Monthly Archives: September 2014

Can you can make it on your own in the apparel decorating business?

Independence and innovation are the foundations of American ingenuity. Self-reliance and a can-do attitude are not only the foundations of our country, they are the traits that make us strong. But working in a vacuum like this is not all it’s cracked up to be. Getting started in the apparel decorating business can be a lonely endeavor.

teamworkSure you’ve got the know-how and the entrepreneurial spirit, but what happens when you have a new idea and just need a sounding board? What happens when you’re so excited about a new piece that you just have to tell someone? What happens when you wonder ‘is this any good’?

We are so often taught that we must carry our own load, it has become second nature to us. But as society changes and we spend more time in isolation from peers and family, our creativity and even our success can start to lag. Recent studies in both business and psychology show that we work better in groups.

When we have a chance to engage with others who support or even challenge our ideas, we are happier, more productive and find greater fulfillment and success.

IQ forum tells us:

When others are invested in your success, you tend to not want to let them down. Sharing ideas, increasing efficiency, broadening the knowledge base all enhance productivity, but they also tend to be happier and have more fun.

Even our own V.P. Kevin Camisa got started in the apparel decorating business at his mother’s dining room table. She may have wanted to serve dinner there, but she was invested in Kevin’s success. Though your mom may not be the very best business advisor for your small business, it is always advisable to get others involved and excited about your work.

You don’t have to go it alone. Find a friend, a partner or mentor. SCORE, for example is a nonprofit organization of retired executives who are giving back to the community by offering free advice to small business. They help “small businesses get off the ground, grow and achieve their goals through education and mentorship.” They are all over the country and they have been doing it for nearly fifty years.

‘Many hands make light work’ is not just a wonderful sentiment from the Bible, it’s a ubiquitous truism that has positive ramifications throughout business and society. We certainly experience it here with our team at Comfort Colors and with our customers and community.

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Fall Color: Autumn is Officially here!

maple_leaves_in_FallToday is the first full day of Fall. Autumn is Officially here! Being a t-shirt company from Vermont (and New England), we are particularly fond of this season.

There is something wonderful about falling leaves that brings out the magic of childhood. The Washington Post today had a great article about this morning’s Google Doodle on the Equinox and filled with Autumnal cartoon color. Check it out here.

To celebrate the occasion, we wanted to share some of our favorite quotes about Fall:

“I want to say something so embarrassing about September that even the leaves start blushing and turning red.”
― Jarod Kintz,

“Designers want me to dress like Spring, in billowing things. I don’t feel like Spring. I feel like a warm red Autumn.”
—Marilyn Monroe

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.”
—F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby

“But then fall comes, kicking summer out on its treacherous ass as it always does one day sometime after the midpoint of September, it stays awhile like an old friend that you have missed. It settles in the way an old friend will settle into your favorite chair and take out his pipe and light it and then fill the afternoon with stories of places he has been and things he has done since last he saw you.”
― Stephen King

“I would rather sit on a pumpkin, and have it all to myself, than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
― Henry David Thoreau

“No spring nor summer beauty hath such grace as I have seen in one autumnal face.”
― John Donne

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.”
― Albert Camus

Have a terrific season.

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Proper Commemoration for 9-11and T-Shirts

September 11th seems like the right day to consider commemorations. People are posting all over the Internet “Never forget”. And of course we will never forget. Anyone in America over the age of 13 (maybe 14 to be fair to little kids) will never forget.

Is a quick comment on social media the right way to remember such an event in our history? How about a plaque or a bumper sticker? Or a T-shirt?

SONY DSCThere are literally hundreds of thousands of 9-11 commemorative T-shirts out there. Maybe millions. But does a T-shirt dignify our painful memories of this history? Some people commemorate their wedding or their family reunion with a t-shirt. Other people remember their championships or their friend battling cancer. But is a T-shirt the right thing here?

We like to monitor T-shirts in the news. They can stir up a remarkable amount of controversy. Kids are suspended from school, teachers are reprimanded, celebrities are castigated for the choices they make regarding the messages their T-shirts convey (granted, some people make some really bad choices in this area). But that’s just the dark side of the coin.

If the shirt on your back is a symbol of the sentiments in your heart, then yes, the t-shirt seems the perfect commemoration for this day. But in the end, whether you choose a T-shirt, a moment of silence, or an elaborate ceremony of remembrance, the right way to remember is really up to you.

We found these images pretty poignant.

 

 

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Are you ready for some FOOTBALL????

Can you even believe it?! Football season. As if by magic, or maybe it happened while our attention was focused on the beach or the Frisbee, a bunch of guys got together on the field and Whammy! It’s football season. Last night was the season opener…Happy…Happy…Happy… and the college season is already two weeks old!

And like any great season, this one is as filled with hope as it is fraught with controversy. The NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted to making a mistake regarding Ray Rice’s punishment for domestic violence, some might consider this a sign of hope. People are either thrilled or furious that Michael Sam just signed with Dallas, he’ll be the first openly gay player to participate in an NFL regular-season game. Tom Brady and Peyton Manning have both agreed to keep playing ‘until they suck’ (how will they know?). As always, we’ve got no shortage of fun or controversy in the Pros.

footballBut the thing that has captured our attention in this new season is Colin Kaepernick’s tattoos. And his new chest tattoo! Wow! Being in the t-shirt design business (well, we do create the canvas for some really great designs), these beauties spoke to us. Each one contains a very specific message – most are about good and evil. On his sleeves he wears a couple heavy-hitting Psalms: “Though an army besiege me, my heart will not fear though war break out against me, even then I will be confident,” and  “You armed me with strength for battle; you humbled my adversaries before me.”

Larrybrownsports.com says his newest chest tattoo is about “family, inner strength, spiritual growth, and humility.”(larrybrownsports.com/tattoo/colin-kaepernick-chest-tribal/174104) His mom says his tats are about finding Divine intervention on the field…he might just be finding it. But football aside, let’s talk about design!

Most of Kaepernick’s body art is bible based, but his new chest tattoo, by tattoo artist, Orly Locquiao, is a little bit Art Deco with some Maori design elements thrown in. You can see some before and after shots here (http://www.inflexwetrust.com/2013/02/07/photo-nfl-whoa-49ers-qb-colin-kaepernick-gets-a-new-tattoo-what-do-you-think/ifwt_colins-final-new-chest-tattoo/) In the new tattoo, a tribal design surrounds his amazing pecks and his old “Against All Odds” chest tattoo.

With such great body art and such a great body, it’s hard to imagine an appropriate covering. It almost seems a shame to cover this guy up. The only reason to cover up such a beautiful and artfully decorated physique might be weather. Oh good! Fall is in the air!

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