SubliStuff - All the stuff about sublimation that's fit to print
25th Jun 14

change ahead 2When EnMart first became a company,  in late 2007,   we had one plan,  to supply the best thread,  stabilizer and other embroidery products to the commercial embroidery marketplace.   Fast forward to today,  and some six and a half years (give or take) since EnMart began,  what we do and what we are has changed.   We now sell sublimation supplies.   We sell quilt thread and FabricMaker and are looking at expanding into other quilting related items.    We are exploring new markets and encountering new customer types and the simple site that started it all is beginning to need a bit of an upgrade.

In the next few months we will be making upgrades and changes to our website.  If you want the quick version of what we’re doing,  here are the bullet points:

  • EnMart is splitting the store in two.
  • One site is for businesses, and the other for everyone else.
  • Businesses must use a login, and get custom pricing.
  • Everyone else can buy from us now from the public site.
  • If you already have a login you can still use it.
  • Always go to www.myenmart.com and choose the login option that applies to you.
  • If you are a business and don’t have a login, you need to contact us to get one.
  • If you are not a business, you can shop with or without logging in.

Log-ins will still be required for all customers checking out,   but you will only need to log-in before shopping if you are a customer who is eligible for special pricing.  The front end log-in option will be implemented soon.  Pricing structures will be put in place some time after the log-in option goes live.  You can find a complete description of the changes we’re making and the reasons behind them on our FAQ page.

Making these changes  will benefit everyone involved.    The log-in and customer category functions will make sure that every customer receives the proper pricing for their type.    It will also allow a wider group of customers to purchase from EnMart which means some people who were previously turned away will now be able to buy.   This structure will also help us ensure that we’re not trespassing on the territories of any customers who buy from us to sell to the end user.    The changes will also allow us to keep everything on one site, instead of having different sites aimed at different categories of customer, which would have gotten confusing for everyone.

As always, we encourage you to offer us your feedback about these changes.   You can comment on this post, send an email to info at myenmart dot com, leave a message on our Facebook page, send us a message on Twitter or call us and let us know what you think. We appreciate any feedback you can give us, and it will certainly be considered as we move forward with these changes.


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9th Jun 14

mailing listWhy is EnMart sending you email? Are we spamming you? Did we buy a list? We get these questions sometimes, so we thought it was time to explain ourselves, and let you know why you just might want to keep on receiving the messages we send.

EnMart, as a rule, sends out three types of email messages. They are:

  1. Order confirmations/updates, sent out automatically by our online store
  2. Direct correspondence, such as quotes, information, notifications, questions, or answers
  3. Mass emails, such as special offers, sales, or other general information

For the purposes of this post, we are addressing the third type of email.

First off, we would like to emphatically state that we do NOT buy lists to send mass emails. We don’t like those kinds of emails either. Our emails are ONLY sent to three groups of people. Those who have:

  1. Placed an order with us at some point in time in the past
  2. Attended one of the trade shows where we exhibited
  3. Indicated in some other way such as via our Facebook signup page that they are interested in receiving our emails.

A lot of people don’t realize it, but when you attend a trade show, somewhere in the papers you sign or in the information you receive is a statement that you are giving permission to the exhibitors to contact you via email. After all, that’s one of the main purposes of a trade show – to connect vendors with existing and potential customers.

Trade shows are mutually beneficial. As a customer, you want to find new products and vendors, information, or meet with your current suppliers. As an exhibitor and vendor, we want to meet with you, our customers, and we want to gain new ones. Sending emails out to trade show attendees can sometimes reach people we missed, or people who may have stopped by and forgot about it.

As an advertising medium, email lets us keep costs low and also offer occasional discounts, product offerings, or other potential benefits to you. Since mass email and social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc.) are the ONLY methods EnMart uses to notify you of these special offers, if you are not following us or receiving our emails, you will miss that limited time free shipping offer, or the % discount, etc.

We’re not machines auto-emailing you. We are real people, and if you reply to any of our emails, you will reach a real live person and not one of those “do not reply” mailboxes that drops your message in to a bottomless black hole. We do our best to keep the number of emails down to a minimum of around 1-2 per month. If you don’t want to receive them, it is very easy to stop them and we honor your unsubscribe requests.

We use Constant Contact to send out all mass emails, and there are very strict rules that we must adhere to. All these emails have a very convenient “Safe Unsubscribe” link at the bottom. With a few clicks you can unsubscribe from any or all of our lists, and we’ll never email that email address again. We couldn’t even if we wanted to – Constant Contact prevents it. In fact, if you later want to start receiving emails from us again, you’d have to either go back to Constant Contact and change your settings, or come up with a new email address.

While we do make every effort to reasonably target our potential audience with relevant email content, it can appear to be a bit of a shotgun approach at times, and you may receive something that doesn’t pertain to you personally. For those emails, we apologize and beg your indulgence.

Sincerely,

The EnMartians


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16th May 14

5 reasons filmEvery once in a while I like to do a sort of list or round-up post where I compile some information or industry resources I think are helpful.   On the Embroidery Talk Blog,  it’s called the Friday Blog Round-Up.    I’m not sure if the same sort of post will be as regular here, or will get its own name,  but I thought it might be useful to include some links to helpful information I’ve found.

First up,  for those who are interested in sublimation for schools,  you may want to download Sawgrass Ink’s “Making Money in the School Market“.    This marketing plan can give you tips on how to grow your school sales.  Schools can be a fertile ground for all kinds of decoration,  so it’s definitely worth downloading this book.

Second on the docket is a video,  also from Sawgrass,  about how to download and use Unisub templates.   For those who don’t know,  Unisub makes a number of products for sublimation,  and the templates they provide are very useful.    If you just want access to the templates themselves,  you can find them on Unisub’s website.

Third on the docket,  we have what we call the “Dye Sublimators Bible“,   which can be downloaded from EnMart’s website.   This comprehensive guide covers all aspects of sublimation,  and gives you information on sublimating various kinds of materials and products.   It’s a very useful basic primer on the art of sublimation.

Fourth at bat,  if you’ve ever purchased any of our Mates products – you may find this helpful.   It’s some sublimation tips from Rowmark,  the maker of the Mates products.     You can download basic sublimation tips for Mates or troubleshooting Mates printing.

Fifth,  some tips for startup sublimation from Printwear Magazine.  I have to confess I wrote these,  and my favorite is the first one,  since it addresses a concern I hear often.    The reality is that you will screw up while sublimating at some point.   Make your peace with that and don’t let it put you off trying sublimation entirely.

 


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12th Feb 14

PD4-IconThose of you who sublimate are most likely familiar with the Sawgrass PowerDriver print and color management solution.   Sawgrass has now announced that a new version of the software,  Version 4,  is now available.    The new software is now available for both the Ricoh SG 3110DN and Ricoh SG 7100DN inkjet printers.

Version 4 of the software was developed after input from resellers and end users.   The new version is designed to improve the end user experience  and offers a higher level of performance.   The goal was to provide a product that supplied desired options and functions while still being easy to use.

PowerDrive Version 4 offers a variety of new functions that will be helpful to the end user.   These include:

 

  • Faster and easier installation
  • A simpler user interface
  • Advanced color controls
  • Pre-sets for common products
  • Pre-sets that can be customized by individual users
  • RGB color palettes for spot color matching
  • Multi-language versions and support

This new version of the software also contains a Resources Tab,  which provides link to helpful portions of the Sawagrass Ink website.   Through this tab you can access Technical Support,  Sawgrass Education,   and the Sawgrass website itself.


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21st Jan 14

We all know that personalization is a trend that never dies.  People like giving their possessions individuality,  and adding names or miphone-5-black-rubber-usa-3onograms or a picture that has special significance is one way to do that.    When it comes to mobile phones  which,  less face it,  are pretty bland and boring right out of the box,  the way to add individuality is with a personalized case.   If you’re a company selling sublimation,   this could be an entirely new market for you,  provided you can get the blank product at the right price.   Fortunately,  EnMart is here to help you with that.

We are proud to offer rubber iPhone 5 cases for sublimation. Instead of being made of hard plastic,  like most cases, these iPhone 5 sublimation cases are made of durable, flexible black rubber that is comfortable to hold.    These cases are also anti-micobial.  They also have pre-applied adhesive with an easy to remove backing paper, and come with one high quality gloss white sublimation metal insert.  Instructions for pressing and a template for creating artwork are available on our website.

The cases are for the iPhone 5,  but may be compatible with other phones as well.   If you would like a test sample,  please contact us.   We would be happy to provide a sample upon request.

 


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15th Jan 14

heartsIt’s already the middle of January and, before you know it,  Valentine’s Day will be staring you in the face.    Roses are traditional,  candy is dandy,   and jewelry or a heartfelt card may do the job,   but a special Valentine’s gift is something more personal.   Something,  if you choose, sublimated with a favorite photo or saying.   Something that’s clearly meant only for the recipient,  not mass produced in a factory.   Something, perhaps,  like the items below.

Call upon your Valentine’s individuality – Phones are the new place to display a little style and individuality,  and a sublimated iPhone case will let your Valentine do just that.   Instructions for personalizing the iPhone cases we sell are included on our website.

Keep memories and valuables close -  If you do plan to give jewelry this Valentine’s Day,  what better way to present it than in a personalized jewelry box?   You should also keep in mind that the boxes don’t have to contain jewelry.   Use a bigger keepsake box and collect favorite photos or mementos of special times together for a unique and special Valentine’s gift.

Give your Valentine the business – Maybe I’m the only one who thinks this,  but I’ve always thought business card holders were kind of classy.   For those with Valentine’s who are starting a new job or a first job,  a personalized business card holder would be a thoughtful gift.

Cook up some romance – Sometime the best Valentine’s gift is one that is both useful and attractive.   Now,  I’m not recommending a vacuum cleaner or something like that,   but a personalized cutting board or a set of plates sublimated with a special design might help turn up the heat a bit.

 Book some time for love – As a lifelong reader and book lover,  I always enjoy gifts that center around my love of reading.   I have a few personalized bookmarks that I use frequently.    I’m always on the lookout for that perfect bag to carry to used bookstores.  If you have a bookworm in your life,  a gift that celebrates their love of the written word may be just the thing.

Don’t forget,  Valentine’s Day can be profitable for sublimation businesses as well.   Keep this list of Valentine’s Day gift ideas handy, and share it with customers when they contact you.    Most people will pay well for a unique, personalized gift,  so don’t be afraid to suggest something unique for your customers’ Valentine’s Day celebrations.

 


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3rd Jan 14

customer service blocksWhen you ask someone why they buy from a particular company,  the answer you get may involve the selection of products a company carries,  or the fact that they offer low prices,  or perhaps the mention of a location that is conveniently close.   Different customers will make purchases for different reasons,  but one reason that many customers may not mention,  but which can do a lot toward making a customer devoted or departed,  is customer service.

If you are looking to improve your company’s customer service in 2014,  I’d like to share some things we’ve learned about good customer service as EnMart has grown.    Our goal is always to provide timely responses,  to make sure that the customer is satisfied and to help our customers learn and expand their own businesses.    Here are some reasons why we have these goals and some explanation of how we strive to meet them.

Tip 1:  Any response is better than no response,  but a timely response is best:  During normal business hours,  most inquiries about EnMart products and services are replied to within a few hours and some are handled within minutes.   On weekends and holidays the responses may take a bit longer, but we still try to make them as prompt as possible.  One comment we consistently get from our customers is “you responded to my question so fast”!  Quick responses allow your customers to get on with their business more quickly and also let them know you care about their questions and want to help. Even if you have to say no or cannot help with their request,  a timely response that says so and allows the customer to move on is better than no response at all.

Tip 2: Sometimes customers just need to vent:  An angry customer is often angry because something wasn’t as they expected and that’s thrown off plans they had for getting a job done and satisfying their customer.    Often,  in these situations,  the best thing you can do is just let the customer blow off a little steam.   This helps you understand what the dilemma is and can also possibly present you with a solution that will satisfy both parties.

Tip 3:  Share what you know:   Some people treat knowledge as a zero sum game,  thinking if they share what they know competitors will seize that knowledge and steal customers and market share.  In reality,  this rarely happens.   Sharing what you know can help build a customer base for your business and also help you form relationships within your community.    Your knowledge and expertise can have great value to someone just starting out or someone who is trying to learn something new.   Taking a moment to share what you know can have huge benefits for both those that learn from you and for you.

 

 


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30th Dec 13

happy new year 3EnMart will be closed Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday January 1 in honor of the New Year’s Holiday.

We will return to work on Thursday, January 2, 2014. 

All orders placed on Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday, January 1 will be shipped when we return on Thursday, January 2.

Happy New Year and here’s to a prosperous and creative 2014!


27th Dec 13

sublimation blanks. jpgWhen most of us think of sublimation – we probably think of coffee mugs or t-shirts,  which are great items and which can bring in a nice profit,  but which are kind of limiting if that’s all that you do.   The fun thing about sublimation is that there are a number of products that can be sublimated,  some of which can be made into unique gifts or souvenirs.  If you’ve been stuck in a coffee mug or corporate polo shirt rut,  make 2014 the year that you investigate some additional things you can sublimate.   Here are some ideas to help you get started.

Many people put time and effort into creating the perfect kitchen,  and accent pieces can be the ideal way to complete a decorating scheme.    Sublimated cutting boards offer the option of monograms or scenic views,  as well as protection for counters and other surfaces.     Use sublimated tiles to create a backsplash behind a sink or a border along the edge of a counter.    You could also offer unique sublimated place mats that compliment the decor of the room,  are easy to clean off, and which protect fragile table linens.    These placemats can also double as message boards, so that grocery list is easy to write.

Pets are another area where sublimated items can be big sellers.   All pet owners want their pet identified in case of loss,  so sublimated pet tags can be a great seller.     Personalized pet bowls are also a fun idea,   and can help separate Fido’s food bowl from Fluffy’s.    Another big area of animal related products is patches and decals for service dogs and search and rescue animals.  Blank patches which you sublimate can allow you entry into that market.

You should also remember not to neglect the gift and souvenir market.  Jewelry boxes with scenes from well known landmarks in your area can make great keepsake boxes.    Collaborate with local vendors to create boxes that showcase local food items or crafts for a one of a kind souvenir.    Puzzles are another great option when it comes to preserving a scenic view.  Personalized puzzles are even more fun,  offer to put a favorite vacation photo on a puzzle and preserve a memory forever.

The main thing to remember is that there are a number of items out there which can be sublimated,  your job is to find them and figure out how to sell them to your target market.   Money is out there waiting to be made.  Why shouldn’t it end up in your bank account?


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23rd Dec 13

christmasWe wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.

EnMart will be closed on Tuesday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 25, 2013 for the Christmas holiday.   We will reopen on Thursday, December 26, 2013.

All orders placed on 12/24 – 12/25 will ship on Thursday, 12/26 when we resume normal operations.


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