Bottom Line Up Front: Find out how Moose My Shirt uses InkSoft stores to stay connected with their local community and run an agile operation.
Anyone who runs a small business knows it’s essential to have all the right tools to make your job as easy and efficient as possible. That’s especially true if you’re running a print shop as a one-person operation with occasional help. For Sarah Risser, owner of Waukesha, Wisconsin-based Moose My Shirt, having all the right resources to deliver customer orders on time has been crucial since day one.
Sarah’s first entrance into the custom printed merch world came when her daughter’s golf team needed custom-printed pants.
“My husband had just been laid off from working 15+ years at a major insurance company, and we decided to jump in both feet first and purchase a manual screen printing press,” says Sarah.
After printing pants for the golf team, she says Moose My Shirt saw promise in taking on more decoration methods. The business started offering rhinestone decoration, heat transfer vinyl, and sublimation and has continued to grow since then.
Moose My Shirt started using InkSoft Stores about a year ago, and Sarah says she’s already noticed plenty of positive changes. Previously, she would set up new websites for customers, which connected with a new email for every store they opened.
“It got to be way too much to handle, so I started talking with some of my colleagues to see what they were using and what they liked,” Sarah says. She met with several companies but says InkSoft was the only platform she tried that didn’t take a cut of store sales.
“I love that it is flat-fee based, so I know exactly what I can expect each month,” says Sarah.
Currently, Moose My Shirt runs several InkSoft-powered customer stores, ranging from local elementary schools and team sports to car clubs and lifestyle brands.
Finding light in tragedy
Not long after Sarah started ramping up business with InkSoft Stores, the Waukesha community suffered a tragedy in late 2021. The driver of an SUV drove through the city’s annual Christmas parade, killing six people and injuring more than 60 others. Sarah says that the number of people affected and the situation’s intensity left the city with a significant need for support for the victims, their families, and the ongoing expenses.
“With the tools InkSoft provides, I was able to put together a T-shirt campaign in an online store and start taking orders with proceeds benefiting the victims and community in less than 24 hours,” Sarah explains. “There’s no way I could have handled the setup that quickly, nor the order volume from that campaign without the tools InkSoft provides.”
Sarah says she continues to use that store and has added more products and designs to the collection. The storefront has become an active platform for her to donate thousands of dollars to her community.
Keeping it local
Moose My Shirt has continued to grow every year, and the addition of InkSoft stores has helped push the growth onward and upward, Sarah says. She’s continued growing without falling behind on orders or having to bring on lots of extra help.
“I am generally a one-man show, so having everything from job quotes, estimates, order taking, processing, production planning, and tracking through InkSoft has helped keep me on track to ensure each deadline is met,” she notes. “Occasionally, my kids help in the shop, and when they do, it is great they know exactly where to go in InkSoft to jump right in on any job.”
And that functionality, she says, has been bolstered by support for any questions she has for InkSoft.
“From the sales team to my personal account executive, it all set me up for immediate success,” she explains. “Having that initial training is a MUST for anyone starting with a new system, and InkSoft made that a priority. Being able to hit the ground running with a brand new system is imperative.”
As the business continues to bring on customers and set up new online stores, Sarah says Moose My Shirt has also seen some exciting expansion in recent weeks. Earlier this month, the company opened a larger facility on Main Street in Waukesha. And picking a location on the main street wasn’t just a coincidence.
“I want to stay close within this community where we’ve all been brought closer together with the recent tragedy, stand together, stand tall, and stand proud,” says Sarah.
Moose My Shirt has also used its web stores to support other community causes, including a Pride collection with various apparel and stickers showing messages of support.
And the shop runs a Waukesha 365 collection, branded as “A T-shirt lineup for the community, by the community.” The collection features new designs based on user-submitted photos from around the city.
Time for everything
Sarah says she measures the success at Moose My Shirt by order volume, business growth, and how much time she’s saved. That time savings benefited the business, but it also helped her family’s quality of life.
“Family is huge to me, and we’ve always made it a point to do a family dinner every night,” she says. “I have been able to make it home in time for dinners A LOT more often than I ever have before.”
Sarah’s husband has since returned to the workforce, but she continues to run Moose My Shirt with the same enthusiasm and excitement she had when they started with that first job of printed golf pants. Being able to bring smiles to customers’ faces with decorated apparel makes it all worth it, she says.
For more information on Moose My Shirt, visit https://moosemyshirt.com/moosemyshirt/shop/home.
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