Bottom Line Up Front: Dylan Gilligan, owner of Upstate Merch, is using his technical expertise and his commitment to starting authentic conversation to put together a podcast. Upstate Podcast will feature different industry experts — and a whole lot of unfiltered real-talk. We break it down below.

Upstate Merch is a screen printing and merchandising company located in Upstate New York — Whitney Point, specifically — and believe us when we say, they’re one of the best.

From their commitment to staying on top of the most innovative screen printing techniques to their obsession with excellent customer service and community building, the whole Upstate Merch team knows their way around delivering the goods.

So, when owner (and InkSoft customer) Dylan Gilligan decided to put together a podcast specifically targeting the decorated apparel industry, we didn’t waste any time getting involved.

The Host

Gilligan founded Upstate Merch back in 2009, and since then he’s been performing — and impressing customers — at top speed.

His team is known for everything from their screen printing and embroidery skills to their killer graphic design capabilities — and their use of fundraising stores, especially in current times, have been getting quite a bit of attention to.

Since Gilligan opened up shop, his biggest aim has stayed the same: to deliver the highest quality at the most reasonable price points, and to make sure his customers are thrilled with the results — every time.

Those customers, ranging from bands, Youtube celebrities, and comedians to businesses, schools, and nonprofits, are all (obviously) looking for different designs and goods. But for Upstate Merch, a screen printer that’s known for its versatility, that’s never been a problem.

When it comes to the decorated apparel industry, Gilligan was never interested in keeping his expertise of and passion for the craft to himself. He wanted to share with his screen printing peers — and he wanted to learn from them, too.

When he first joined Instagram — his favorite social media platform — he was struck by how easy it was to build community. He followed other print shops and some current customers — in about an 80/20 split — and he didn’t shy away from starting conversations.

In an article teaching newcomers how to use Instagram to their advantage, Gilligan wrote: “Say something constructive. It’s called social media for a reason. Become part of the community.”

If you ask us, Upstate Merch reaching 23.9k followers was all but inevitable. With the team’s insight into the craft and Gilligan’s penchant for opening dialogues and connecting with those around him, it was a sure bet.

Which is exactly what we think about the podcast, too.

The Pod

We know, we know, every guy and his cousin has a podcast these days. They’re everywhere, and most of them are pretty lame. But this podcast — Upstate Podcast — is not.

Here’s why.

At the baseline of everything Gilligan does is authenticity. From his printshop to his Instagram presence, his leadership to his products, he’s always been dedicated to cutting through the bull. That’s how he’s built his business and his social media — because customers (and followers) can feel it.

They can feel his commitment to keeping it real, and they can feel how he’s genuinely interested in helping them out. Teaching them something new. And inviting them into the conversation.

The Upstate Podcast is a continuation of that authenticity — but pulled onto a stage where other industry leaders are present. And not just present, but sharing with and learning from each other, in one giant, easygoing, funny conversation.

Each podcast episode is an easy listen, a fun listen, but also an important listen. Because you won’t just feel like you want to be friends with Gilligan and his guests — you’ll feel like you want to learn from them.

And this industry is nothing without us learning from each other.

That’s why InkSoft is such an excited sponsor of the show. We’re of course anxiously awaiting the technical topics discussed by all the screen printers, graphic designers, and other industry professionals that stop by — but we’re also anxiously awaiting the authenticity.

The unfiltered conversations.

And the community building that is bound to come of it.

We’ve been fans of Gilligan for a long time, so we can’t wait to become fans of his podcast now, too.

The Upstate Podcast. You can join us in subscribing on Apple or Spotify, you can find the episodes on Upstate Merch’s website, or you can search for them wherever you listen to podcasts.

We hope you enjoy it as much as we know we will!


Listen to the first episode featuring the hilarious and talented Grizzly Wheeler! We’ve commissioned Grizzly to create pins and patches for our team so we can vouch for the killer merch he creates!