Location: Northlake, Texas
Shop Size: 200 sq. ft.
Services: Heat transfer vinyl, direct-to-film, screen printing, embroidery, soft foam.
Customer base: Regional and National
- Finding an e-commerce platform with flexibility/customization and supplier integration.
- Implementing a better organization system since they wear all hats at the shop.
How InkSoft Helped:
- Provided a better solution for online customer stores and merch stores with easier customization and simpler product uploads.
- Production and order management tools made it easier to stay organized.
- Landed two significant accounts: a local ranch with big swag orders and the Texas chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving as customers.
- Went from 10 regular customers to 75 consistent InkSoft customer stores since 2021.
- Moving to a larger facility next year thanks to continued growth.
Backstory: Dana and Becky Cardinas came into the decorated apparel business from very different backgrounds. Becky started in brick-and-mortar retail management, while Dana previously worked as a podiatrist. In 2018 Dana was diagnosed with colon cancer and had to give up her practice to focus on her health. Thankfully, she beat cancer in 2019, and the duo started selling signage and other small printed goods at local craft fairs that year.
Since their early sign making days, the duo has grown into a successful print shop that offers the whole gamut of decoration services to Texans and customers nationwide. They’ve also become experts at e-commerce by running customer merchandise stores. And they’re currently running more than 70 online stores for those customers through InkSoft.
Being a two-person business might mean your team is small, but there’s always room to do big things. That’s certainly the case for Dana and Becky Cardinas. The couple co-manages One Stop Promotions, Becky is the owner, and they have been in the custom printed merchandise industry since 2019.
The couple started far outside the decorated apparel and promotional products industry but learned quickly and have since built up a bustling business. Dana is a former podiatrist, and Becky comes from the brick-and-mortar retail management world. In 2018, a major curveball had the duo reconsidering their options. Dana was diagnosed with colon cancer, forcing her to retire from her practice.
“After I got the diagnosis, that really shifted our focus,” she points out. The couple decided to explore other business outlets as Dana focused on managing her health.
Thankfully, Dana beat cancer in 2019, and the duo decided to make the jump into printing small signage and selling it to local customers at craft fairs. While they built up their reputation for their signage and other small printed goods, Dana says their favorite local Mexican restaurant approached them to print T-shirts for their business.
“They initially asked us for five shirts, so I started with a Cricut and a small heat press,” she says. “Soon after, they ordered 25 shirts.”
The restaurant wasn’t the only business impressed with the work. Word-of-mouth started growing Becky, and Dana’s reputation as customers would file into the restaurant, and people would ask where their shirts were made.
Ramping it up
With more jobs trickling in, the couple invested in an equipment lineup from STAHLS’ in mid-2019 and started teaching themselves CorelDraw. Luckily, even with the onset of the pandemic in 2020, Dana says One Stop Promotional Products already had the gears in place to keep serving customers, despite looming challenges.
“Literally, the day before lockdown, I purchased an iColor printer,” says Dana. “The pandemic didn’t necessarily slow us down because we worked with landscapers, and they were busier than they’d ever been.”
The couple worked steadily through 2020 to add more clients and eventually visited trade shows once the world started getting back to semi-normal, connecting with more vendors and learning about equipment. In 2021, One Stop Promotional Products signed onto InkSoft, and Dana says that move helped strengthen an already solid business.
The couple had been looking for a flexible way to set up online stores for their customers, and until they started using InkSoft, Dana says they hadn’t found the right match. Now, she can quickly edit layouts, add and remove products, and pull in products from suppliers like SanMar and Delta Apparel.
“These days, all I need is your logo to set up an online store, and we’re off and running,” Dana says.
One of Dana’s most significant growth metrics since starting with InkSoft is One Stop’s customer volume. Before InkSoft, she says they had around 10 regular customers. Since 2021, the shop now runs 75 consistent customer stores and manages countless proposals with the platform.
“Now, I’m not taking time out of a customer’s day if they need to take care of their customers since everything is online,” she explains. “InkSoft made things so much faster so we could get proposals out faster and get stores up fast.”
The shop has also landed two major accounts; Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) Texas Chapter and a local ranch that taps the shop for swag bags and giveaway goods.
“MADD switched to us for all their event shirts and walks, and we’re creating the store for people who are participating,” says Dana. “We’re also doing a merch store because they don’t have a MADD Texas merch store. We can give them something they never could do before.”
A more extensive customer base isn’t the only growth metric One Stop has seen in recent times. Dana says the business has outgrown its walls, and next year they’ll be moving from their current 200-square-foot location to a larger 20 X 30-foot building.
“InkSoft is a phenomenal tool that helps us get orders out and function daily,” she contends.
When asked what her favorite part of being in the industry is, Dana says she loves building custom merch bundles for customers and offering them products they might not have even considered before.
“We’re always looking for the best product,” she says. “That might not always be the cheapest option. If you want the cheapest, I’ll give it to you, but we still may not be what you’re looking for. We look for valuable and unique products.”
And at the end of the day, Dana says she wants herself, Becky, and the customer to walk away from every transaction as an enjoyable experience.
“If you didn’t have fun working with us, there’s something wrong,” she states. “We make it right the first time and make sure you love it.” For more information about One Stop Promotional Products, visit www.onestoppromotionalproducts.com.
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