Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 22

Elite Team Supply's biggest
customer is Happy Hooker,
a small bait shop that sells
apparel near Lake Erie.

lot of respect in the industry, but your everyday customers don't necessarily care about
that. They want the cheapest price, period."
Elite Team Supply currently operates a
seven-color, 10-station ROQ , a HotRoqit
dryer (with plans to soon upgrade to a gas
dryer), a Vastex manual press and a Douthitt
exposure unit. They use Saati chemicals and
emulsions, and Synergy, Wilflex and Union
inks.
"We run all roller frames, thin-thread
mesh and Smiling Jack squeegees," Sharples
says. "For us, everything starts at pre-press.
We use three mesh counts: 150/45, 180/45
and 280/35 with, of course, a couple of specialty screens."

The Difference

What differentiates Elite Team Supply
is simple: a system focused on handling
difficult jobs. The company's unique
screen-making process allows for quick
set-up and profitable printing of more challenging orders, according to Sharples.
Regarding sustainable efforts, they put in
a filtration system for reclaiming and uses as
little spray tack as possible. "We re-use our
test shirts as rags, until it's no longer possible
to reduce our waste," he says.
Sharples finds extreme value in social
media platforms - especially for a
small business. Elite Team advertises on
Facebook, and Sharples recently started a
blog that has garnered attention.
"As we expand our market, social media is
going to be the driving force," Sharples says.
"It has allowed me to get to know people in
the industry, learn from them and network
with them. I'm planning to use LinkedIn
more this year."
Sharples admits that Elite Team's website
is the business' weakness, as it is currently
used only as a portfolio, contact page and
location for his blog. "We have always grown
by word of mouth, because our area was
small," he says. "But, as we grow, we need to
get better at promoting the site."
He adds that the shop's webstores have
been a huge driving force for success and
growth, particularly with schools and colleges outside of Ohio. Ordering is easy for
coaches and, since Elite Team Supply ships
directly to the parents and players, the process is even simpler.
22 * Spring 2017

A Bright Future

Sharples is looking to aggressively expand
his contract-printing business this year, taking on difficult jobs that others aren't willing
to tackle. Much of his focus will be on the
resort and outdoor markets.
Also on the docket are a bigger building
and more staff. Sharples wants to continue
to learn from others, and he is interested in
several educational avenues. Speaking at a
recent conferece motivated him to continue
along the path of educating others. He also
sees consulting in his future.
"There is a great group of up-and-coming
printers - younger guys who have really
revitalized the industry," he says. "It's up to
us to pass along the information that the top
printers have been gracious enough to pass
along to us. The coolest part of our industry

is that the guys you read about in magazines
or see at shows are so approachable and willing to help anyone out."
Sharples gives a warm shout out to several
who have helped him along the way, including Joe Clarke, Alan Howe, Greg Kitson,
Richard Greaves and Mark Coudray. "One
of the coolest things for me was when Lon
Winters and Andy Anderson became my
friends on Facebook," he says. "These are
guys I wanted to be like, and hopefully, oneday, can be."
Jennifer A. Morrell is an award-winning writer
who has written for a number of national consumer
and trade publications. To comment on this article, email Jennifer at jennmorrell@hotmail.com.



Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017

Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017
Contents
The Laser-Bridge Leap
The Recognition Business
Going For It
Gear Bag
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - Cover2
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 1
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - Contents
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 3
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 4
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 5
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - The Laser-Bridge Leap
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 7
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 8
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 9
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 10
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 11
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - The Recognition Business
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 13
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 14
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 15
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 16
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 17
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - Going For It
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 19
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 20
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 21
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 22
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - Gear Bag
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 24
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 25
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 26
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 27
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - 28
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - Cover3
Impressions - Team & Spirit Apparel - Spring 2017 - Cover4
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