Wednesday, August 29, 2012

T-Shirt Treasure

The other day, I was checking out at Petco when the lady waiting on me started gushing about how cool my shirt was. I was wearing this:


I told her that it was for a family reunion and one of my favorite aspects of the event. Each clan wears a different color* so that we can tell at a glance which branch of the family tree the person wearing it is from.  About twenty years ago, my cousin Laura drew a farm scene that we used for our first shirts, and this year, her niece Carli created a new design, a sort of caricature based loosely off of the American Gothic classic and a photo of my grandma and grandpa.


I took the design, framed it, added "D------ Descendants" to the bottom, and created these, in different colors for each clan (Mom's branch is yellow; her favorite color). Don't they look awesome?! On a side-note, the drawing is so great that when my sister uploaded a reunion photo to her Mac computer, the facial recognition feature circled Grandma's face and asked, "Is this Grandma D?"



Note: This is not a sponsored post; I received absolutely nothing in exchange for my opinion. 
I'm simply very happy with my experience and want to spread the word.

I'm so happy about our shirts! I had no idea where to buy them, but Kristin (via Twitter) recommended CustomInk, so I went with them. I'm so glad that I did, for a few reasons:

1) They are a U.S. business. 
2) You can choose from a large number of t-shirt brands, so if you prefer American Apparel or Hanes (for example), you can choose them.
3) The Customer Service was fantastic.


As you can see from our group photo, my order was kind of complicated, because I wanted people to be able to order their specific color and sizes. Every time I spoke to someone at the company, they were efficient, friendly, and helpful. I was able to easily submit our design, and the staff set up the five different order forms for me.  Custom Ink allows the organizer of a group to sit back and relax while the orders pour in via a very simple order form link you can share via email, Facebook, or wherever you like.  Our shirts cost just $8 each (an order of 70 or more), and shipping would've been free had I not waited til practically the last minute to order them.

My only complaint about CustomInk is that each time you change the design of your shirt on the site in any way, you have to save it with a new name.  Because I had about ten drafts, it got kind of confusing at some points, I ran out of good names, and I wish I'd had the capability of deleting my previous designs. [Update: They're working on this and are very close to an update for this!]  There is no big sign-up process, though (bonus!); all you have to do is give an email address, and that's how they save your designs, so you can get going right away and not dink around with paperwork. 

If you're thinking about ordering t-shirts for any reason, I happily recommend CustomInk.


*For you very observant types, my lavender shirt does not match any of the clan colors simply because I liked the color and decided to get an extra shirt for myself in a color I would wear more often than bright yellow (Mom's favorite color). 

15 comments:

  1. And I happily accept your recommendation. And I love the art work.

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  2. The design is great and love the color coding idea for your family reunion! That is awesome!

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  3. Nice t-shirts. I will have to remember this for our next family reunion! Great idea using the different colors for each clan, although our family might run out of colors. :-)

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  4. I just want to know how in the world you organized such a big event! WOW! I feel overwhelmed just thinking about it. The T-shirts were a wonderful idea.

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    1. We have a committee--One rep from each clan met several years back and planned the whole thing. We each took a role in the overall scheme. One cousin typed up a 4-page overview of the weekend, complete with a schedule, what to bring, who to pay, etc. Last year, we made it a Google Doc, so this year, we only had to tweak it a little and make sure everyone got it. It went flawlessly :) When you have a nice, big family, it makes it more likely that the workload will be shared. It takes strong leadership, and we have no lack thereof :)

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  5. You are always doing cool stuff like this. That was a great idea to show off the clans within the tribe (or is the other way around?)You probably are but make sure you are recording the oral history from the elders when you go on reunions.

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    1. You're right about the oral history; I have a little bit, but not nearly what we should. Thanks.

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  6. Such a great idea for a reunion! Love it!

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  7. Did the movie "The Descendants" influence the wording? I got a couple of free T-shirts for trying out and reviewing ooshirts.com last year. Have you thought of working that design into a blog button?

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  8. I LOVE this idea! What a huge group you had for your family reunion!

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  9. Wow, I am impressed by the whole process and execution.

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  10. For sure! I'm so glad you could find a company to execute your wonderful plan! I just love the group picture! (Tell Elsie yellow is my favorite color too.)

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  11. Love you group shot in all those colors. I have been wanting to do that for decades but can't get the committee to work with me. But, then your family is small by comparison to mine.

    My family is huge. Just those connected to my parents total eighty-two. Some branches have died out. But, others like mine are huge. Some have step and half siblings added to the mix. But, the biggest fight besides who gets to chose the colors is how to get three hundred people to follow the suggestion and actually show up in the right color.

    I have been the chairperson in charge of our family reunions for almost forty years. We have done tee-shirts a dozen times over the years (most recently was last year) but can never get 100 % participation because of the cost. But, folks keep passing their old shirts down to others as they are outgrown so we do get a lot of them showing up each year.



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  12. Great design and congrates for lovely family re-union.
    Take a look at my favorite hanes t shirts design

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