Impressions - April 2018 - 34

think.
make.
do.

Shop talk
like this article? Read more Shop talk
articles at impressionsmag.com.

Putting in
the Work
the co-owners of Michigan-based Sandlot Sports
grew their business by learning from mistakes,
networking and grinding through it all.
By Jamar Laster, eXeCUtIVe edItor

Don't quit your "real jobs." That's what everyone told Adam
McCauley and Ryan Dost, co-owners of Michigan-based Sandlot
Sports LLC, when they floated the idea of starting the business
in 2008.
But that advice wasn't given with the notion that the duo, longtime friends from Saginaw, Michigan, couldn't cut it as business
owners in the decorated-apparel industry. After all, McCauley
- an elementary school teacher in Boston at the time - had an
affinity for art, and had worked in a screen-printing shop since
age 16 and through college. Dost, who had taken a sales job in
Chicago, always envisioned owning a small business and had
worked at various local hardware shops in high school and college.
To top it off, both knew they had the strong work ethic to
be successful.

Online stores have been a
vital part of Sandlot Sports'
team sales, especially during
peak sports seasons.
P.34

i m p r e s s i o n s m a g . c o m APRIL 2018

Sandlot Sports has
grown to three locations,
including an 18,000square-foot production
facility in Saginaw
Township, Michigan.

Rather, the advice against shedding their jobs to take the plunge
as business owners was given because at the time, the country
was mired in its worst economic recession since the Great Depression. So starting a business when established companies were
closing their doors left and right wasn't considered a wise move.
To say McCauley and Dost encountered challenges during
the company's initial years would be putting it mildly."Some of
the early struggles were just finding business," McCauley recalls.
"We had no marketing budget. Social media wasn't as big as it
was today.We had a MySpace page and had to rely on word of
mouth to get people to know we existed."
Correcting Mistakes
Upon Sandlot Sports' grand opening, McCauley recalls the
co-owners engaging in a few business faux pas, such as waiting
for business to walk through the door instead of aggressively
pursuing orders, and engaging in price wars with established
local competitors.
"[These businesses] could sell shirts decorated at a price
that we couldn't buy them wholesale for," he says. "It was
really frustrating quoting apparel and losing by $2-$3 per
shirt, and feeling like we were missing something."
The duo decided to correct their laissez faire approach to
attracting customers by simply attending events with printed
shirts in tow to sell.The goal was to meet enough coaches, team
moms and players to spark interest in ordering team apparel.
Fixing the company's pricing approach proved equally
easy, as it required adopting a new philosophy. "When jobs
came down to price, we knew that it's bad business to be
the lowest in town," McCauley says. "That's the fastest way
out of business, so we decided to provide a reason for the
higher price. This is the service industry and we'd chalk up
the higher cost to the amount of service [customers] were
going to get from us."
Translation: Premium prices were accompanied by premium service.


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Impressions - April 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - April 2018

Impressions - April 2018
Contents
First Impressions
From the Show Director
Overheard
First Look
Scene at ISS
On Design
Changing Tides
Breakdown: Heat Transfers on a Hoodie
The Brand Boost
Pushing the Pedal in Purchasing
Shop Talk
Embroidery Production
Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Sublimation
Direct-To-Garment
Classifieds
Ad Index/Online Directory
Impressions - April 2018 - Intro
Impressions - April 2018 - CT1
Impressions - April 2018 - CT2
Impressions - April 2018 - Impressions - April 2018
Impressions - April 2018 - Cover2
Impressions - April 2018 - 1
Impressions - April 2018 - Contents
Impressions - April 2018 - 3
Impressions - April 2018 - 4
Impressions - April 2018 - 5
Impressions - April 2018 - First Impressions
Impressions - April 2018 - 7
Impressions - April 2018 - From the Show Director
Impressions - April 2018 - 9
Impressions - April 2018 - Overheard
Impressions - April 2018 - 11
Impressions - April 2018 - 12
Impressions - April 2018 - 13
Impressions - April 2018 - 13A
Impressions - April 2018 - 13B
Impressions - April 2018 - First Look
Impressions - April 2018 - 15
Impressions - April 2018 - Scene at ISS
Impressions - April 2018 - 17
Impressions - April 2018 - 18
Impressions - April 2018 - On Design
Impressions - April 2018 - Changing Tides
Impressions - April 2018 - 21
Impressions - April 2018 - 22
Impressions - April 2018 - 23
Impressions - April 2018 - Breakdown: Heat Transfers on a Hoodie
Impressions - April 2018 - 25
Impressions - April 2018 - The Brand Boost
Impressions - April 2018 - 27
Impressions - April 2018 - 28
Impressions - April 2018 - 29
Impressions - April 2018 - Pushing the Pedal in Purchasing
Impressions - April 2018 - 31
Impressions - April 2018 - 32
Impressions - April 2018 - 33
Impressions - April 2018 - Shop Talk
Impressions - April 2018 - 35
Impressions - April 2018 - Embroidery Production
Impressions - April 2018 - 37
Impressions - April 2018 - 38
Impressions - April 2018 - Screen Printing Graphics & Design
Impressions - April 2018 - 40
Impressions - April 2018 - 41
Impressions - April 2018 - Sublimation
Impressions - April 2018 - 43
Impressions - April 2018 - 44
Impressions - April 2018 - Direct-To-Garment
Impressions - April 2018 - 46
Impressions - April 2018 - 47
Impressions - April 2018 - 48
Impressions - April 2018 - Ad Index/Online Directory
Impressions - April 2018 - 50
Impressions - April 2018 - Cover3
Impressions - April 2018 - Cover4
Impressions - April 2018 - IH1
Impressions - April 2018 - IH2
Impressions - April 2018 - IH3
Impressions - April 2018 - IH4
Impressions - April 2018 - IH5
Impressions - April 2018 - IH6
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201808
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/impressions/201805
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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
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_eco_2009fall
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_teamspirit_2009fall
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nielsen/impressions_20091112
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