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Custom T-Shirt Diary 8: Crossfit Southie

There’s a cool new Crossfit gym in Boston. It’s located at 385 Dorchester Ave., Suite #100,
Boston, MA 02127 and minces no words with its name: CrossFit Southie. If you guessed that I made the t-shirts for them, you are correct.

In fact, this job has told me more about my business and myself than any other.

The first thing I learned was about my potential as a screen print shop – and where I fit into to the current custom t-shirt landscape of Boston. Amy, who runs the gym and teaches classes (and still has twice as much energy as me!) originally contacted me about printing just two racerback tanks. She had already called multiple print shops to get this done and they all flatly refused. She sounded downright frustrated when she finally called me and was on the verge of trying to print them herself! I took the time to ask her what the tanks were for and when she explained they were samples for a new gym I decided I would do the two tanks on the hope I could do them well and get the next order. Working with another small business is great for Evan Webster Ink because our goals are aligned, we both want each other to grow and do well.

The second thing learned was about having patience and how to handle tough situations when t-shirts aren’t printed exceptionally. Amy came back to me a bit later with an order for a bunch of tanks and American Apparel tri-blend tees. Due in part to the fabric of the shirts but mostly to my negligence the majority of the items did not come out well. Amy was using these to promote her new gym and couldn’t use most of them. The first option I gave her was to refund the cost of the shirts she could not use. The second was based on my confidence and desire to make the situation right. I offered to re-print the shirts to our mutual satisfaction. She elected the second and the shirts came out great. I am very thankful to have gotten the opportunity to make things right. And I’m happy to report that the gym seems to be off to a great start. I recently completed a second batch of t-shirts that will be sold at CrossFit Southie’s Official Grand Opening. Making sure customers are happy with our products is something we value highly. But when people order from Evan Webster Ink they don’t only get t-shirts. They get help choosing the right item, designing and, of course, a guarantee of satisfaction.

A friend just released a great new book called “Being Wrong”. It proposes that the human ability to be wrong can be seen as a very positive thing. And I completely agree. I like doing exciting and challenging new projects. If I was scared of making mistakes I would never do them because 1 times out of 10 they don’t come out as expected. But most of the time great (and sometimes unexpected!) things happen. The willingness to try new things is one thing that makes Evan Webster Ink different than some screen printing shops. And it is especially beneficial to our customers because we always bear the risk, not them.

One final note about CrossFit. This is somehow a legal statement and promotion at the same time. CrossFit is not for everyone. A friend of mine described it by saying “it’s a really intense workout, basically the first few times you go you can expect to puke”. But if you want a great workout head over to CrossFit Southie – and be sure to compliment them on their t-shirts!