic 16 x 20. Our testing has proven that they are all produce excellent results.We could not offer the warranties if they did not pass our efforts to try and ‘break’ them.
I do not know of anyone else in the entire heat press industry that offers a 30 day ‘satisfaction guarantee’.
We have also increased our selection of rhinestone designs. With sales of these type transfers still rising there seems to be an increasing demand for more graphics. Our custom rhinestone sales are also increasing rapidly as more and more customers find out that we offer very competitive pricing and delivery.
The latest craze to hit the transfer market is the introduction of Sequin Transfers. This adds even more ‘bling’ selections to the fashion world. They are a little more pricey than rhinestones but you should be able to demand a higher price since the perceived value is greater. They look great on a fashion type garment such a spaghetti strap top or a cap sleeve scoop neck t shirt. As always, there are no minimums so you can offer several designs without loading up on inventory.
Some of our customers have asked why we do not have paper catalogs this year. There are several reasons but the most important is the fact there are so many new designs added ,and others discontinued, throughout the year that the catalogs were almost outdated before they even reached our customer. Add this to the extremely high cost of printing and mailing along with our ever improving website functionalities, that it just does not make economic sense to continue with the printed media, not to mention saving those trees. Something like the newspapers. Have you seen how thin they are lately? So many people are now using their computers, iPhones, iPads, Droids, etc., etc.
I think I have gone on long enough with this blog. I hope you haven’t dozed off along the way. But if you have…pleasant dreams. Enjoy the rest of the summer.
Well, spring is here and Pro World is springing out with some new products. We have added cuttable vinyl and metallic foils to the product line, along with embroidered appliques and many new transfer designs. Also, the TransPro heat press has been updated and has been selling like hot cakes, or should I say hot presses! The $169 promotion remains one of the most popular in the industry.
The fastest growing segment of our business is the custom transfer department. We’ve added additional personnel and technology to make sure that we provide a quality product in a timely manner. Our new custom transfer website,ww.pwcustom.com, is providing our customers with so much useful information to create their own designs.
My dog, Rudy (pictures upon request), has been a big help in keeping smiles on many of the employees. He enjoys his job here as the head of personnel therapy. He is a Havanese…I know you never heard of that breed. They evolved through Cuba, hence the name Havanese.
Please keep me posted on any other products or information that we can provide to enhance your business. Our goal is to provide you with the best customer service and product line.
Enjoy the nice weather!!
I don’t know about you but it’s only January 21 and I have had enough of the cold weather here in New Jersey. We have had a few snowfalls and temperatures usually in the 20’s and 30’s. I’d be interested in hearing from some of you with your thoughts on the weather where you are located. Maybe we can do something to make it change? LOL. Of course, I am extremely jealous of those of you who live in the warmer climates.
Fortunately, like the weather, our business has been fairly brisk. We’ve been working on adding several new product lines that many of our customers have requested. They will be appearing on our website in the very near future. Tomorrow, I’m heading South for some R&R. I think that my optimistic wife actually packed some warm weather clothes. I’d post some pictures of me in a bathing suit but I don’t want to ruin my image!!
How many of you review the posts on T-ShirtForums.com (http://www.t-shirtforums.com)? If not, I think you are missing out on one of the best learning tools in the industry. The forum gives us all an opportunity to share our knowledge and our ideas with both newcomers and veterans to the industry. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t pick up some information that helps Pro World service our customers more efficiently.
You will find that you can ask questions that pertain to your specific needs or read posts from a variety of people involved in the imprinted sportswear business. Just remember, that you will see a myriad of comments from many people. As an example, someone might ask for an opinion about a certain heat press and there will be responses that are valid, and some that are not. You will need to weed through them using your personal discretion.
You’ll probably notice that some guy named Proworlded (me) has several thousand posts in response to a variety of topics. I have tried to share my views and information with others. You can do the same. There’s a line from an old commercial….”try it. you’ll like it”.
Here we are late in the year and I always wonder what we’ve accomplished from the time the ball dropped on Times Square signalling the start of 2010. So, as I scan my memory (short at times) I remember that much of our effort was spent building out a new website that included many new features for our customers, and for us…. and we are still not finished. The ongoing effort of trying to manage a growing inventory of transfer designs, transfer papers, and equipment is always a year to year challenge. Also, much thought has been given to new products that we might want to include in our selection for 2011. We have several on the drawing board and maybe you want to provide some input as to products or programs that you would like to see at Pro World. If so, please comment on the blog or send us a message here. I will personally respond to all suggestions.
I am also wondering how many of you are adding value to your transfer printed garments by embellishing them with rhinestones, embroidered appliques, and vinyl? I have had some customers tell me that they have used a higher quality shirt (cost of $5-$8), a transfer, and added some strategically placed rhinestones and sold them for about $40. I think that the more creative you get the more value you add to the product and that certainly demands a higher selling price.
I want to wish you all a happy holiday season and lets hope for a prosperous, and healthy, year in 2011. To all our customers, I thank you from the bottom of my heart (and all of our employees wallets) for your continued support of Pro World. We more than appreciate it.
Well, here I go with my first blog posting. As the founder of Pro World 38 years ago and still active in the industry, I hope to share some of my experiences, knowledge, and insight that I have gathered in my memory bank over the years. As I get older, the balance in that bank seems to be decreasing but I’ll try my best to make some withdrawals.
The name Pro World came about as a result of my starting off selling sports souvenirs to retailers in the Philadelphia area. I worked out of my home and drove a van with the merchandise available for ‘instant’ delivery. In the early 70’s many of my customers were independent sporting good stores, before they were replaced by the box store chains that we have today. Most of these sporting good stores had a heat press that they used to print numbers and names on athletic uniforms. A company called Quik-Set in Ohio and InstaGraphics were two of the major suppliers of both the machines and the lettering.
As luck would have it, the Philadelphia Flyers became a very popular team and one of my customers suggested that I sell ‘iron on decals’ with the team logo. He supplied the name of a local printer who was printing these (licensing was very weak in those days) and I ended up buying them from him and selling to virtually everyone that had a heat press. This turned out to be a very successful venture and I added other designs that this printer offered. Now, for the first time, the stores were selling novelty designs along with the sports related transfers. For the most part, they were pleasantly surprised at the demand for t-shirts with all types of transfers, not just sports. As this part of my business grew rapidly I was able to become a distributor for companies like Roach (now evolved into AirWaves), SolarTrans (gone), PhotoTrans (gone), and QuikSet (gone).
During the 70’s and 80’s there was hardly a mall or small town that did not have at least one t- shirt shop. I realized that the successful shops were the ones that offered a wide variety of designs but were usually concerned with the amount of inventory that they had to purchase to stock them all. At this point, Pro World’s no minimum policy was born. I would offer all the designs from all the transfer manufacturers and these shops could purchase any quantity they wanted, one piece or several dozen.
As time marched on I rented a small warehouse, hired an employee, and exhibited at the first trade show in our industry. It was held in Dallas, Texas and produced by Bill Windsor, who I believe is responsible for coining the phrase’ Imprinted Sportswear Industry’. He also began publishing a magazine called “Impressions.” We were advertisers in the magazine from the first issue and continued for many, many years. It was the first magazine devoted solely to garment printers, suppliers, and retailers. It literally gave birth to the business we all now share in one respect or another.
I won’t bore you with all the details. Pro World has grown over the years, has thousands of customers worldwide, many employees, and I feel proud that it is a respected leader in the ‘imprinted sportswear industry’. In recent years much of this has become possible due to our strength on the Internet. In 1995 we were first in the industry to have a website. This was due to the foresight of my son, Matt, who joined the company in 1992 and now is the ‘main man’.
I’ll fill you in on some other details in future blogs but right now I have to meet a friend for lunch. If any of you remember the ‘old days’ I’d like to hear from you. Also let me know what you want to hear more about, or topics you want to learn about.