Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Summer of Love 50th Anniversary T Shirt

With the upcoming Summer of Love 50th Anniversary, I've created a commemorative T-Shirt that is on sale at Haight Ashbury T-Shirts (the store located at the legendary street corner).

Here's the design:

You can order the T-Shirt from my Redbubble store.

I was just a suburban kid on the other side of the USA in the summer of 1967, buy hey I still went to the mall and bought bleached bell-bottom jeans!

Later on, I did live in the San Francisco Bay Area, and indeed I attended many a Grateful Dead show. Plenty of fun was had, to put it mildly.

This summer, the City of San Francisco is primed to celebrate the Summer of Love all over again. See you there with flowers in your hair.

Steve Lafler

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Manx Media Custom Screen Printing

We Print
T-Shirts and Apparel
Top Quality at Great Prices
Full Art and Design Service Available.

Steve Lafler and David Perkin are seasoned pros in apparel decorating. We've created shirts for dozens of clients including Google, Sony Music, The Residents, Cosmic Monkey Comics, Haight Ashbury T Shirts and Margaret Cho. We'd love to set you up with the shirts you need at a great price! Call today at 503-213-3671 or email Steve Lafler for a quote.

Steve with the Workhorse 6 color screen printing press. 

Robots Rock T Shirt for Sarah's Science. Four color process with added pull out spot color, art by Steve Lafler.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Child Hoodies Back to School Sale

 Manx Media Custom Screen Printing is offering discount pricing on the Gildan youth hooded sweatshirt. The Gildan Youth Hooded sweatshirt comes in 22 colors!

This "Back to School" sale runs until July 19th. Get the Gildan youth hoodie with a one color print for only $11.50 per printed shirt. Minimum order 24 pieces.

There is a one time set up charge of $40 for film and screen. Complete design service is available if needed.

Special pricing also available on Ts and Polo shirts in youth sizes until July 19.

Email Steve Lafler or call 503-213-3671 to place an order.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Monday, June 09, 2014

Spontaneous Entrepreneurship

Do you have what it takes to work for yourself? How do you start your own business? We all have to start somewhere. Here's how I started in the T-Shirt printing biz, some years ago. I can tell this story 'cause I believe the statute of limitations has expired!
Here I am, hawking T-Shirts in 1979.
I was fifteen minutes from reporting to my first day of work as a minimum wage dishwasher early one evening in June, 1979. It was my first summer living out of my mom and dad’s house. Things had started well enough—my intention was to sell wholesale T-Shirt printing services, pumping out the jobs myself on a freelance basis. The first week, I sold a gross of shirts to a local pub, making a gross of dollars. Considering that rent for my summer sublet was all of $60.00 per month, I felt flush! But I hit the wall after that. Despite hanging flyers all over Amherst and environs (including on the enormous University of Massachusetts campus), the fact was that my client base (dorms, student clubs and the like) had departed for the summer and no one was buying.

Having spent most of my last $20.00 on a book that caught my eye (I’d convinced myself that this was practical through some alchemical equation), I was ready to throw in the towel and signed on for a dishwasher job on campus. UMass hosted an odd assortment of conventions, seminars and crackpot camps in an attempt to pay the bills over the slow summer season. I was to be washing dishes in the campus dining commons for a group of several hundred Transcendental Meditation practitioners from the west coast who were convening a seminar on levitation. I did mention it was the Seventies, right? 

I was filled with despair at the bleak prospect of washing dishes. I’d done my time as a dishwasher at a fast food steak house in high school where I was required to wear a polyester cowboy outfit. I had no desire to return to the low rent glory of the dishwashing pit.
At fifteen minutes to the 7:00 pm diswashing shift, a bolt of lightning struck. Of an instant, a fully formed scam literally sprang out of absolutely nowhere and announced itself to me. The underlying message was clear: YOU ARE NOT TO REPORT TO THE DISHWASHING JOB! 
I’d recalled that an acquaintance, Sue, who worked in the campus center building, had mentioned to me that she had a list of groups who were holding events in the concourse of the campus center that summer. Sue had actually produced a list of the events for me. She assured me, if I was to set up and sell T-Shirts at these events, she would look the other way; not charge me for the space. It seemed risky and a bit scurrilous, and I’d forgotten about it until fourteen minutes to dishwashing. 

It was a Thursday evening, and that very weekend, the New England Camera Club was hosting their annual convention in the campus center. I determined that I would grace the show with their official (bootleg) t-shirt. The first problem to conquer was lack of capital. I knew where I could score some blank shirts for a dollar a pop, which I could print and mark up to the princely sum of four bucks, but since I was down to $3.00 on hand, it didn’t seem much of a plan. If I had a hundred bucks, I could buy a hundred shirts and turn it into four hundred over the course of the weekend, enough to finance a month of summer living! 

Did I mention it was the Seventies? Very fortunate, as it turns out you could hitchhike anywhere in New England back then within the course of a few hours, a day tops. I elected my mom as my financier and was on the road by five minutes to seven with my thumb up. As my folks lived about 70 miles away, I figured I’d get there just before the summer night settled in. I got a ride out of Amherst towards the western burbs of Boston just about the time my shift supervisor probably started wondering where the hell I was. 

Okay, so mom definitely raised an eyebrow at the plan, but recognized my desperation and fronted the bucks. By early Friday afternoon, I was back in Amherst at my drawing board putting together a cute little cartoon logo featuring a guy who had a camera for a head. Somehow I managed to rustle up the blank shirts and get them all printed by eleven that evening. 

The next day, I set up bright and early on the campus concourse with a table that Sue scrounged up for me (she was slightly horrified that I’d actually taken her up on her offer!). By noon I’d made Mom’s stake back, and was up to $250.00 by the end of the first day.
By just past noon on Sunday, I hit about $430.00 (having managed to get the shirts for .89, I had a few over 100 pieces). At that point, an obnoxious fifteen year old (who had been flirting with me earlier) returned. With an attitude of scorn and derision, she asked if these were the official New England Camera Club T-Shirts? I said that indeed they were! 

A pale and disheveled fifty year old sad sack with caved in shoulders stepped forward and introduced himself as the president of said club. I handed him the four remaining shirts, and barked “Here’s your cut!”. I was breaking down the table over his protests and briskly walking it back to the storage bay that Sue had plucked it from the day before. Table tucked away, I smiled at the Pres. and thanked him profusely. Then I turned on my heel and ran close to four minute mile pace back to my flat, a remorseless 22 year old flush with success!
Now I admit that I’d pulled a fast one on that guy, but I am hardly the only college kid to ever make a quick bundle of cash bootlegging a few T’s. The moral of the story, such as it is, goes like this: If you’ve got the BoHo self employment stuff, you know it, because you have an anecdote or two a lot like this. Normal, sensible, thoughtful people do not take risks like this, they do not engage in such brazen behavior. They want “security”! You and me, we’ll take the risk any day… for those who prefer the living death of the secure government job and pension, they can have it!

Friday, June 06, 2014

Manx Media Custom Screen Printing

We Print
T-Shirts and Apparel
Top Quality at Great Prices
Full Art and Design Service Available.

Steve Lafler and David Perkin are seasoned pros in apparel decorating. We've created shirts for dozens of clients including Google, Sony Music, The Residents, Cosmic Monkey Comics, Haight Ashbury T Shirts and Margaret Cho. We'd love to set you up with the shirts you need at a great price! Call today at 503-213-3671 or email Steve Lafler for a quote.

Steve with the Workhorse 6 color screen printing press. 

Robots Rock T Shirt for Sarah's Science. Four color process with added pull out spot color, art by Steve Lafler.

Custom Printed T Shirts - Today's Sale Items

Bella + Canvas Triblend T Shirt sale. Call or email for pricing on these stylish, soft Ts.

Steve Lafler 503-213-3671

  • 3.4 oz., 50% polyester, 25% combed and ringspun cotton, 25% rayon
  • 40 singles

Thursday, June 05, 2014

Steve Lafler T-Shirt Designs

Summer's here and you need new T-Shirts! Here's a few of my own designs. Drop by my shirt shop at Redbubble and get yourself set up with these fun designs on a variety of shirt styles.

Steve Lafler

Wednesday, June 04, 2014

Best Women's T: Bella Scoop Neck

For the combination of style, fit, and value, you can't beat the #B1003 Bella + Canvas Ladies' Baby Rib Short-Sleeve Scoop Neck T-Shirt.

Manx Media is offering a price of $6.95 per shirt for orders of 100 shirts or more with a 1 color print. Set up of $40.00 for film positive and screen is extra. XXL are $8.25.

Call or email Steve Lafler 503-213-3671 

Specs for the B#1003:
  • 5.8 oz., 100% combed and ringspun cotton
  • 30 singles
  • 1x1 rib
  • Sideseamed
  • Slim fit

Tuesday, June 03, 2014

T-Shirt Printing: Sale Prices and 2014 Price List

Today I'm posting my both the Manx Media 2014 Custom T-Shirt Printing price list, and the current sale prices on Gildan Cotton T-Shirts.

The sale price on the Gildan style #500 cotton T-Shirt is 3.95 per shirt including a one color print on orders of 100 or more; with screen and film factored in, the price for 100 pieces is a total of $435.00 (before shipping) based on your print ready art file. The sale price is good until June 6.

Call Steve Lafler for a quote at 503-213-3671 or send an email.

Friday, May 30, 2014

The Win-Win Deal

On occasion,  I write pieces about entrepreneurship, especially as it pertains to the custom screen printing business.

Within the scope of private business, capitalism, or what have you, it’s not only possible, but indeed necessary to construct deals in which both parties gain, in order to be truly successful.

Integrity, Honesty and Frankness

Business is nothing if not a series of relationships to the bohemian sole proprietor. In my central Screen Print business, I have roughly three dozen active accounts (a.k.a. customers). My ability to earn an income is dependent on successful navigation of those relationships. It may sound altruistic to pursue the win-win deal, but it’s really pragmatic. Simply, a happy client will recommend you to others. An unhappy one will spread the word that you suck. Take it from a guy who has had both experiences!
Integrity may mean that I suggest an order of 50 shirts to someone who initially says they want 500. My experience is that you shouldn’t “over order” on a design that doesn’t have a track record, or is not presold to some group, or is for some major concert, etc. If one of my clients gets stuck with 450 shirts they have no use for, it may occur to them to blame me! If they buy 50 and sell 45, I have a new on-going client.
As for honesty, no need to tell your life store, but do keep your client informed of any information they need to know. Try to make quotes that cover all contingencies so there will be no surprise charges. If, for example, the client hands me an art file that I need to do two hours of work on, I call them right up and say, “This will cost another $130.00 in art time to produce the job.” Then, they have the chance to back out before I start the job. If they become unhappy with the new information, at least you know before the job started!
In case of a dispute, if you are straightforward and keep your client informed, and track all order information in writing, you will be able to create a chronology of the facts of the deal to support how the job unfolded. This can be a valuable tool in discussion and settlement of disputes. A chronology of facts is the only tool you would ever need in a court of law, in the unfortunate event that it comes to that (happily, this is rare indeed).
Manx Media logo
(Manx cat with no tail)

Pursuit of Quality

I’ve been in the T-Shirt printing game since I was an undergraduate in the late seventies (who knew that an easy way to earn beer and date money would turn into a “career”?).
Not a week goes by where I don’t learn something new about screen printing garments. It is a very simple technology, photographically based, that works swell for printing on fabric. But there is endless and infinite finesse (and technology) that can be brought to bear to make it work better.
As a kid, I got into the business as a low baller, (price wise) which was appropriate. As I improved my craft, it occurred to me that is was more satisfying to pursue the highest quality available, and that there is always a market for quality.
I had run a low tech water based ink shop for years, still the best approach for the low overhead start-up shop, and the perfect dorm room option. As the demand for multicolor printing on dark shirts increased, I began to farm out jobs to a colleague, Dan O’Neill Custom Screen Printing. Most of what I have learned about quality printing comes from Dan, who is incapable of doing a bad job. I subsequently expanded my shop to run these jobs in house. As of this writing, I've sold my press equipment to my former printer, David Perkin, who has gone into business for himself. All my printing is now handled by these two capable guys.
In terms of supporting the win-win deal, quality trumps everything. Everybody loves a job well done.

Copyright 2014, Steve Lafler, all rights reserved.

Email Steve for a Quote