Taking the Plunge-Growing from a Side Hustle to Full time T-Shirt Business

Eddie Thompson, is the owner of Thompson’s T-Shirts and recently took the plunge turning his part time t-shirt business into a full time career.   Eddie has had his side hustle t-shirt business for 5 years   In a recent episode of the podcast, “Heat Press for Profit” available through Apple podcasts,  he shares some success tips that allowed him to take the big step.

Onsite Printing

Eddie’s success is primarily attributed to onsite printing.    He has done onsite printing at sports tournaments, festivals including a 10 day Covered Bridge festival and car shows.    He brings his heat press, clear bins with blank shirts and a lot of different designs to each event.   All is set up under a pop-up tent.

Knowing your audience is the secret to success.    He offers a bulk pricing special when his onsite customers buy 3 shirts and this is the best seller!

His involvement in the community means customers know and trust him.  Not only does he make money at the events but this is a big lead generator.    By doing onsite tournament shirts, the league decided to place their entire baseball and soccer leagues through him.  He also puts his logo on the back of every shirt he sells, a great way to advertise.

Thompson says, “The key is to make it fun.”   My customers get to choose their shirt, choose designs and build-a-shirt.

Social Media

Most of Eddie’s advertising is done through social media, primarily Facebook.   Although he has spent money advertising on Facebook he has much more success with contest.   A recent hoodie giveaway was seen by 7K people  Facebook Live has also been a great generator.   He does these from the onsite events too, bringing in a bigger targeted audience.

Embracing Crafters

Some customers find crafters to be a competitor but Eddie has embraced this niche of the apparel business.     When he finalizes his new store front space he plans to rent space to crafters.   We can work in a partnership, he says, with them handling the one-offs I don’t really want to deal with and I getting the larger orders that are too many to cut with a craft cutter.

Next Up-Spirit Sale

As Thompson finalizes his new store front he decided to invest in Spirit Sale, the e-commerce platform.  This will make it easier for his customers to place their orders and help him expand his business.

Listen to the entire podcast.


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