Let's talkt-shirts!

Busy time is over! New Capacity
August 18, 2009

Summer was an amazing time for us! Things have been so busy, its kind of nice to have it slow down to normal again. We are very sorry that we had to scale back 6 day rush and 9 day priority service during the busy season. Faster turnaround could have helped many of our customers out of a bad situation. We know you cannot control the kids and parents that wait until the last minute. :(

To address the busy time for this fall and next summer, we are adding a lot more capacity. Enough to cover the increase in business we had this summer. Plus a little more. ;) We are hoping that we can even cut back our standard turnaround by a day. We will know after this fall if we can pull it off and this blog is where we’ll make that announcement!

CPSIA Labeling
August 18, 2009

Customers receiving orders in the past few days will notice a small change to the t-shirts. The line identifying the manufacturer (us) now has a /12345 after it. The new text reads ClassB.com/12345. The 12345 is the work order number. “What’s this?” you ask. :)

According to CPSIA, all products that can potentially be used by a child (12 yrs or younger) need to have manufacturer information and include testing information. We are including the URL to allow any end user of the t-shirts to see the required testing information. When you get your t-shirts, just type in that url and all the relevant testing data will be displayed. Cool, huh? This new law effects all screen printers of t-shirts that carry sizes that a 12 year old or younger might wear. (In other words, adult medium or smaller.)

This is starting with orders taken on August 1st to comply with the CPSIA deadline of August 14th. We had wanted to start even earlier but we were still working on the inside part of it. All data going back thru 2009 was added to the system. We made it with just a few days leeway, whew!

The great thing is that this system will later support any other CPSIA requirements for screen printed t-shirts.

We will be adding the url to ALL orders to protect you, the purchaser, the end recipients of the t-shirt’s and ourselves as the manufacturer. We feel its important to test products and make those test results public. The CPSIA is doing a great thing protecting all of us. Lead poisoning is not fun!

I am sure this will come up: Some people may not want the labeling on your t-shirts. It is a federal requirement, regardless of whether you are certain that a 12 year old will never wear the t-shirt. In the event that one does end up on a child, this labeling is the best thing to protect yourself and give peace of mind to the people that wear the garments.

New Equipment!
August 7, 2009

As I mentioned in our last post, this summer has been our busiest ever. We blew away every record we ever held week after week. It was more than we expected and we experienced some bottlenecks as our quantity of orders exploded. Some of those bottlenecks were because our equipment can only run so fast.

M&R Sportsman on back of flat bed wrecker We promised you that we would work on increasing our capacity during busy seasons. This week we took our first steps toward improving our equipment! We took shipment of a brand new M&R Sportsman screen printing press. We already had one of these amazing presses and wanted more. Now we have two of these fast presses feeding into our largest capacity dryer.

M&R Sportsman Print Heads Crate You might wonder how we got this 3,300 pound servo-driven t-shirt printing machine off the semi truck and into our building. We have a flat bed wrecker truck back up to the semi, then we use a pallet jack to load the crates onto the wrecker, then the wrecker drops it in place. After that, we uncrate it as much as necessary to get it inside the building.

Of course, this equipment is huge and we end up moving everything out of the way between the door and it’s final location. So new equipment throws the entire building into a state of disarray as we rearrange to clear paths to move everything.

In addition to this new press, we have also ordered another new dryer, some Kool-Mist stations, and a few pieces of equipment we’ll save as a surprise for a future post. ;)

This is an exciting time for us, as we get to increase our capabilities in many different ways. Keep watching this space for more announcements. :)

Busiest Summer in History
July 1, 2009

The eight weeks leading up to July 4th is typically a busy time for us and this year did not fall short. In fact, we’ve beaten all of our past records for orders in-house. The last three weeks are our #1, #2, and #3 weeks of all time.

This is exciting for us, particularly because so many of our orders are from long-time customers. It makes us feel good to know we’ve done a good job for you in the past, and that you’ve trusted us once again with your order.

This explosion in business makes us a little worried, though. At the beginning of the year, with the economic conditions as they were, we did not hire as many people nor upgrade our equipment like we normally would. We didn’t know how the economy would affect our industry, our customers, and our business. We braced for the worst and, by playing it safe, we have created a new problem.

While we are doing everything we can to keep up with business and provide excellent service to each and every customer, we know we could be doing better. Even with most of us coming in early each day, staying late most nights, and working on the weekends, it simply hasn’t been enough. We’ve read your surveys and emails and we know that we aren’t doing as good a job as normal of keeping you informed about the status of your order. We’re shipping your orders out faster than normal to reach deadlines and, for a few orders this summer, we haven’t met your deadlines. For that we are truly sorry.

Even our online t-shirt designer was affected. We simply never tested it under the kind of traffic it has been receiving and it turned out there was a bottleneck that caused it to break when there were too many people designing t-shirts at the same time. That’s fixed now, and we’re planning more upgrades to speed it up.

Please know that we are adding more staff every week and training people as quickly as we can to accommodate the increased business. We’re not accepting rush or priority orders until we are back on our normal schedule. We are also planning on equipment upgrades to do a better job during our next busy season.

We view this as an opportunity and we’ll spare no expense to increase our capacity as quickly as possible. We are working hard to continue to earn your loyalty and trust.

ClassB on Facebook and Twitter
May 18, 2009

We’re excited to announce the official launch of the ClassB™ Facebook page and ClassB™ Twitter profile.



On each we post neat stuff that we’re doing and the awesome stuff that Scouts are doing. Plus, we’ll be posting occasional promotions on each service that are exclusively available to people who are fans/followers. Add us now so you don’t miss out! :)

Service Project – Fillacart.org
April 10, 2009

A cool story about one of our service projects is posted up at fillacart.org

ClassB FillACart.org Team Page!

Two people took an afternoon and filled a cart full of much needed items for a local charity. They got a lot out of it and enjoyed the experience very much. They also got a T-shirt out of the deal too!

We got this T-shirt for participating on fillacart

We got this T-shirt for participating on fillacart

Founders Day Parade
March 19, 2009

March 14th was our small town’s big parade. Its called Founders Day and we are lucky to have a front row seat. Our building is in the downtown historical district, right next to the park where the parade and activities are centered around. Our building has a decorative fenced raised area in front of it that we let various local groups use during events like this. This year we had the Girl Scouts selling cookies. My favorite of all time is the Apple Cinnamons cookie, but they did not have it this year :(
Best cookie ever

Best cookie ever

We also had a local Boy Scout Troop selling some Duct Tape Wallets they made. The wallets were very cool, I wish I had taken a picture of one. The scouts were very creative. Who knew you could do so much with duct tape? The Scouts also were the color guard for the parade.
Zephyrhills Founders Day Parade

Zephyrhills Founders Day Parade

The day before the parade, some of the girls in the store put together a impromptu Scouting recruiting display. We put it out in front of the Building on the porch area and had quite a few people look at it and some scout age boys express interest. We will probably upgrade it for next time. We plan on leaving it in our lobby all the time, since we often get people asking about scouting.
Impromptu Recruiting Display

Impromptu Recruiting Display

Swatch Cards
March 17, 2009

We started making swatch cards while back. Why? Many people want a true representation of the color of the t-shirt. Everyone knows what Red is, but not many can tell the color of Avocado. This is especially an isue for packs with Navy and Royal and Troops with the various shades of khaki: Prairie dust, tan, and sand.

So we came up with a clever way of showing the color of the shirt. We take business cards with the product info and attach little tiny t-shirt cut outs of the color. We originally were going to print the info on the tiny shirt shaped pieces, but any tiny crookedness or twist looked horrible. We did have lots of fun with trying how to print the small T-shirts. Can you spot one thats not crooked?

<Swatch Printed T-shirts

Its hard to find one that is not crooked. Well we ended up with sticking it on a business card.

<Swatch Card

To get them, you register on the site and then you can get up to 4 swatches. Why not more? The little things cost a lot to make and the cost for a full set of all colors is around $31 – ouch! So we figure we can give them away for free, as long as we keep the total amount we send out reasonable.

We think these will help people who are unsure which color to pick or are trying to match an existing color. A computer image or photo of shirt fabric just does not do the same thing.

Judging the Pinewood Derby
March 9, 2009

Cory and I

Cory and I

Recently, Cory and I had the pleasure of being judges for Gulf Ridge Council Allohak Districtʼs Pinewood Derby. It was at the Mazda of Wesley Chapel, just a few minutes from ClassB. I must say I had a wonderful time. We arrived shortly after 10 A.M. to a sea of blue, gold, and khaki uniforms and the roar of excitement over the event. There was popcorn, hotdogs, drinks and laughter. Being that this was my first time at a Pine Wood Derby, I was looking forward to seeing how the races where conducted.

I figured the Cub Scouts would line up one-by-one and launch their own cars down the track. Instead, a wooden ramp was erected with 3 lanes. The Cubmaster placed the cars on the ramp and announced which 3 would be racing. Gravity, not the Scouts, would push the cars down to the finish line. It was very organized and the way the track was set up every Scout had a great view of the action.

What a view!

What a view!

The scouts and their supporters were huddled around the race track, nervous with anticipation to see if their car would be the one to take home the gold. There was so much tension in the air as the Cubmaster released the cars down the ramp. I found myself so involved I forgot I had a job to do (not that I considered this work).

Cory and I judged the cars for creativity; the scouts didn’t make this easy. We saw a large variety of cars. There were stock cars, trucks, and even Hummers! There were also Bat-mobiles, and one Scout even made a Wii game system controller. My personal favorite was the Indiana Jones car, complete with a Lego Indiana Jones figure cleverly placed in the driver’s seat. I took my responsibility seriously. As one of the graphic artists for ClassB, I can certainly appreciate the imagination and craftsmanship put into each entry.

The Hummer

The Hummer

The categories were Space, Historic, Cub Scouts, Military, Sports and Movies with winners in the Webelos, Tiger Cubs, and Cub Scouts age groups. Cory and I examined every car carefully and made sure the contest rules were followed. After several minutes of arguing back and forth, we came to agreement on the winners. We stayed for a short time after the races taking pictures, mingling and in my case, checking out how many of the t-shirts worn to the event were ClassBʼs designs! (I’m happy to report a great many of them were!)

I truly look forward to my next Scouting event and I plan on volunteering for many more. Special thanks to Allohak District and Gulf Ridge Council for allowing us to experience the full throttle fun of Pinewood Derby!

Do you see the Wii remote and Indiana Jones?

Do you see the Wii remote and Indiana Jones?

Vote on next Retail T-shirt Design!
February 25, 2009

We have some new designs we are considering adding to the Trading post. Please help us decide which ones to print, vote for the ones you like and also tell us the ones you do not like. You can vote by replying to this post, thank you! When we print the batch they will be sold in the trading post. You can vote for more than one design.
UPDATE: Clarified you can vote for more than one design.
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