Starting a Home-Based T-Shirt Business

Starting a home-based t-shirt business and wondering how to set it up? Amy Edwards is a Stahls’ customer who has created a great way to store CAD-CUT heat transfer vinyl materials in her home based business.

More and more people are starting a home-based t-shirt business as a way to earn extra money. If you want to start, it’s easy. It’s fun and it can be very profitable. Certainly, it starts with an idea. Maybe you already own a Silhouette or Cricut cutter and want to expand and sell more? Let’s brainstorm a little.

What Do You Want to Do? 

There are so many customers out there. First of all, it helps if you narrow down who you want to sell to. Start with people you know in your community. It’s easier to approach people you know and trust.

  • Schools/students
  • Sports organizations/teams
  • Restaurants/bars/wineries/ice cream stores
  • Law offices/driving schools/city hall/politicians
  • Grocery stores/delivery businesses/landscape/construction
  • Make shirts for fundraisers

Lots of Niches to Focus On

This list just scratches the surface. You get the idea–everyone needs and wants custom shirts, caps and now, custom face masks. Luckily you can heat print them. You can start a home-based t-shirt business. It’s up to you, you can choose a custom t-shirt niche or just focus on doing shirts for people and causes you really believe in.

Ways to Print Shirts

Secondly, you have to figure out how to print the shirts. There are many different ways. But don’t worry. You don’t need to make a big investment. A heat press machine is one of the cheapest, easiest ways to get started. Before we talk about heat press machines, let’s look at different ways you can print custom t-shirts.

Use Custom Transfers

Let’s talk about custom heat transfers. Working with screen printed custom transfers is about as simple as heat pressing a shirt. To order custom heat transfers, you provide a design (either custom artwork or design them online). Within a day or so, custom transfers are delivered to your door.

Print on Demand with Heat Transfers

Heat transfers from Transfer Express are made with real ink so the finished result looks like direct screen printing. When you’re ready to sell, just use a heat press to apply the transfer to the t-shirt of your choice. Now that’s simple. You can print a shirt with custom transfers in just seconds. Anyone can do it.

It’s so simple, some decorators build their entire business around custom transfers. If you already own a heat press, your investment is minimal — just the cost of the transfers.

Use a Cutter

Thirdly, let’s talk about vinyl cutters. Adding a cutter to the line up gives you even more flexibility to print anything using heat transfer vinyls. Here’s a story about a business that adds a cutter to provide on-demand personalization.

Choosing the Heat Press Machine

Overall, when it comes to heat presses, you will soon find there are many to choose from. For example, you can get started with an inexpensive Craft Heat Press. You can decide to choose a value-priced clam-style heat press, or budget-friendly Swing Away heat press. Additionally, you can start with the best of the best heat press.

It all depends on your budget, your work space and the amount of shirts you plan on printing. A general rule of thumb is to start with a budget friendly press and when your business grows, you can upgrade. And as your business grows, it’s always good to have more than one machine.

Josh Ellsworth had a little help from his daughter when he set up his home work space. Your spare bedroom can easily be re-purposed to start a t-shirt business from your home.

Get Started Today

In conclusion, remember to work with a company that provides support and education. Buy from companies that service the products they sell and manufacture. You will have many questions and it may seem confusing at times. It’s good to have a friendly customer service representative who can walk you through any problem.

There are many heat transfer options from which to choose and you may make a few mistakes along the way. The good thing is, there is a lot of information out there on how to succeed with your home-based business. You can learn from experts who have seen it all.

Related Content

How to Choose the Best Heat Press

How to Set Up a Heat Press at Home

Heat Printing Work Space Layout Ideas

Stahls’ All Things Heat Printing Facebook Page

Heat Press for Profit Facebook Page

Transfer Express Facebook Page

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