I was recently posed a question by a Society of Three Speeds member:
If you could design some cool three speed T-Shirts and caps – we would be customers!!
It’s an intriguing question, and something I have thought about over the past seven years. But there’s logistical issues, since shirts and caps are not like stickers and patches. There’s sizes involved. Gone are the nineties, when I could just print shirts in XL and be confident folks would buy them. (Baggy clothing is one nineties trend that hasn’t really made a comeback.)
In order to get sizes for everyone, there’s two ways I can go about it. Both have plusses and minuses.
- I could use one of those services like Cafe Press that can print out a shirt at a time. This would guarantee the right size for everyone, and also mean I don’t need to invest in back stock. But the price for doing it this way is steep. Do I charge a high price so I can make some $$ from sales, or do I basically sell the shirts at cost, meaning all I’m doing is offering a service? Plus, the quality of these shirts isn’t always as good as regular screenprinting.
- Or, I can go with good ol’ screenprinting. This would mean having to buy a bunch of different sizes up front. The quality would be better, and the per unit cost cheaper. But there’s a big cash outlay up front. Currently I’m pretty broke, so I’m not looking forward to the big cash outlay. And it could take months to years before I see the return on that. Plus, there’s always the chance that the size you want will be the one I just ran out of, and I might not get to reprinting until months or years later. Will you wait?
The big question to ask first is: Are you interested? I’m not saying shirts are out of the question, but it would be much easier to move forward if I knew people wanted them. It wouldn’t just be a generic three speed image, like an exploded AW hub (if you look hard enough, you’ll find shirts with that already). It’d be more Society specific, like the logo. And I’d most likely do a pre-order so I can purchase the shirts with confidence.
Hats would be another good idea. I can easily get some made by RandiJo Fab. But it would be similar scenario of a SoTS logo and a pre-order.
So, what do you think? Are you interested? Feel free to drop me a line, or leave a comment below. The earliest I’d pursue this is sometime in 2020.