Blog

Home » Selling Custom Apparel to Summer Camps

Selling Custom Apparel to Summer Camps

Share

This article was found on the Inksoft Blog

With an estimated 12,000 summer camps attended each year by more than 11 million children and adults, you don’t want to miss out on this lucrative market.

It’s that time of year when thoughts turn to the great outdoors and one of the greatest seasonal profit centers known to garment decorators: summer camps. With thousands of traditional and specialty options at local, regional and national levels featuring a multitude of activities, camps represent a potentially limitless market for logoed apparel, uniforms and more. And there’s now an unprecedented number of ways to capture camp sales, but you have to do your homework. Camps come in all shapes and sizes and getting a feel for what’s out there allows you to target your efforts for maximum success. The type of camp determines volume, product and service needs and, of course, budget. It also factors into the time frame for sales. The traditional summer camp season is from around Memorial Day to Labor Day and planning for it usually begins about 11 months out. But even as late as a month out from the first day, there still may be opportunities for sales depending on the type of camp. Established camps, such as those sponsored by national organizations or those with a long history With an estimated 12,000 summer camps attended each year by more than 11 million children and adults, you don’t want to miss out on this lucrative market. Capturing Summer Camp Business (and long-time vendors) typically are more structured in their purchasing; hence they may require a longer lead time. However, newer, smaller camps may still be getting their staff, schedule, etc. in place and may welcome your service and personal attention during what’s a busy time for them and your potential competitors. A local startup might buy a month before camp begins. Camps range from those sponsored by nationally and regionally known organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, Camp Fire and 4-H to local groups. There are overnight and day camps; youth, adult and family camps; and camps focusing on specific interests and activities from academics to photography to sports. The good news is that once you have a proven track record with one group, it can get your foot in the door with others and the going gets easier.

What to Sell

Just as there are many types of camps, there is a wide range of potential merchandise you can offer. It can be a selling point to specialize in certain types of items such as apparel, but the key is offering the right mix in terms of garments and accessories. For example, don’t discount offering specialty items relating to specific camp needs like flashlights, water bottles, lanyards and tennis visors. If you are selling from a web store, these can easily be added even if the camp itself will be filling those orders. In developing your product mix, think beyond “summer camp T-shirts.” A good place to start is by looking at where and how camps use logoed apparel and accessories. In addition to basic categories like campers’ T-shirts and caps and staff uniforms, there are opportunities relating to special teams and events, commemorative and recognition items, souvenirs and alumni/family apparel. You also should find out if there are any needs for banners and signage in your quest to be a one-stop shop. A good place to start is by looking at the general camp process. Where and how do camps use products you can supply? From the time campers get on the bus to ©2016 InkSoft Capturing Summer Camp Business when they divide up into subgroups, there is a need for ID shirts for them and for staff. When they get there, there will be things that were forgotten or need to be replaced, as well as events and activities that could be promoted and memorialized with apparel or awards. And before camp even starts—and after it ends—there are opportunities in helping to build anticipation and remember the experience. When putting together a package to present to a specific camp, checking out its schedule of activities will likely spark product ideas or at least enable you to create virtual or physical samples that are targeted to its particular program. A combination of offerings that includes apparel and nonapparel items with mockups of the camp’s logo/branding will showcase your capabilities and make your company stand out

Related Blogs

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.
Start typing to see products you are looking for.
Shop
Wishlist
0 items Cart
My account
Antonio-Massey

Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.

Alicia-Wada

Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.

Erik-Mikelson

Erik Mickelson

Manager

Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.

 

Ruth-Nhoung

Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.

Steve-Deland

Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.

 

Taylar-Hanson

Taylar Hanson

Sales

Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

Nika-Lao

Nika Lao

Sales

Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.

Bradley-Wright

Bradley Wright

Accountant

Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.

Dominic-Nguyen

Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.

Sothea-Tann

Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.

Brian-Beardsly

Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.

UT-Tri-Tran

UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.

Bunsereytheavy-Hoeu

BunsereytheavyHoeu

Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.

Sreynai-Meang

Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.

Kanha-Chhorn

Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.

Savy-Sorm

Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.

Sorphorn-Sorm

SorphornSorm

Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.

Jim-Mickelson

Jim Mickelson

CEO

Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.