April 02, 2017
Color Your Own Onesies, T-Shirts, and Totes

Color Your Own Custom Printed T-Shirt at Hi Little One

I am so excited about our Color Your Own line. This has been in the works for over a year, but for some reason it has taken us forever to figure out exactly how to bring it to market. 

We first had the idea over a year and a half ago, while talking to a retailer who mentioned how great it would be to have a way to sell personalized product, without having to manage the personalization in the store. This is a main challenge we face in retail overall—personalized clothes are a bit of an involved sell.

Maggie and I started brainstorming how we could solve this and came up with the "Design Your Own T-shirt". The product would be a coloring book with t-shirt templates in store, color away, pic your favorite one, and mail it in for us to print and ship. The problem with this idea is all the added steps mean (a lot!) of added cost, and we couldn't  get this product to a price point that we think is workable. 

So we tabled it. 

Then we moved into our new studio in August and just had so much space! I really didn't know what to do with all of it—what a good problem! So I set up a kids area and some tables and we thought we would try out hosting a few open houses. We pulled out the coloring book idea as an activity to keep kids busy while their parents (hopefully) shopped, but quickly learned that the kid-designed t-shirts were the highlight of the visit. 

Kids love seeing their designs come to life and are so proud to wear them out the door! I literally had to go out and get a mirror for the studio because everyone wanted to see themselves in their artwork. 

Mack in the t-shirt he colored for himself

Mack is so pleased with himself! We knew this idea still had legs and wanted to figure out how to make it work.

So we worked through the process (which is surprisingly more complicated than it seems). How would people buy? How would we get the artwork? Should we limit the kind of artwork you can submit? How many cups of coffee can I drink before I start shaking? Our Color Your Own Collection is here! The more I have worked with this concept the more ideas I have for perfect scenarios for it.

Here are a few: 

  • Rainy day activity
  • Birthday party activity with built in party favor (reach out to us about bulk pricing!)
  • Kids custom designed totes as teacher's or caregiver's gifts
  • Kids design a t-shirt as a birthday present
  • The perfect pick-me-up for a sick or housebound little 

You can use our templates as a guide, or just snap a pic of an original artwork you have. Any medium / format will print, so the sky is the limit! 

I suppose it's worth noting that while we guarantee the quality of our shirts, fast production time and the detail of our printing. But we can't guarantee everyone will be pleased with her artwork... 

Elizabeth is devastated to be wearing a shirt she made for herself

Nell Lindquist

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