Customer Care Center

Whether you are buying logo apparel for the first time or are a seasoned buyer, we know that you have questions. The Customer Care Center is designed to help you get answers fast.

The Value of Promotional Products

The value of Promotional Products is in their ability to carry a message to a well-defined audience. Because the products are useful to and appreciated by the recipients, they are retained and used, repeating the imprinted message many times without added cost to the advertiser.

Printed Apparel

The most common process for printing apparel is called Screen Printing.

Screen Printing

Screen printing is an inexpensive way to communicate a message or brand image. You may be most familiar with screen printing on printed t-shirts or sweatshirts. Screen printing gets its name from a process of moving ink through a mesh, or screen, onto the garment.

At The Sullivan Company, we have the newest screen printing equipment from M&R, a worldwide leader in screen printing technologies. Our automated press is capable of printing over 360 shirts per hour. And our staff has the experience to use it. But the quality of the print is what's really important ... and that's when you'll notice the value of great equipment and the value of having experience and well trained printing staff. We're proud to have both!

Heat Transfers

Another option for lower volume prints is a heat applied transfer. Multi-color logos, full color photographs and detailed artwork can be applied to products with transfers. The complete logo permanently adheres to the material's surface with heat and pressure. Transfers are best used on light colored products.

Direct to Garment Printing

There are new methods emerging for printing apparel. The latest innovation is a Digital Direct to Garment (DTG) process. The process is much like printing from your personal computer, except that a shirt is printed instead of a piece of paper. This technology may be well suited for very small print jobs. At The Sullivan Company, we are keeping close tabs on innovations in the DTG industry and will invest in this technology when there's a clear value proposition to our customers.

Embroidery

The origins of embroidery are unclear, but examples survive from ancient Egypt, Iron Age Northern Europe and Song Dynasty China. Elaborately embroidered clothing, religious objects, and household items have been a mark of wealth and status in many cultures for centuries.

Today, embroidered clothing remains a statement of quality and good taste. Translating an image into stitches on cloth is remarkable, even to those most familiar with embroidery.

At The Sullivan Company, we take pride in representing your design or logo with thread, stitches, and color. Although embroidery has been done by hand for centuries, most embroidery done today is by machine. Here's how it works:

  1. Your design is edited and put into electronic form. Our graphics department will work with you or your graphics team to ensure that your image is edited to your expectations.
  2. Your image is then digitized. Although your image may be in a digital format, this step converts your image into a stitch pattern the sewing machine can understand. This is a required step and is necessary beyond simply having your image in computer form. Once digitized, your image can be used again and again for similar applications. At The Sullivan Company, we perform this step in-house.
  3. We test your digitized image by sewing a sample swatch. We want to make sure that the sewn image is an accurate representation of your design.
  4. Your garment is "hooped" with a backing to help add strength to the fabric. The hoop keeps the fabric from moving while the embroidery is being sewn.
  5. We sew your garments on commercial grade equipment. We sew many pieces at once. That's why the per-piece cost decreases as your volume of sewn garments increases (see pricing considerations for embroidery). Lower volume orders make less efficient use of equipment and staff and therefore reflect a higher per-piece cost.
  6. We inspect your sewn garments and trim any lose thread.
  7. Your garments are folded and complete!

You are welcome to visit The Sullivan Company to watch the embroidery process. Please call to make an appointment.

You may also want to review Pricing Considerations for Embroidery

Restaurant Apparel: Rent or Buy?

Tired of "being taken to the cleaners" by your rental company? Tired of all those unexpected fees? Consider buying your apparel rather than renting it.

Some things to consider:
  • Contracted as well as "hidden" costs are eliminated with a single up front investment for uniform clothing. Eliminate the "creative billing" of weekly energy charges, delivery charges, environmental charges, fuel charges and so on.
  • Rental companies typically charge per employee/ per week regardless of vacation leave, sick leave, or irregular schedules. This often adds up to money spent on unused service.
  • Uniform rental requires ongoing delivery, laundering and repair costs.
  • Ownership eliminates problems with inconsistent delivery/ pick up of uniforms, downtime for on-site changing, frustrations with inventory discrepancies and the hassle of uniform pick up / delivery for highly mobile employees with irregular schedules, traveling to various locations.
  • Different items can be selected according to departmental needs and applications at no additional cost.
  • Ownership enables a company to enjoy the benefits of distinctive styling that promotes a company image. More of a selection for more of a choice.
  • No worry of redeposition from heavier soiled garments, fading, and wear and tear from industrial laundering, causing replacement charges to the company.
  • Employees appreciate this perk, take pride in their appearance and often prefer having control over the laundering and care of their own clothing.

Give us a call to discuss the option of buying your chefs' apparel rather than renting it. Let us show you how you can save money and improve morale.

Tips for an effective fund raiser

Selling apparel or other products can be a great way to raise money for your school or club. Getting the most out of your fund raiser requires some careful planning. Here are some tips that will help you make the most profit:

  1. Plan ahead. Begin planning your fundraiser as far in advance as possible. The more time you have, the better opportunities you'll have regarding product selection, production scheduling, and taking advance orders. If your work is done early in the calendar year, you may be able to get more favorable production times.
  2. Communicate. Effective and repeated communication is critical to an effective fun raiser. Continue to remind people about what's available and how to order. Emphasize deadlines to make sure everyone has a chance to order what they want before the deadline.
  3. Be clear. Clear order forms with careful product descriptions, prices, and customization options help avoid frustrations later. Make sure your order form describes your selections clearly, reflects prices clearly (including any additional charges for plus sizes, for example), and has clearly stated deadlines. Include contact information so people with questions know where to go for help with questions.
  4. Line up volunteers. Ask others in your school or club to volunteer for some of the work. There's always a need for people to tallying orders, follow up on outstanding payments, or assemble final orders.
  5. Offer variety, but be careful to not offer too many choices. Consider selling items at several different price points. That way, you're sure to have something that fits within most buyers' budgets. Beware of having too many similar items at the same price point. Too many choices make the buying decision difficult; too few choices can have a chilling effect on sales.
  6. Consider sponsorships. Work with local businesses to help underwrite your promotion efforts. You may be able to have businesses sponsor a product you sell by adding their logo to the item. For example, businesses may pay you to have their logos added to the back of a stadium seat cushion, increasing the amount of profit you get when you sell.
  7. Date items. Some people like to purchase dated items to show their long-standing commitment to a team or cause. Wearing that 1982 sweatshirt reminds others of that loyalty --- and provides incentive to buy this year's shirt. Use this suggestion with caution because some people have the opposite response ("Why would I want to buy something that gets outdated so quickly?").
  8. Consider incentives. Think of ways you can combine related items and sell them as a package. You may sell more items this way, increasing your overall sales. For example, bundle a hat and t-shirt together or bundle a rally towel with a magnetic team schedule.
  9. Share the Work. Suppliers may give you discounts if you take on some of the work they may normally do. At The Sullivan Company, we work with fund-raising groups to price items so that you can optimize your fund-raising potential. In exchange, you will be asked to tally orders yourself, pay with a single check, and fold and bag your items (for example).
  10. Work with a company you can trust. Let's face it, there are many places you can go to get shirts printed or embroidered. Do your homework. What do people say about the quality of the work you'll get from each company? How timely will the work be completed? How does the company handle those inevitable last-minute orders?

Ask around and you're likely to hear people recommend The Sullivan Company. We hope so. Give us a call at 614-898-9971 and let us help you get started!

Frequently Asked Questions

I'm clueless on how to start. What do I do?

You're not alone. Just call us! We'll help you get started!

Do you have a minimum order size?

Technically our minimum order size is one piece. But you should know that lower volume orders make less efficient use of equipment and staff, so they are priced accordingly. Prices drop dramatically for orders of 12 pieces or more (and continue to drop as the order size gets larger).

How long will my order take?

Screen printing and embroidery orders are typically completed within 10 business days of art approval. This allows time for apparel to arrive, art to be converted to production format, equipment to be set up for your order, and for production to be completed and quality checked.

Promotional product order time frames vary, depending on what you order. You should allow 3-4 weeks following art approval for most items. Rush services are available at an additional charge.

What file format should I use for my art file?

Good screen printing and good embroidery requires vector art. If your image is not in vector format, we will convert it for you as part of your free art-time allocation. Vector art is typically done in programs like Adobe Illustrator (.ai) and can be saved as an .ai or .eps file. We do accept art in other formats, including .jpg and Corel Draw. You can upload your file from our Contact Us or Customer Care pages.

Can you design my logo?

If you have a good idea or sketch of what you want, our graphics department may be all you need. If you are less clear on what you want, we recommend that you work with a marketing professional first and then bring your new logo to us. In the Greater Columbus area, you may want to visit The PRStore, located on Polaris Parkway. Let them know you were referred by us.

What brands do you carry?

We have access to countless brands, including Culinary Threads™, Nike Golf, Ping, Geoffrey Bean, Addias, Badger, Tommy Hilfiger, Nine, Devon & Jones, Jerzees, Hanes, Izod, ChefWear, Chef Designs, Lee, Outer Banks, Tiger Woods, Port Authority, and many more. The catalogs on our website are only a small portion of what we have available. Use them to get started, then call or visit to select that perfect item.

Can I get a discount for a good cause?

The Sullivan Company has made commitments to several organizations supporting good causes. You can read about some of them on our About Us page. Just click "We Care". You may also want to read our information on planning an effective fund raiser.

Having said that, feel free to submit your request to us. Although we grant few additional discounts, we would love to know what you're doing and in some cases, may find ways to participate with you.

Can I get samples?

Yes! Samples must be returned in original, wearable condition, usually within 21 days. We may ask you for a deposit on the samples; we will refund that deposit when the articles are returned in salable condition. A restocking fee may apply.

Can I supply my own apparel for you to decorate?

Yes. We frequently decorate customer supplied apparel. You should know that, although rare, it is possible for your garment to be damaged or destroyed during the decorating process. If that happens, we won't charge you for our work on that piece (of course), but will be unable to replace your garment, including paying for damaged garments. If we supply apparel, you will get exactly what you order.

I've heard good things about you. Can I work there?

Maybe! People do like working here, so our employee turnover is rather low. But our growth does require talented people and we always want to have a list of good quality people handy! Keep an eye on our "What's New" page for any potential openings. In the meantime, give us a call and learn how to provide your resume to us (sorry, we don't post e-mail addresses on our website in an effort to curb spam).

Pricing Considerations

Embroidery pricing is driven by several factors:

  • Number of pieces being sewn at one time (price-per-piece decreases when we sew larger quantities as part of the same order)
  • The stitch count of your design (price-per-piece increases with higher stitch counts)
  • Unlike screen printing, the number of colors does not affect the price of embroidery.
  • Designs must be made sewing machine ready. This is called digitizing or an embroidery tape. Once a design is made machine ready, it can be used again and again for similar applications.

Screen print pricing is most commonly affected by these factors. As printed quantities increase, the impact of these factors becomes less significant:

  • the number of items printed (costs per item decrease with higher quantities).
  • the number of locations printed (per item costs increase with each additional print location).
  • the number of colors printed (costs increase for each additional color).
  • The color of the apparel you are printing (darker colored apparel costs more and requires additional attention to print as well).

Other factors that may affect pricing include:

  • the type of fabric being printed (nylon, mesh, and poly fabrics require additional attention)
  • the ease of printing in a particular location (for example, sleeves can sometimes be more time consuming).

We can provide a quote over the phone in a matter of minutes. Just give us a call! We're here to help!

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