By Cassandra Balentine
The ability to print digitally is beneficial for startups looking to establish a brand. Those with a vision and determination get to market quickly. One such company is Bad Birdie, a golf clothing brand launched in May 2017 out of Los Angeles, CA.
The clothing line came to life in just a few months. Jason Richardson, founder, Bad Birdie, says he was driving from AZ to LA last Thanksgiving when his business idea struck. It was then he formed the concept of a golf polo company committed to bringing a new, daring look to the course. The line consists of polo shirts that offer style, boldness, and freshness.
Bad Birdie’s polo shirts feature bright colors and fun prints, like a neon Aztec pattern, a blue and red leopard print, and classy neon lightning bolts. “We make golf polo shirts for players whose style is as fresh as their game,” comments Richardson.
Above: Golf clothing brand Bad Birdie of Los Angeles, CA offers unique golf shirts created with digitally printed media from Top Value Fabrics by Stanton Calprints of Montebello, CA.
Setting Themselves Apart
With many established brands to contend with, its prints set them apart from the competition. “Our main differentiator is our designs,” says Richardson. The company launched with 12 designs from various creative professionals, and the plan is to add more over time.
The shirts are versatile in their own individual way. “Our polos are hand sewn in Los Angeles and designed to fit perfectly while crushing your driver, sinking a birdie putt, or drinking an adult beverage,” adds Richardson.
Print and Manufacturing Partners
Bad Birdie relies on integral relationships with vendors to print and produce its shirts in a timely manner.
In addition to its unique style, the polo shirts are manufactured with quality in mind. This starts with a premium digitally printable fabric from Pacific Coast Fabrics. Originally, the company was looking into creating a custom fabric through a different manufacturer, but found Pacific Coast Fabrics’ products to meet its needs with a speedy turnaround time. The premium fabric is made in Los Angeles and features moisture-wicking and anti-odor functionality.
The Bad Birdie brand is about the look, but also the quality of its clothing. To turn the designs into a desirable product, Richardson sought out print and manufacturing professionals for production.
As a startup, it’s important to keep manufacturing costs down and runs low. Richardson says he chose to partner with Stanton Calprints, Inc., based on the service and fast turnaround it is able to provide Bad Birdie.
The print provider is based out of Montebello, CA. Operating out of a 25,000 square foot facility, it is a fabric printer well versed at providing fabrics to the garment trade of Southern, CA. Since the 1980s, the company has relied on sublimation printing to create active wear garments made with blended fabrics.
On its website, the shop notes that it expanded from just three transfer machines in 1995 to six rotary presses, two large flatbed presses, and four high-quality inkjet printers equipped with special sublimation inks today, along with proprietary equipment for producing both engineered and custom prints for a variety of applications.
With this setup, the print provider quickly produces samples and accommodates shorter runs for clients similiar to Bad Birdie.
After the polo shirts are sublimated by Stanton Calprints, they are manufactured into the final product from a finishing partner in Los Angeles. “Runs normally take about two weeks, but I have a great vendor who understands the quick turnaround needs of a startup and can make the polo shirts quicker if necessary,” shares Richardson.
The products are primarily sold online directly through Bad Birdie’s website. Stocking them in golf pro shops is a future goal.
Because the company’s polo shirts are digitally printed, maintaining a stock of inventory isn’t necessary. “We try to keep a stock inventory, but with the success of our launch we are selling out and have shirts on backorder,” admits Richardson.
In three years, Richardson hopes to see his brand on the PGA golf tour. With just a few months under its belt at press time, the company is active in marketing online, showing off its unique designs through its social media handle, @badbirdiegolf. The company offers a modern look for a classic game, and is ready to take over the course.
Nov2017, Industrial Print Magazine