Impressions - February 2017 - 37

that couldn't afford them," she says."My goal was to make sure
every kid could play."
Believing she could help the players, provide better quality,
customer service and delivery time, she stepped in and - with
help from her son - finished her first job out of her garage:
uniforms for the youth league.
From there, Branding Matters! - which was called Print
Matters! at the time - took off. By April 2005, the company
had become a registered DBA, operating in Sugar Land,Texas,
as a home-based business.Within six months, it grew to include
custom screen printing and, by 2007, added embroidery and
heat-applied graphics services.
Getting in the Fast Lane
During the next two years, the company acquired more than
100 diversified clients, including additional local sports leagues
and corporate businesses, such as Memorial Hermann Hospital,
Technology Support,Team InTraining, Briggs &Veselka and more.
By 2009, with years of experience and growth under their
belts, the team left the garage, rented 1,000 square feet of space
in a local building and officially changed the company name
to Branding Matters!
Today, the business operates in a 3,000-square-foot space - a
former Exxon gas station - in the heart of Sugar Land, near
the historic Imperial Sugar Char House.Whatley and her team
continue to work with the girls' softball league that marked the
start of their booming business.
"They have my heart," she says."It's special when you watch
a 5- or 4-year-old girl play and they're wearing your shirt.You
don't want them to worry about their uniform.You want to do
such a good job that they are just out there playing ball."
In addition to sports leagues and corporate businesses, the
company has contracts with two school districts and works with
the city, a gig that originated when Branding Matters! purchased
its current facility. Business still is primarily driven by screen
printing, with about 70% of jobs requiring that decorating
method,Whatley says.
Her team includes full-time production manager Suz Ann
Lahrmann, master screen printer Greg McCoy, four sales representatives and multiple part-time contract employees, including
students who help around the shop.
"When I started this, my son would bring his friends in and
they would screen print and do other things," she says. "They
were mechanics; they were tinkerers; they would fix my machines.We love bringing kids through."
Passion for Teaching
Whatley's passion for the business is evident in her desire to
teach others. Beyond helping young people in the community,
she is building mentoring programs for women in the industry.
She hopes to encourage other female business owners to take
her hands-on approach."A lot of women in this business aren't
screen printers," she says."They source out [their jobs]."
Whatley says it's paramount to know what you're selling.All
of her employees take a screen-printing class so they understand
the process behind the product.
"It's important to not just sell stuff," she says. "Know what
you're selling. Educate your people that you're selling with."
While Whatley has taken a more hands-off approach to the
business for the past four or five years, she stays involved on the
shop floor. Recalling a recent challenging job where she worked

Whatley (left) and
master screen printer
Greg McCoy (right).

Branding Matters! offers
custom uniforms, coaching
gear, spiritwear, accessories
and more.

with McCoy on a design's halftones and highlights until 2 a.m.,
she says,"I can still think outside of the box and I can still figure
out how to do it.The challenges are there every day.You've got
to play with it; you've got to waste some film; you've got to lay
some screens and do it right."
The team is open to working with a variety of substrates.
"I always say 'Anything we can lay flat for 30 seconds, we can
print,'" says Whatley, crediting Lahrmann's dedication to product
sourcing and McCoy's commitment to perfection.
Whatley says the company's success is the result of her team's
passion and "can-do" attitude."We live our business," she says.
"We love it.We don't turn anything away. Period."
Beyond her business,Whatley loves cars and recently bought
a Shelby Mustang and got a racing license.
"That's my thing," she says. "I think one thing the business
has done for me is allow me to do more of the things I love to
do - and that's just this year." 
FEBRUARY 2017

P.37



Impressions - February 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - February 2017

Impressions - February 2017
Contents
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Overheard
First Look
Scene at ISS
On Design
What Powers Plackets?
What Being ‘Green’ Means
Critical Customer Training
Walking a New Path
Shop Talk
Embroidery Production
Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Sublimation
Direct-To-Garment
Heat Printing
Ad Index/Online Directory
Classifieds
Impressions - February 2017 - CT1
Impressions - February 2017 - CT2
Impressions - February 2017 - Impressions - February 2017
Impressions - February 2017 - Cover2
Impressions - February 2017 - 1
Impressions - February 2017 - Contents
Impressions - February 2017 - 3
Impressions - February 2017 - 4
Impressions - February 2017 - 5
Impressions - February 2017 - First Impressions
Impressions - February 2017 - 7
Impressions - February 2017 - From the Show Director
Impressions - February 2017 - 9
Impressions - February 2017 - Overheard
Impressions - February 2017 - 11
Impressions - February 2017 - 12
Impressions - February 2017 - 13
Impressions - February 2017 - First Look
Impressions - February 2017 - 15
Impressions - February 2017 - 15a
Impressions - February 2017 - 15b
Impressions - February 2017 - Scene at ISS
Impressions - February 2017 - 17
Impressions - February 2017 - 18
Impressions - February 2017 - On Design
Impressions - February 2017 - What Powers Plackets?
Impressions - February 2017 - 21
Impressions - February 2017 - 22
Impressions - February 2017 - 23
Impressions - February 2017 - What Being ‘Green’ Means
Impressions - February 2017 - 25
Impressions - February 2017 - 26
Impressions - February 2017 - 27
Impressions - February 2017 - Critical Customer Training
Impressions - February 2017 - 29
Impressions - February 2017 - Walking a New Path
Impressions - February 2017 - 31
Impressions - February 2017 - 32
Impressions - February 2017 - 33
Impressions - February 2017 - Shop Talk
Impressions - February 2017 - 35
Impressions - February 2017 - 36
Impressions - February 2017 - 37
Impressions - February 2017 - Embroidery Production
Impressions - February 2017 - 39
Impressions - February 2017 - Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Impressions - February 2017 - 41
Impressions - February 2017 - Sublimation
Impressions - February 2017 - 43
Impressions - February 2017 - 44
Impressions - February 2017 - 45
Impressions - February 2017 - Direct-To-Garment
Impressions - February 2017 - 47
Impressions - February 2017 - Heat Printing
Impressions - February 2017 - 49
Impressions - February 2017 - Ad Index/Online Directory
Impressions - February 2017 - Classifieds
Impressions - February 2017 - 52
Impressions - February 2017 - Cover3
Impressions - February 2017 - Cover4
Impressions - February 2017 - I1
Impressions - February 2017 - I2
Impressions - February 2017 - I3
Impressions - February 2017 - I4
Impressions - February 2017 - I5
Impressions - February 2017 - I6
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/DigitalDecorator_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/20210809
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/teamactivewear_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/202106
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/202105
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/impressions/imp_0421_digital
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20210102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202012
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_fall2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nxtbook_bhtest/impwessons
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20201011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202009
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2020fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202008
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20200607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202005
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/202001
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2019fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20190607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201905
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201903
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamactive_2019spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201901
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/dd_2018
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2018fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201805
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201803
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2018spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201801
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201710
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2017fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20170607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201705
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201703
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2017spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201701
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201612
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201610
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201609
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20160607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201604
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201603
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2016spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201601
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201512
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201510
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201509
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201508
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20150607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2015summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201506
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201504
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201503
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2015spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201502
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201501
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201412
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201410
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201409
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201408
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2014fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/digitaldecorator_2014summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/20140607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/sportsfanretailer_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201404
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201403
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/teamspirit_2014spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201402
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201401
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sportsfanretailer_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201312
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20131011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201309
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201308
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2013fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20130607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201304
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201303
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2013spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201302
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201301
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201212
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20121011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2012fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20120809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20120607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201204
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201203
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2012spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201202
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201201
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20111011
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20110809
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2011fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20110607
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201104
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201103
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2011spring
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201102
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201101
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sourcebook2010
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20101112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20100910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2010fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20100708
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2010winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201003
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_200909
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_eco_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_200910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20091112
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_sourcebook_200906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_201001
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com