Owner: Vince and Lori Botkin
Year Established: 2014
Type of Business: Bling, Embroidery, Direct to Garment, Sublimation

Who Needs Retirement?
Embroidery, DTG and Bling Success.

Vince and Lori Botkin have become an apparel decorating power couple after looking for a post-retirement business to start in 2014. Read how they leveraged word of mouth, Unions and multiple decorating techniques as a niche market to propel their success.

Tell us a little about who you are and what you do.

Lori and I both retired last year in August 2014. As we were getting close to retiring, I was building the office in our 1800 sq. ft garage knowing that we were going to be doing something out there.

We thought about printing T-shirts and was looking at the manual machines when someone told me about DTG printing.

We went onto the web and found ColDesi. We left an email and Scott Levine promptly returned with a phone call. We had a lengthy conversation about the different machines, prices and options. During our conversations we brought up embroidery machines and Scott promptly sent us lots of information about different machines, functionality and pricing. 

What was your biggest hurdle in getting started? 

Overcoming the fear of investing a lot of money into a market that we had never been in.

How do you decide what markets to go after? 

It started with family and friends giving us positive input on groups they were involved with and the need for custom shirts and embroidery. Once we got going, we had professional BBQ teams calling us for shirts. Then we went after our union market. That so far is our best market. 

What technologies do you use?

We use social media and word of mouth for marketing.

Our equipment is a DTG M2, SWF Embroidery Machine, CAMS Rhinestone Machine and the ProSpangle from ColDesi. And we also offer sublimation of mugs and just about everything else. 

What did you get from ColDesi and why? 

We started out with the M2 DTG printer and the SWF U-1501. Originally we were looking at the cheaper models. After comparing all the models with what they could do, we decided on the best machine available.

This in my mind was a great choice. We can embroider patches and jackets with larger logos than any of our competition. We just completed (4) 17″ patches with 256,822 stitches that every other shop turned down because their machines could not do it.

We started with these two machines to do hats, patches and apparel. After awhile we were getting a lot of requests for custom ladies apparel.

We then called again to buy a Spangle and CAMS machine.

Scott has been there for us from Day 1 and even after the sale, helping us out in any way he could. He is more than just a salesman to us. 

How do you set your pricing?

We strive to stay competitive and beat out the competition with great pricing, quality custom made products and fast turnaround times.

Our goal is to try and maintain a minimum profit of $12.00 per shirt.

What products do you sell that other ColDesi customers might need?

We can print, embroider, do spangles and rhinestones. So that other ColDesi customers can give their customers everything they need. We also do custom sublimation printing on a variety of products. Coffee mugs, beer steins, puzzles, clocks and neck ties. Just to name a few.

We are your one stop shop for any custom product or occasion.

What’s next for your company?

Launching a full website and trying to capture all of the US market.

What advice would you give someone just starting out?

Do your research, know what market you are going after, how are you going to generate sales and then call ColDesi.

Interested in starting a custom apparel business?

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