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Bling Out Loud, Inc.
Owner: Pamela Mosby
Year Established: 2011
Business: Custom Rhinestone T-Shirts, Heat Transfers, Wholesale Rhinestone Transfers
I’m a life-long entrepreneur. I’ve been in retail forever; worked my way up with what is now Barnes & Noble, then opened my first full line hobby store in 1990. I got involved in digital scrapbooking for a creative outlet. I enjoy being creative and love working in Photoshop and Illustrator.
A new home in Texas and kids in school drove me to look for a business that would allow me to work from home, have the flexibility to pick up my kids, and volunteer some. The
Decorated Apparel business combined my retail experience with the need to be creative.
The first thing I tried was direct-to-garment printing, but it just wasn’t for me. And my customers wanted Bling (it is Texas, after all!). With rhinestones, I could control the quality of the product, and there were no messy spills! (Well, there was that one time I sneezed while holding an open container of crystal stones….)
I started with a DGI Plotter and a heat press. I later added the Graphtec Craft RoboPro Plotter/Cutter because it can cut straight from Illustrator. Originally, I was using a foam material in the plotter to create rhinestone templates, but then I found StickyFlock. What a game changer! StickyFlock has been much easier, faster and more profitable for rhinestone transfers.
There is no limit to the number of colors I can use in a design with the way StickyFlock can be layered, although I only do 2 to 3 at a time to keep my colors aligned properly. Mixed media t-shirts are very popular, and pretty simple to do combining heat transfer vinyl and Hotfix rhinestones. It’s a great way to appeal to both guys and gals.
I started with a quality heat press and a plotter. I now have a Graphtec RoboPro and a hat press, too. (It’s great for sleeves and tote straps.) I made a custom workspace tool to help protect my table while I work. I use Photoshop, Illustrator and SignMax software every day. I recently watched the demo video of the Hotfix Era software, and that is on my wish list.
I’ve done some marketing, but most of my business is from word of mouth and the company website, www.blingoutloud.com. I don’t know how people find me sometimes! I recently sourced some acrylic wine glass tumblers and I add rhinestone designs to them with rhinestone hard surface decal material; they’re selling like crazy!
Most of my business is in the K-12 school market, with custom spirit wear.
Custom rhinestone t-shirts and other items have to be priced with a good margin so I can be profitable, but also priced competitively. I calculate cost based on stone count, supplies, (like Hotfix tape and Sticky Flock,) my time, and the complexity of the design. Most of my shirts end up priced at $20 to $25.
Finding customers, and making sure they think of me first for rhinestone work. There’s one well established retail store in town that I compete with. Once the customer thinks of me first, and realizes my prices and turnaround time are better, I’ll get the business!
I’d like to do a few more shows: tradeshows, craft shows, etc. As my kids get into high school, I expect my customer base to go the same way. I’m also looking to do more rhinestone bumper stickers and window decals.
Wholesale rhinestone transfers, templates, or even custom cutting files. I can take any logo or image and create a rhinestone design, from a very basic design for the cost conscious, to spectacular artwork with 2000 or more stones.
Know your market. Know your market. Know your market. What do your potential customers want? Don’t just offer what YOU like. Recently I added hair bows to the lineup because some of my customers kept asking me if I made them. As a mom of two boys we don’t have much need for hair bows in my house, but I just had to listen. I asked a friend to teach me how to make bows. They are super easy and a great add on for the spirit wear shirts. Matching shirt and bow combos have been a big hit!
I LOVE THIS BUSINESS! I love getting to see my work around town and hearing from customers that got compliments on their shirts.
Pamela has been a customer of Colman and Company for about 1 year where she buys her hotfix rhinestones and sticky flock.
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