Running A School Spirit Store

Many schools are taking t-shirt decorating in house.   Read an earlier school story about a school that offers custom shirts as part of their entrepreneurial program.     This is the story of a successful school spirit store run by the bookstore staff.

What to Offer

Trends will change but keeping the basic colors in the school colors green and grey; plus some white and black in certain styles.     Offer the basic t-shirt, women’s styles, hoodies, crew necks and it is nice to try some fashion forward items.   The same prints can be used, and a small quantity bought to see how they will sell.

What You Need

It is true all you need is a heat press.   This very busy, successful spirt store has used the same Hotronix Auto Clam for 15 years.  One heat press has done all the work!     Blank shirts are kept in cabinets by size and color.    Transfers are stored in the Transfer Express box that has the label area to keep them organized and a simple shelving unit numbered to match the shirt number.

Printing On Demand

The big advantage of using custom transfers and a heat press is that you can print on demand.   This prevents the too many XL or that missing medium in a particular style.   This spirit store keeps 40 designs n stock that allows her customers to choose a design and choose a print, and within a few seconds they have the exact shirt they need.

Student Involvement

This spirit store believes in keeping the kids, her main customer involved.   She allows all the groups within the school to create their own designs in Easy View, your free online designer.   Some mornings 30 potential orders are designed and ready to go.   Students also help with the pressing, earning community service hours for their work.

One of the store’s favorite projects is their Christmas shirt.  The students create the designs and the entire student body votes on their favorite.  The shirts are then put up for sale.  If the student purchases one, they can wear it on a Friday Dress down day.   Once all the sales are tallied the money is used to go shopping for toys that will be given to children in need.

Ready To Get Started?

Once you have that heat press you are ready to go.   Start small and grow.    To start limit your store to 5-6 design choices.   As you grow and build inventory you can add more choices.   Adding a new design to a gang sheet is a great way to see what works at almost no cost

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Steve

While part of me says Good for the students, another part of me is concerned that taxpayer money is being used to eliminate the education segment from the market available to private apparel decorators. I’m sure, the amount of money these school spirit stores spend will still get counted in the overall garment decorating market, providing the illusion of a much larger market than is actually available to startup and existing private businesses alike, regardless it seems this could be a very large chunk of the apparel decorator market overall. Apparently the schools can order everything they need and stock their “spirit stores” with public funds unlike the businesses that serve them now. So I guess my question is, how does a private apparel decoration company deal with a government entity, a school, taking business away from them in this fashion?

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Dealer Services

Hi Steve this particular school is a private school so no taxpayer money at all was used. We have seen public schools incorporate entrepreneurial programs into their curriculum which teaches so many skills that students will take into careers. This industry is booming and there is plenty of business to go around.

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