(Note: This story appears in the July 2022 issue of ED Magazine)
GentClubShirts.com (aka Safari Sun) has nearly four decades of experience in decorating branded, customizable club industry apparel.
You probably are already familiar with GentClubShirts.com as a long-time provider of t-shirts and club-branded products for the industry. The company can transform your staff and/or patrons into walking billboards to tout your club — aka free marketing!
ED Magazine spoke with Heather Eshack, Marketing Manager & CSR Manager for Safari Sun about the company’s offerings, what the ordering process looks like for clubs and the company’s unwavering support for EXPO.
ED: Besides t-shirts, what are some of the (many) other club-branded products clubs can purchase from you?
ESHACK: Headwear has been a popular seller for us during the pandemic. From custom laser-engraved genuine leather patch hats to printed color designs on leather. There has been a high demand for the trucker-style hats. Although they aren’t on our GentClubShirts.com website yet, they can be found on our Safari Sun website. Just upload your logo on the website for an instant proof and checkout.
ED: How many t-shirt designs do you currently offer?
ESHACK: We have more than 250 custom t-shirt designs with an easy online ordering process. The designs are featured on a wide range of t-shirt colors, tank tops for the ladies, and hoodies.
Have you ever gone to large concert and not seen a merchandise table selling t-shirts?There is profit in merchandise. It’s just a matter of having the right merchandise, branding, and marketing that stands out to your customer base. — Heather Eshack
ED: You offer lots of ‘general’ designs, as well as designs that focus on a specific holiday or season, correct?
ESHACK: Yes, we do offer seasonal designs or holiday specific designs to help drive sells for special events at your club. We also have an in-house art team as well, so if you’re having an event and you don’t see a design that fits the theme you need, just let us know and we can work with you to create something unique.
ED: If I’m a club owner, how does the process work? Can I actually go to your website, pick a design I like, then have it customized with my club’s information?
ESHACK: The process is simple for the custom t-shirt designs. Pick a design, pick a t-shirt color, choose your sizes, and add your custom text. All the price breaks are listed based on quantities. You can keep with our standard cotton t-shirts, or you can upgrade for $1 more to our VIP Super Soft T-Shirts. They are so soft, it will be your favorite t-shirt to wear. Once you checkout on the website, one of our friendly customer service team members will reach out to you with an order confirmation, and they will send over a custom art proof ASAP for your art approval. Once the art is approved, your order will go into production. Typical production is 7-10 days from art approval. Once the order ships out an automated email with tracking information will be sent.
ED: What are, typically, the minimum order for shirts or tank tops?
ESHACK: We always suggest 144 or more for wholesale bulk pricing — the more you get, the cheaper it is leaving larger profit margins for clubs. We can print a minimum of 24 pieces on the t-shirt designs, but the prices are more retail friendly at those lower quantities.
ED: What are your best-selling club merchandise items (shirts, tanks, hats, etc.)?
ESHACK: Our vintage designs have always been a best- seller. The soft hand printing technique we use paired with our upgraded VIP Super Soft T-Shirt has a comfortable feel and chill vibe with the vintage design. When you go shopping, most retail brands are trending towards those softer and lighter prints with distressed vintage art.
ED: How long have you been in the customized/branded merchandise business?
ESHACK: For more than 38 years, we’ve been decorating apparel. We started back in 1984 developing skills to specialize in screen print, embroidery, and promotional products. Our many years of experience has helped set us apart from other shops. All of our screen print and embroidery is produced in-house. We are creative people who make creative apparel. We help small and large businesses find branding solutions to fit their budgets while creating relationships.
ED: For someone who has had as much experience in this business as you’ve had, what would you tell a club that doesn’t think they can make any money off club merchandise, or clubs that don’t see the value in branded club merchandise?
ESHACK: I would say there’s so much potential. Have you ever gone to large concert and not seen a merchandise table selling t-shirts? There is profit in merchandise. It’s just a matter of having the right merchandise, branding, and marketing that stands out to your customer base.
ED: You’ve supported the EXPO and the EDI contests for many years. Can you talk about your continued support of EXPO and the EDI contests?
ESHACK: The EXPO and EDI are important to us. There’s a great network of people involved in this industry. We can learn from each other’s stories, while using the resources the EXPO has to offer. This can only help us all to grow and be more profitable.