Making your ideas materialize and your dreams reality requires tons of work. I mean that literally, tons of work. Its pretty simple to tell someone just do it, stop talking about it and make it happen as you listen to someone else’s ideas, dreams and plans but there’s so much involved in the actual execution. Launching my business and getting off the ground is hard. But yet and still I do agree if you want it, just do it. If you have a passion for it, stop talking about it, begin the process and make it happen.
Unfltrd Passion falls into that category, a passion and yet difficult. More difficult than I thought it would be to be honest.
Take someone with a serious sneaker addiction plus a meticulous pursuit to color coordinate said artwork (sneakers) that rarely leave the closet let alone the box with clothes that are eye catching but not what everyone else is wearing and matches the personality, passion, dreams and even contradictions of the wearer. Add it all up and you have Unfltrd Passion.
Sneaker Addict + Clothes Snob + Passionate + Opinionated + Introvert/Extrovert + Perfectionist = Unfltrd Passion
It all seemed simple enough, really. Put some ideas on a shirt. Put them online and watch the orders come pouring in. If it only it were that simple. The reality is much more involved. Not to blow your mind but just to give you an idea of what I wrestled with the first few months before having anything in hand.
I had to come up with designs and not just anything but something I would actually wear and fit my brand, personality and lifestyle. I had to Also, what colors will be offered for sale?
How are the shirts going to be printed for the masses? Customink, Vistaprint, Screen Printer, DIY (do it yourself)? Customink, Vistaprint and similar other services are ok but no way to run a brand because the production is out of your control. You have no say over shipping, quality and packaging which in my opinion are equally as important as the designs should all be parts you take pride in. DIY with Heat Press vinyl and JPSS are options for small runs but requires a heat press, not an iron and ironing board. Vinyl requires a vinyl cutter and computer program to translate your design into the cuts on the vinyl. JPSS requires a heat press and a home based printer. The caveats with both of these options are vinyl is best for small, small runs as wedding can be a painful time consuming process. Also, you can not reproduce a photo jpeg on vinyl. With JPSS you can get photo details but it only works on white and leaves a faint yellowish residue. The yellowish residue will wash away but I do not feel comfortable producing a JPSS shirt for sale. Screen Printing with Plastisol inks are the industry standard and the method I use for Unfltrd Passion designs.
I also needed to decide on which blank shirts to use to accompany my designs. There are so many choices from Hanes to Gildan to Augusta to American Apparel. For this one my personal advice would be get some samples and try the shirts out for yourself. Compare them to shirts you have by your favorite brands. Ultimately you want to know how they feel, how they wash, how they hold up to daily activities. I definitely haven’t tried every brand but I got my hands on Alstyle, American Apparel, Alternative, Next Level and Canvas. I actually like and use them all depending on the design.
This is just the beginning. There’s so much more if you’re thinking of going this route; shipping, packaging, hang tags, web hosts, ecommerce platforms, SSL certificates, taxes, licenses, bank accounts, marketing, etc. The list can go on for days.
All in all it has been a lot of work but its something I’m passionate about and hey I know my shirts will match my kicks so I guess it makes it worth it. This wasn’t meant to discourage you but its proof that you can make it happen. It will be a lot of work. It will be challenging, difficult and frustrating but the pursuit of your dreams and passion is worth the effort.
Die with memories not with dreams.
For more info there are some great resources online that helped me get started
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