(ABC4 News – Salt Lake City, UT) The next time you see Snoopy and the Peanuts gang in a national park gift shop, you can thank a Utah Company – Huge Brands.
Jeremy Conder, owner of Huge Brands told me; “Snoopy has been all over the world. We might represent him hiking in the Grand Canyon or him and Woodstock on the ice up in Minnesota or on the beach in Maui. We turn it into a souvenir by putting the name Yosemite National Park on it and those are sold in gift shops in all those places that viewers may have visited.”
Conder is passionate about branding; “The brand isn’t just a logo that we get to print on a T-shirt or the embroidery we get to put on a hat or a stamp that we get to put on a piece of leather. It is the story behind that company and it’s extremely important that we portray that story and that experience in every piece of merchandise that we produce for the brand we work with. “
One of the coolest parts of doing Utah Success Stories is the opportunity to see how things are made. It all starts with an image. You may already have your own or the artists at Huge Brands can help create one. Then it was off to production.
Steven Sargent, Production Manager for Huge Brands gave me the grand tour. We approached a special automated screen print machine. The big spoked machine reminded me of an octopus. They were putting blank shirts on flat panels that would then rotate to different locations where different colors were added. Sargent walked me through the process; “This is your basic image, squeegee runs over it is printing the ink through it. Your underlay is just white, that is your base color to ensure you get your maximum pop from your colors. so, it will go from underlay to a flash that will dry your underlay, so you won’t have any mix of white and color together. So, you’ll dry it and put your next layer on top of it.” So how does it dry so fast? Flash bulbs. They are extremely intense light bulbs It dries a shirt in about 5 seconds. Imagine the ultimate easy bake oven with way bigger light bulb and way hotter.
I even tried my hand at making a screen print t-shirt the old-fashioned way with a manual machine. They showed me how to get just the right amount of ink to the proper part of the screen and the all-important squeegee angle and pressure. As I lifted the screen to see my work low and behold there was the first layer of the image. How did I do? Let’s just say I need a bunch more practice.
Like you would expect, Huge Brands makes a ton of t-shirts with screen printing as well as embroidery. I was surprised to learn they also do custom leather products for a brand called Winding Wheel Supply Co.
My favorite question to ask business owners is the “why”. Why does Conder do what he does? “I think for us the most satisfaction comes from some seeing some great potential and connect that with a result is incredible to us.”
With another Utah Success Story. I’m Doug Jessop
This story contains sponsored content.