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28 November 2013 ~ 0 Comments

In Honor of Black Friday: 9 Fantastic Shopping Fails and Pranks

BLACK FRIDAY

Black Friday, the most insane shopping day of the year, is just around the corner. While bargain-hunters are waiting in lines and stampeding through the aisles, some crazy, shocking, and hilarious things inevitably happen in the wake of the madness. Whether it be completely intentional pranks on unsuspecting employees and shoppers, or hilarious accidents caught on video, they’re all entertaining.

In honor of the mother of all shopping events, here are ten of our favorite videos showcasing some great shopping failures and pranks.

1. Looking for an Eye Removal Kit? Sure, we’ve got that! …somewhere.

2. Don’t let the lack of a third dimension stop you from shopping.

3. You might want to close the door before pulling away.

4. Want that last bargain, but someone already grabbed it? Just hire a toddler to burgle it for you!

5. You might want to consider adding some counterweight before attempting a shopping cart wheelie.

6. That chain is there for a reason, my friend.

7. Before you go Black Friday shopping, make you that you actually want to BUY something.

8. How come you never see insane lines outside the 99 cent store?

9. I’m so glad Target is stocking Gluten-Os again!

If you decide to brave the crowds in search of some amazing deals, please, be safe, be kind, and have fun! Do you have any funny or interesting Black Friday stories, images, or videos? If so, share them in the comments below!

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05 November 2013 ~ 0 Comments

How to Use Your Call of Duty: Ghosts Strategy to Sell T-shirts

5 Ways Call of Duty: Ghosts Strategy Helps Your T-shirt Line

The wait is over! The much-anticipated tenth installment of the franchise, Call of Duty: Ghosts, debuts today! If you’re a fan of Call of Duty, you know that strategy is everything, especially in the Xbox Live multiplayer environment. The t-shirt market is no different. Check out five ways to implement Call of Duty strategy in your real life to improve your t-shirt line.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Screenshot 01

1. You can start out on your own, but finding a small team of reliable comrades is critical to success. You can dive right in as a lone mercenary, but you’ll need some help to reach your brand’s potential. You may have a great idea for a t-shirt line, but lack the resources to take it to the next level. Recruit a diverse pool of soldiers. One of your soldiers may have a keen eye for design, while another calls in backup on promotional end of things. You only need one effective sniper. Too many snipers in the kitchen spoils the pot (or something.) Basically, everyone on your team should bring a complimentary skill set to the table. Every pair of boots you have on the ground should be evaluated and deployed based on his/her particular strengths.

Check out T-shirt Magazine’s “Essential Brand Startup Guide” for more in depth battle-plans.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Screenshot 2

2. Know the lay of the land. Nothing gets you killed quicker than not knowing where you are or where you are going. Determine where “the road less traveled” really lies, so you can roam undetected into enemy territory. Establish your brand HQ and hold your ground in social media. Find the overlooked markets and ignored population segments – there could be a ambush opportunity there. Learn where the hotspots (and hot designs) are, and set up camp. Anticipate where your competition will be in terms of designs, colors and styles next season so as to maneuver and outflank them.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Screenshot 03

3. Resist the urge to charge out into the open with guns a-blazing and no real strategy. I know you can hear the relentless rat-a-tat-tat of e-commerce just “over there” and you’re anxious to get in on the action. Cool your jets and investigate the situation. Do little reconnaissance first. Look around…where’s the fire coming from? Where are the “friendlies”? Research the kinds of shirts your market is buying…and from where. Toss a powerful t-shirt grenade around that corner first and then stride confidently into the room.

Artist, t-shirt designer and entrepreneur Steve Knerem wrote a fantastic three-part article on Starting Your Own Shirt Line. Part III is goes into some depth on gathering intel.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Screenshot 04

3. Start with a multi-range, multi-purpose weapon. Shoot for broad appeal within your target market. While there’s definitely a place for a specialty weapon (like a sniper-rifle or a tank-top), a more general weapon like a basic black t-shirt may serve you best in most situations. Again, research and strategy within the target market are key.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Screenshot 05

4. As you advance, choose your weapons strategically. Once you’ve established a foothold, it is best to start upgrading. Expand your arsenal to include long-range and short-range options. Add a tank top for summer or long sleeve shirt for fall. Offer a pullover hoodie during the holiday season.

Call of Duty: Ghosts - Screenshot 06

5. Know when to leave. We’ve all seen the greedy player that sets up shop surrounding himself by 3 claymores and successfully picks off 4-5 players from the same locale. If he doesn’t move out quickly and find a new spot to call home, things aren’t going to end well for him. Once you’ve bagged 3 or 4 killer shirts from the same design origin, you may want to slightly shift your creative direction to maintain your audience’s interest within your genre. Keep moving, keep evolving, stay alert and stay alive.

You’ve unlocked a perk! When in doubt, throw your t-shirt line to the dogs. Call of Duty’s favorite K-9, Riley, has some sweet battle gear. Once you have your market dialed in, consider adding a line of apparel for your customer’s four-legged friends.

- Leann loves a good FPS, and looks forward to the new mutliplayer gametypes in COD: Ghosts, including Cranked and Grind and forming a bot team in the new Squad feature. You can find her at Xbox Live Gamertag: XOliviaDunhamX.

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06 July 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Happy Trails to You: New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding

allchildren

I only knew half the story when I learned that New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding helps people with various disabilities ride horses. I simply was not aware of all the benefits of therapeutic riding. New Beginnings’ mission statement says it plainly: “NBTR serves those with behavioral, emotional, physical and mental disabilities through the power of horses.” New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding has been a faithful BlueCotton customer since 2005. We have had the privilege of printing t-shirts for the annual Horse Show and Ride-A-Thon events, as well as individual orders for staff and volunteers.

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When BlueCotton began following New Beginnings on Facebook, I began to understand that their mission goes well beyond “learning to ride.”
When I saw the video below, I realized that New Beginnings is bigger than their mission statement.

Ability from Wesley Bacon on Vimeo.

I began to understand all the ways that therapeutic riding enhances self esteem, builds trust and loyalty, enhances communication and social skills, all inside of great outdoor exercise. Wikipedia tells us:

A student who interacts with his or her horse may extend this interaction to others and form meaningful relationships with people. Building a relationship with an animal is very rewarding in many respects; for a person with an emotional, social or psychological disability, the trust and loyalty of an animal demonstrates to the student how important he or she is; they may then apply this newly-acquired self-esteem to personal relationships. A horse may also help a person feel in control of his or her situation, since in dealing with horses there is a direct relationship between action and reaction. To learn how to care for (and ride) a horse, a student must also be able to communicate effectively with both horse and instructor. In this way riding is a social activity, but may be less daunting to those uncomfortable in social situations. Riding a horse is also a unique experience, and it helps empower a person, enabling them to connect with others on a personal level. The sometimes-unpredictable nature of animals and situations also creates a real-life environment in which a student can confront his or her fears, and adjust to situations beyond their control. Children with disabilities love having a quiet, peaceful environment, as do horses, so they may teach each other many things.

gasper

We sat down with Jill Steffey, one of NBTR’s Board Members to get an idea of her typical day, and what qualities she looks for in a volunteer.

1. Can you tell us about your typical day at New Beginnings?

I am a teacher with Warren County Day Treatment so my days are just a little different than others. A typical day with my students goes like this:

Ten to fifteen kids arrive at New Beginnings. Half of them begin working on grooming and preparing to ride. This group learns how to groom every part of the horse, saddle and put the bridle on. They go into the ring and learn how to follow directions and manage their horse. This is a rewarding challenge for my students.

The other half begins working on farm work including washing out feed buckets and water troughs, building or repairing fences, and cleaning the barn. This group learns how to follow directions from other adults. They are taught how to work together and build social skills.

These groups continue their assignments until lunch. After lunch, the groups switch responsibilities and work until we get on the bus to come back to school.

2. Do you have a favorite horse among New Beginnings ten program horses? Tell us about him/her.

I really enjoy Copper because of his antics and silliness. I gravitate towards the atypical so he and I get along really well. He likes to take my hat off if I get to close to him. He also likes to nip at me. He doesn’t hurt me. He is just playing.

3. What qualities do you look for in volunteers?

We look for volunteers who are prompt and trustworthy. They arrive when they say they are going to be there and stay as long as needed. I enjoy volunteers do whatever is asked of them while they are there. Our volunteers are what makes this program work so we need people who are dedicated and willing to help in whatever way necessary.

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Tell us about your favorite t-shirt…

My favorite shirt is my long sleeved dark blue shirt with the white New Beginnings logo on the front left corner. I wear it all the time because is it simple and plain for me. That’s the way I like things.

If New Beginnings acquired a free 30 second advertisement during the Super Bowl – what would you air to the public?

I would show a slide show of pictures of a rider progressing from their wheel chair to riding a horse on their own while explaining how much these horses and instructors help people with any kind of disability heal physically, emotionally, and mentally.

riders

If you would like to learn more about New Beginnings Therapeutic Riding you may find them on Facebook or at http://www.nbtr-bg.org/

If you would like to be interviewed for your organization or business and be featured on our blog, please contact leann@bluecotton.com

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28 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

It’s Leap Year 2012

What are you going to do with a WHOLE EXTRA DAY?

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07 February 2012 ~ 0 Comments

Worst Valentine’s Day Ever [Video]

We all love Valentine’s Day, but we all know that they have the possiblity to go horribly wrong. With all of that anticipation and pressure, someone is bound to drop the ball. We shared a few of our Worst Valentine’s Day Ever stories in a video below. Don’t forget to enter our Worst Valentine’s Day Ever contest for a chance to win $200 in custom t-shirts or other custom merchandise!

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23 January 2012 ~ 0 Comments

BlueCotton Helps Share Your Message: The Center for Courageous Kids

“Beware the mundane, the comfortable, the lackluster or the negative. We are, by nature, brutal with our criticisms of others. We tend to take the microwaveable, quick and easy approach to life, to problems, to challenges. Step out of your comfort zone. Find your passion.” – Stormi Murtie, The Center for Courageous Kids

Over the past 25 years, custom t-shirts have increasingly become a form of mass communication. Used for advertising and promotion, to show one’s alliegence to a team, or to champion a cause or charity, custom t-shirts give you an opportunity to share your message with everyone you meet.

One of our core values at BlueCotton is to help our customers share their message through quality custom products. When I first met Stormi Murtie, communications director for The Center for Courageous Kids, I didn’t realize that I was meeting an inspirational powerhouse that would help BlueCotton make this core value more tangible.

She told me about the 20 million dollar state-of-the-art medical camping facility in nearby Scottsville, KY and invited BlueCotton to visit and learn about their mission to provide a “cost-free, safe and fun camping experience for seriously ill and disabled children and their families.”
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