Connelly Springs, NC – Innovative Ink, the largest apparel decorator in the Greater Hickory Metro, extends its production services into the retail and consumer market with the addition of Direct-2-You Printing.
The Connelly Springs, NC business is primarily known in the industry as a go-to national contract resource for high volume, high-color count, screen printing. The company’s backbone are five automatic screen presses; daily output exceeding 10,000 tees. The capacity supports the production demands of national and global brands – primarily professional sports leagues, concert merchandise, and sports entertainment like World Wrestling Entertainment.
Direct-2-You Printing focuses on individual consumers and customers with immediate and small quantity demands. With the purchase of two direct-to-garment printers plus a dye sublimation press, Innovative is delivering same day and 24 hour turn-around orders. Says Innovative Ink President James Causby, “Due to the COVID-19 the market has changed significantly in 2020. Historically, this business has been print the shirts, fold in stacks of 12, box them up, and ship. What changed in 2020 is everything we do with the products after we print.”
Continues Causby, “Concert and professional sports merchandise used to be bought at the event. Now everything is on line and fans order their merchandise while watching the event. Most items now leave our shop ship-ready: individually folded, tagged, bagged, stickered and packed into the carton.”
Operations VP Josh Ledbetter adds, “We’ve added this year a lot of resources to the finishing operation, 4-6 employees plus auto – folding and bagging equipment. So the market has changed and we’ve changed with it- and really now we have a high-output printing business feeding finishing that’s handling one garment at a time.”
“The next logical step”, Sales VP Doug Auer observes, “is bring all this energy and capability to the local consumer and retail market. Innovative is now servicing our local market- individual, organizations, churches and businesses needing high quality and quick turn custom apparel.
“Our Direct-2-You Printing is satisfying single piece orders, small runs, and immediate turn-around”, notes Causby. “So, what we have now is the total package of equipment and the people to satisfy the market demand for both high volume and high quality large orders plus smaller individual orders. We are filling a void in the Hickory market – an apparel decorator with the experienced management and production resources to satisfy every need- from 1 shirt to 50,000.”