The Fairgrounds Experience

Tales from the Fairgrounds, vol. 1

Carolina Creation is a local company in specializing in custom tee shirts, vinyl signs and promotional products. We also create custom cornhole bags, stickers, and vehicle decals.

Recently we started attending the NC State Fairgrounds as a vender for the Raleigh Flea Market. On an average weekend, one could expect to see thousands of people passing through, and that type of exposure for a small business like ours is priceless.

Not all the venders here are small businesses however. From my observations, I’ve see plenty of antique dealers, jewelry collectors, sunglass huts, woodcraftsman, and food trailers. And that is just to name a few. There is no shortage of a variety of things you will find here. And that, in my opinion, is what makes the fairgrounds so special. To have so many shopping choices all located in one place. And the best part is, parking and admission is absolutely free.

So here we go. We have ourselves 2 easy up Coleman tents, a handful of tables, a couple boxes of sample shirts for display and for sale, plenty of signage and banners to let the passers-by know who we are and what we do. Throw in few hundred business cards, my IPod to keep us entertained, and even a foursquare check in special, and we are set for the weekend.

Lucky for us, the weather in NC is usually pretty great, and our first weekend here was no exception. Sunny, warm, and with a nice breeze. It probably hovered around 82 degrees the whole time. Of course, we are sitting comfortable in the shade under the protection of our multiple tents. But still a great view from the inside looking out.

We run this business from our home office, so most of the interactions we get with customers are via the telephone and email. So being able to talk with folks face to face is such a pleasure. I’ve found that people don’t seem to be shy if they have questions either. The key for us here is to remain approachable. Nothing worse than when you are looking at some items in someone’s booth and they are sitting in the back reading a magazine paying no attention to you and the questions that you may have.

To make a long story a little longer, we have spent the last 2 weekends at the NC State Fairgrounds, and so far we have met oodles of people. And when I say met, I mean have had a conversation with, business related or otherwise. I have lost count of how many ‘how do you do’s’ and smiles have taken place, but trust me when I say, there have been plenty.

If you are in the area, and would like to come down and say hello, please do. Mention this blog, and I’ll give you a custom beverage wrench for your troubles.

Also, stay tuned, as I’ll do my best to continue with the updates on our progress, and maybe even drop a few names for our clients to help get them some exposure.

Consider us for all your printing needs. http://www.CarolinaCreation.net.

Reasons Tee Shirts are Useful

I was recently asked why I got into the screen printing business. My first reaction was simple. I didn’t want to work for anyone else anymore. I wanted the flexibility to work from home and set my own hours, thus giving me more time to spend with the kids and be available when they need me. And let’s be honest, it’s a cool job. If someone says, “hey what do you do for a living?” I get to proudly answer, “I make tee shirts”. That alone is a reason to do what I do.

But in addition to fun side of being a screen printer, there are legitimate needs to tee shirt creation. Not many people have actually sat down and thought about all the different types of events and situations where a custom tee shirt is put into play. Well, maybe they have, but they didn’t tell me, so I have compiled a list here for you to give you some ideas, and maybe some day ‘ll get a call from you looking to create a tee for that special time when you need some.

Uniforms – This is the very first thing that I think of when I think of the longevity of the screen printing business. Not everyone may agree, but as long as there are small businesses and corporations in the world, there will be a need for custom tee shirts. Think for a minute about all of the blue-collar type workers out there. Landscapers, painters, and general contractors to name a few. They are usually wearing a tee or a sweatshirt with their respected company logos on them. And guess what happens when they wear a uniform everyday? It gets dirty, and worn down, and they need to order some more.

Funny gag shirts – How many times have you seen some dude wearing a shirt with a cool image on it saying something that you are your buddies say when you are sitting on a bar stool. It starts off as a funny private joke over some cocktails, but where do you think ideas come from? Well, the number one place ideas come from is while sitting on the toilet, but the number two way is alcohol induced ideas. It’s a fact look it up. These ideas spawn into funny, crude, and sometimes embarrassing shirt ideas. They’ll certainly make you stand out in a group.

Charity Events – Walking for MS or breast cancer? You’ve seen the brochures or the news clips, or better yet, you’ve participated in a charity walk or event of some kind in your life. These are always a great cause, and sporting a nice tee shirt is a great way to help support the cause at hand. No matter the colors or the size, your message can be printed to your liking.

Advertisement – You got to love large corporations that way to much money to spend, err, write off, as part of their advertising budget. Perhaps they are releasing a new product, or something great they are putting on sale just for you. Whatever it is, they want to create a buzz like they just created the best thing since sliced bread. And see how that worked out for the bread? We all eat that! Hype and promotion is a huge part of a companies advertisement success, and by companies using tee shirts as that promotion, everyone who wears one is a walking billboard.

Other Events – Have a large family? Small family? Maybe someone you know is planning a family reunion at a local park or picnic area. When everyone is wearing the same shirt, it really ties the group together. Creating a distinct memory for a wedding party can help make that day even more of a special occasion. If you have ever known a woman planning a wedding, everything needs to be perfect, or else. The same goes for a bachelor party. Strippers love when a group of guys come in all wearing the same shirt. Ok, they may not be a fact, but if someone could do some field research, please report back to me with the results (and pictures).

Team Sports – Adults and children alike, most of us have participated in a sporting event of some sort. Baseball, basketball, volleyball, bowling, cornhole, beerpong… You get the idea. Nothing beats a little team unity by looking the same. As long as competition still boils in the veins of all men and women, there will be team sports, and with team sports comes uniforms of some sort. Tee shirts are now, and always will be the first line of offense to help fill those needs.

We all need clothes! – After all, shirt and shoes are required. It’s written on a sign, so it must be true.

Carolina_Creation_sign

I am quite certain that there are more reasons than this to print, buy, wear, gift, giveaway, or launch a tee shirt through a cannon. Most other ideas would probably fall into one of these categories. If not, no worries, we’ll just make a new category the next time.

So as long as most, or some, of these situations exist, and you can put out a good quality product, there is an opportunity to be a screen printer in this world.

I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on this topic. If you have ideas, pass them on, or post a comment. Good or bad…

Thanks for reading,

Marc

http://www.CarolinaCreation.net

First Timer

Well, as you may have noticed by the title, I am a total newcomer to blogs. This is actually my first blog ever. I am not even sure what to write about really, so I guess I will start simple, and talk about me.

Recently, my brother and I have started a screen printing company (www.CarolinaCreation.net). We are still in the early stages. So early in fact, that I am still working on building the website. We are gathering content right now, so that when we do launch it, hopefully it will be worth it.

I am using Godaddy as my hosting and web building service. I think that they are just ok. I mean, for someone with minimal web design experience, their site is not bad. I feel that I am pretty tech savvy, and have some technical background, so I am comfortable using their set up.

They also offer a blog site and a forum. These features  however, are not so good IMO (in my opinion). Of course if you want all the bells and whistles, you need to pay extra. Not always the best thing for a new company starting up. We need to keep our costs as low as we can for now.

Anyway, so that is the short and skinny of how I have been spending my time. I made my way to WordPress (obviously) and decided to start a blog. I have a few ideas of what to write about in upcoming entries. I guess I’ll have to wait and see if they seem like good ideas when they go from my imagination to the text.

I look forward to any feedback you could offer, or any suggestions, tips or advice. I can be reached at Marc@CarolinaCreation.net

That’s all for now…

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