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Q&A: Stahls' TV Cashes in on Subscription Box Trend

Subscription boxes are all the rage in the consumer space. With a few clicks, savvy shoppers can sign up to get customized makeup samples, meal preparation kits, fashion, toys, pet items and more delivered regularly to their doorstep. It’s no surprise, then, that the popular idea would find traction in the decorated apparel world as well. We spoke with Josh Ellsworth, a manager at Stahls’, about the company’s Project Press It subscription box.

Q: What exactly is the Project Press It subscription box, and what inspired you to launch it?

Josh Ellsworth: Project Press It originated as a video series on Stahls’ TV, created to share creative ideas and innovative designs using Stahls’ latest and greatest materials, equipment, software, products and more. Our goal was to provide inspiration for the apparel decorator, and our hope was that viewers would feel moved to create these looks at home. Then it dawned on us: We could create an easy way to give decorators the resources they would need to create these projects at home, just using a heat press. And that’s what the subscription box is! Stahls’ TV, in collaboration with SanMar U, creates a monthly subscription box that delivers a fun and valuable heat-printing project to the doors of decorators around America.

Q: Can you share some of the projects and products included in the box?

JE: Our first box focused on school fundraising; the next on walks, runs and events; and the most recent on corporate apparel. No matter the project, we want to make it a valuable asset and sample to apparel decorators. In addition to blank garments, heat transfer material and step-by-step guides, we also supply a written sales guide, the artwork files for modification and a marketing video formatted for Facebook. Each box has a focus that can help decorators learn, grow and reach new markets.

Q: Why is this something decorators should consider?

JE: Creating sales samples can be time-consuming and challenging, so the return on investment is there. The box not only helps you to create a sample for about $25 a month, but in the process, it teaches you decorating concepts, introduces new blank apparel styles and helps you to identify and reach markets you may not have considered. Decorators can learn more at stahlstv.com/subscribe.

Q: What do decorators think of the box so far?

JE: I’ll let one of our customers field that. Katie Bertrand, owner of Sew Cute by Katie, says it was like receiving a birthday present: “The contents were packaged just like a gift, wrapped in tissue with a hand-written note.” After trying out the project, she posted the results on Facebook and immediately got a comment from a customer asking for the same design customized to their school.