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Articles on designing your own custom merch, growing your brand, and managing manufacturing as a small business.

3 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Custom Apparel Order

With The/Studio,  any mystery begins and ends at that first quote email you received from us — so whether you’ve already ordered or are still thinking about it, the surprises are over. But here are a few costly surprises custom manufacturers sometimes spring on customers — and usually after the “final” paid invoice.

Surprise #1: You’ll Need A Vector

A what? A “vector” is an standard industry device used to charge customers for a service the company should provide for free.

Okay, not quite.

In reality,  the machines we use don’t take straight .jpegs, .pdfs or other files you use everyday. They require highly standardized images that reflect their actual capabilities — called “vectors.”

If your home drawn sketch doesn’t happen to be vectorized, competitors will refer you to their in-house $30/hour design staff. Or you could spend two hours finding a $20/hour freelancer.

Want an alternative? Our customers enjoy free professional design service. So in addition to helping you clean up your design aesthetically (if you want), they’ll make it machine-friendly and present you with alternatives if changes are necessary.  

Surprise #2: Shipping Freight Isn’t Cheap

Most manufacturers like to pretend it’s industry standard to base shipping fees on quantity. That’s a problem when you’re ordering 100 hoodies or coffee mugs. For small and big quantities of custom clothing, shipping can set you back as much as the actual order itself! But in reality, most companies ship so much anyway that the “shipping and handling fee” is extra profit.

Not us. Standard shipping is free for every order, no matter the size. No need to to wait until Black Friday.

Surprise #3: You’ll Want a Sample

Far too many eager entrepreneurs like yourself come home to a big cardboard box full of what you wanted. Most custom manufacturers don’t keep you posted in the manufacturing process — the next step after payment is delivery. So you might miss key sample request windows and approval points. Or they might “generously” offer you a chance to get a vector proof  — something they made anyway — for an added fee.

That gives us a headache. You should have the right to all your design materials. Our customers automatically receive digital mockups and a high-resolution photograph of a single manufactured sample of your order — free. We’ll even overnight you that sample for extra confirmation. You’ll have — and want — every chance to confirm your order is going smooth as silk, right up until the full manufacturing run. 

We’re not big on surprises, and we’re guessing that when it comes to your money, you aren’t either. So if you’re still on the fence, reconnect with your personal representative today and get a walkthrough on your potential order that’s as detailed as you want.  We bet that you won’t spend longer on your actual order than you do talking to your representative. 




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