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I Need a Vacation

Not that I’m complaining, I love my job but 13-14 hour days do get a bit tiring. When I was young and just starting out in business, 12-16 hour days were not uncommon. Now that I’ve been in business for 28 years (notice I didn’t give away my age), I don’t bounce back as quickly. So why in this economy am I working so many hours when most people would give their eye teeth just to be working? I’m getting ready to go on vacation!

When your self employed, you need to make sure everything is covered and all your customers are happy. So going on vacation can be a challenge. What get’s me back to long hours. Over the years, I’ve realize I don’t spend any less hours at my business even when I’m on vacation. 65-72 hours the week before, available to phone calls and emails while I away and several days catching up when I get back. Still, I wouldn’t trade in for a regular 9-5

Pelican Picnic 2010

5 hours of artwork

My customer sent me a scanned image of the contest winner for this years company picnic t-shirt. At first, I wasn’t sure what i was going to do to convert this drawing into a printable image. I started by redrawing the outline to clean up the lines. Then I decided to simplify the colors. (I try to keep the colors to 6 including white and black to keep the costs down) Because the design is going on a navy shirt, I chose to drop the black and let the shirt color be the outline. That left me with Red, Yellow, Orange, Green, White and Bright Blue. I decided to stay late last night and come in early this morning to finish up the art since we need to go to press my Tuesday next week. After about 5 hours of recreating the art, the customer approved it

Me: “Good morning, The Art Dept”

Caller: ” Hi, how you doing? Do you print shirts?”

Me: “Yes we do.”

Caller: ” How much are they?”

If I’m tired, I answer “$20”

Actually, there are so many variables that several questions have to be answered by the caller to be able to give a quote.

What color shirt? (White shirts costs less than colored shirts)

How many shirts? (quantity discounts starting at 48 shirts)

How many colors is the image (the more colors, the higher the cost)

Are you printing on 1 side or ? (front, back, sleeve)

Every job is unique and is handled individually.

I just printed a job for the Red Hat Society. 4 colors on one side on purple shirts,

The ladies brought in a shirts with a embroidered applique they wanted turned into a screen print for their shirts.

I redrew the graphic and showed them a proof before printing the final order. The ladies loved the final result!!!

it cost $864 for 84 shirts including tax and set-up (Most times I won’t charge for the art we do.)

The Red Hat Society

From Sample to Final

Friday Madness

OK, I’m waiting for 2 customers to come and pick-up their stuff ofter hours, both rush jobs. Ready to go home and relax before coming back tomorrow and working on the bills. All in all it was a great day. We printed 10 jobs between the two printers.Im using Maui dive images in my new self promotion material