I recently read an article in the February Impressions Magazine, Life’s Calling, by Managing Editor Lauren Mitchell Volker. It featured the Texas-based company Branding Matters! and I was very impressed with their success story and commitment to customer service. When owner Suzanne Whatley mentioned that the reason she got into custom garment printing was to make sure every girl on a softball team had a uniform, I recognized a kindred spirit. Even after all these years in the custom garment business, there’s still nothing that replaces the look of a child receiving a custom jersey. It symbolizes belonging, being a team member; it builds pride and confidence. According to the Impressions article, after completing that first youth league order, it wasn’t long before Branded Matters! outgrew the garage. Using mostly word of mouth advertising, Suzanne and her team quickly grew the business to include 100 clients within a few years. They also rely on social media marketing via Facebook, as well as networking with groups and businesses in the community. One very interesting marketing campaign we saw on their Facebook page seems to be a monthly car wash event at the shop. Talk about “out of the box” thinking. During a follow up phone call with Suzanne, we learned she is planning to expand further in the near future. And it turns out that industry consultant (and longtime friend of Stahls’) Charlie Taublieb is Suzanne’s mentor. “Charlie has taken me under his wing. When we were converting the shop from an old gas station, he helped us set it up and he continues to provide guidance.” Suzanne also mentioned that 45% of their custom business involves heat printing. “Charlie insisted that we have a way to do one-offs, and we do that with a printer/cutter (Roland TruVIS VG-540), a Brother Direct to Garment Printer and three Hotronix heat presses.” When asked what type of heat printing they do most often, Suzanne replied instantly, “GLITTER, in every color you sell!” Suzanne also remarked that the quality of heat transfer vinyls have come so far in the past years. “We use heat transfer vinyls for so many jobs, especially one-offs. We can sell one-off custom glitter shirts for $25 all day long, even if we are probably undercharging.” But as she mentions in the Impressions article, Suzanne realizes that the ability to say yes to every customer is one of the shop’s core values and the foundation of its success. We look forward to seeing Branded Matters! continue to grow and serve more customers with the passion and attention to detail for which they are known.