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31 March 2014 ~ 0 Comments

How to Design a 5K T-shirt Runners Love

Tufts 10K Race for Women

Sorting laundry last weekend, I had barely enough whites to constitute a load. I went scrounging around the house, searching for a errant sock or other white item to add to the pile. “Don’t I have any white t-shirts to wash?!”, I puzzled. Working here at BlueCotton, a purveyor of fine custom t-shirts, you can imagine I have quite a few t-shirts in my wardrobe.

After much opening and shutting of drawers, much shifting of stacks, unfolding and refolding, the result was clear. I counted exactly eight white t-shirts in my collection- all free giveaway t-shirts from various charity walks and events. I keep these shirts because they are from a cause close to my heart, but I rarely wear them.

What is the purpose of the charity t-shirt? Why do they represent the bottom of my drawer even though I support and identify with the cause? How can we improve the charity event t-shirts’ standing? Can they be top-drawer material? If so, how do we get them there? Click here for answers to these burning questions…

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03 December 2013 ~ 1 Comment

How To Buy Gifts for the Whole Family in 30 Minutes or Less

I admire the brave souls who dive into the fray of Black Friday shopping. I salute your dedication to finding a great gift for a great price. I’m here today for the rest of you, who like to stay home and shop. Last year, I secured gifts for everyone on my list at one place, with one transaction! Not only was the process easy, these gifts are personal, thoughtful and just may be the best I’ve ever given.

Instead of trying to dream up the perfect gift for many different individuals with varied tastes, I decided to order a dozen custom t-shirts for my dad’s side of the family.

coin-shirtMy grandfather was a coal miner, and my father and his nine brothers and sisters grew up in a coal mining camp in Coalgood, Kentucky. I found a picture online of the tokens that the coal mining company minted to pay wages to their employees. I selected the $20 token with “Mary Helen Coal Corporation” stamped on it. I uploaded the photo and placed in squarely on the t-shirt. I chose a charcoal grey t-shirt to compliment the coppery-bronze patina of the token. Once the design was perfected, I selected each family member’s size and made the purchase.

The custom t-shirts were a huge hit. The token printed on the t-shirts was a piece of my family’s collective history, and had meaning for each of them. We sat together after opening gifts and talked about their childhood.

My dad remembered using these coins to ride the bus into town and to buy a movie ticket at the Margie Grand Theater. My aunt remembered buying her first pair of new shoes at the Mary Helen Coal commissary with these tokens. Almost-forgotten stories of childhood were shared by my uncles. Some of these were heard for the first time by grandchildren. These were not only the easiest gifts I selected and purchase, they are easily the most “talked-about” presents I ever gave.

Here at BlueCotton, we’re dedicated to making things easy. The easier it is for you, the more we like it. Would you believe you can take care of everyone on your list in one fell swoop, and give them a unique gift they will remember? You can, and I’ll show you in 5 easy steps how it’s done.

1. Think about your extended family. I know it’s all-at-once painful and hilarious – like hitting your funny bone, but do it anyway. Do you have a nifty story in your ancestry that would translate well to a t-shirt design? Mike Coffey (our CEO) has a family-owned gas station in his history. My maternal great-grandfather once owned a motel. Any kind of business works well on a t-shirt, and makes for great storytelling when you’re with the family. Better yet, invent one! Does your family like coffee? You could create a Coffee House with your last name – or a Hunting Lodge, or a Ski Resort, or a Drag Strip. The possibilities here are endless – whatever fictional business or activity would appeal to your family works perfectly.

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2. Go to BlueCotton.com and start your design! You can use our clip art archives, or upload photos of your own. Do you have a picture of great-great-great-great Grandpa Chester? Upload that old photo of him with his Model-T and share it with everyone on a t-shirt. Family trees also make for great designs. Maybe you can finally figure out how you’re related to that cousin twice removed. Enlist assistance from other family members to fill in the blanks.

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3. Once your design is ready for prime time, you can begin adding your sizes. Refer to your list, and add sizes next to their name. Tally up the sizes and enter them in to the Design Studio.

4. Checkout! During checkout, you may add additional shirts in another color, or another style. If you’d like a different color of shirt for Aunt Clara who strongly dislikes the green shirt you’ve chosen, you can add your design to a different color or different style while still enjoying the bulk pricing. See? I told you we like to make things easy.

5. Your order arrives! All your presents arrive together, and you never once had to stand in a line. You simply open the box, unfold them and wrap them. You could even take the easy way out by dropping them in those fancy printed bags, stuffing tissue paper in the top (or not), and slapping a tag on each one.

6. Be the hero and give a thoughtful family-themed custom t-shirt that they’ll remember!

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18 September 2013 ~ 0 Comments

Funny Slogans for Family Reunion T-shirts

Funny Slogans for Family Reunion T-Shirts

Whether you see your extended family regularly or not-so-regularly – family reunions are your best opportunity to meet the second cousins you never knew you had. Whether you’re having a casual barbeque at a local park or a multi-day reunion – the budget for food, decorations and activities can be supplemented by selling custom t-shirts to family members who plan on attending the event. Other mementos like custom family reunion tote bags, hats or drinkware can also help cover the expenses associated with organizing a family reunion.

With everything else on your plate, we knew you may not have time to think of a clever one-liner to describe your family, so we’ve collected eleven of the funniest slogans for family reunion t-shirts below to help get you started!

1. “Trying to relate to the people I’m related to.”
2. “Families are like fudge… mostly sweet, with lots of nuts!”
3. “Remember, as far as anyone knows we are a normal family.”
4. “I survived the (name) family reunion.”
5. “Reunion survivor”
6. “Nuts make the family tree worth shaking”
7. “We put the FUN in dysfunctional!”
8. “Why be normal when you could be a (name)?”
9. “I went to the (name) family reunion and all I got was this (adjective) t-shirt!
10. “We are the people your mom warned you about.”
11. “It’s a (name) thing, you just wouldn’t understand.”

And there you have it! A handful of perfect one-liners for your upcoming event! What line would you use to describe your family? Let us know!

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16 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

The Skinny on Mickey’s Yogurt

mickey'syogurtlogo

This week we’ve got the skinny on Mickey’s Yogurt, an honest-to-goodness family-owned frozen yogurt shop in Clovis, California. Mickey and Daryl France are the owners. We spoke with Daryl about Mickey’s Yogurt and how custom t-shirts helped them before the doors even opened!

Tell us a little about Mickey’s Yogurt.

Mickey and I met on an Internet dating site over 4 years ago. When we met, Mickey shared his dream of one day owning a frozen yogurt business. I quickly climbed on board that yogurt train and we embarked on a quest to find a great location. As much as we looked, the right place just didn’t materialize. We live in Southern California and there are lots of frozen yogurts stores in the area.

Clovis, California seems like an interesting place. Why’d you choose Clovis?

My daughter lives in Clovis and a great location opened up and we grabbed it. Clovis is a town of about 100,000 people in the Central Valley area near Fresno. Mickey loves the cleanliness of the city and the way people take care of their homes. He says it shows that people really care about the town in which they live. We now live in Clovis part time.

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Mickey’s Yogurt truly is a family affair isn’t it?

We rolled up our sleeves after securing a location and got to work. Mickey handled dealing with the construction, I created the design and colors for the store and advertising. My daughter, Melisa Howell and her husband Paul Howell jumped in to help. Melisa handled the licenses and fees with the city, and Paul took care of anything technical, like wiring and utilities. Melisa is now the head manager of the store and Paul serves as the service manager. That’s where BlueCotton comes in! We knew we wanted a great design for the employee t-shirts. Our granddaughter Tiffany is an artist and student and created the t-shirt design. I sent her design over to my son Jared, who designs monsters for the film industry. He fine-tuned the design into the artwork seen on both our employee t-shirts and our promo tees.

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So you have employees t-shirts and promotional t-shirts, right?

Yes. In addition to the employees’ tees, we wanted to have a t-shirt to promote Mickey’s Yogurt. We planned to give out the tees on Opening Day. We ended up giving out tees to people applying for
jobs and people who were nice to us and before long all the t-shirts were gone. All 400 t-shirts! The tees helped generate a buzz around town. People started dropping by while we were painting and working on the store asking when Mickey’s Yogurt would be open! People keep asking if they can buy the promo t-shirts. One lady came in with her two young boys wearing their t-shirts. She told Mickey that they wear their shirts to school every day and she has to sneak them away to wash the shirts so they can keep wearing them.

So how was Opening Day?

Business opened with a bang on February 2nd of this year and has continued to do extremely well.

What are the most popular flavors of yogurt and toppings?

Favorite flavors are the traditional vanilla and chocolate. Customers say they like those flavors best because they can be mixed with any topping. The most popular toppings are the Reese’s Pieces, M & M’s and Cookie Dough. For the fruit toppings, the Strawberries are a clear front-runner. Mickey’s favorite yogurt flavors are Pistachio, Root Beer Float and Cherry Amaretto. I like the same flavors with Tart thrown in for good measure to have something a little less sweet.

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Daryl with a local school’s mascot!

If your team, club, organization or business would like to be featured in the BlueCotton blog, please email leann@bluecotton.com

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04 May 2012 ~ 0 Comments

We Assemble “The Avengers” T-shirt Roundup

“The Avengers” t-shirts have been assembled and rounded-up for today for you all you fanboys and fangirls from the far reaches of the internet universe. Feast your eyes!

Mike Scott at The Times-Picayune says it best: “A years-in-the-making comic book casserole, “The Avengers” teams up some of the Marvel Comics universe’s most iconic superheroes — along with some of its lesser-known ones — all in one big, fat, popcorn-devouring, world-saving package.

Directed by the amazing Joss Whedon (think Toy Story, Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, Dollhouse and Firefly – all of which he wrote, directed or both), The Avengers promises to be a action-packed, superhero-filled good time.

Check out a few of the t-shirts we found featuring “The Avengers” below.

Navy1st

Honorable

brown

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avengersassemble1

8bit

3rdplaceblack

2ndgrey

sleeves

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23 August 2011 ~ 0 Comments

How to Make a Word Cloud T-shirt

Word Clouds are an easy and visually appealing method of presenting text as an image. Word clouds weight the most frequently used words with a larger font, while less important words become smaller and provide a pleasing background and context to the image.

Word clouds are a great way to spice up your club’s t-shirt when you would like to include everyone’s name in the design. Instead of the predictable columns of names, a word cloud will scatter your member’s around the name of the club.

1. Head over to Wordle to create your word cloud. Paste your text (club roster, club name, school, words that describe the club) into the box. Enter the club name multiple times so it considers this the most important word and makes it the largest word in the cloud.

2. Take a snapshot of your word cloud and save it to your desktop.

3. Come back to the BlueCotton Design Studio and upload your wordle to a t-shirt.

TIPS:
1. Creating your word cloud in black and white at Worldle will allow you to change the color of the text in the BlueCotton Design Studio.

Easy-breezy! Check out a few of word cloud t-shirts I created below.

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