About this project
We can now be found on our website, http://www.starstuffclothing.com
You'll be able to buy these shirts, dresses, tanks and socks from us directly as soon as August 2014. Come check us out!
We are Starstuff Clothing, and our mission is to be awe-inspiring. We design all-over printed clothing that feature incredibly vibrant colors and astonishing levels of detail.
Our shirts are designed using REAL images of REAL celestial objects, and the unique printing process means that you can't feel the ink on the shirt -- the threads are literally dyed in the process, leaving a highly detailed print without any stiffness... and the colors never fade with washing.
Operating since mid-2013, we have had a limited initial run of shirts available through our website... and the response has been phenomenal!
So this raises the question...
We want to move production of our clothing in-house. We currently have to purchase our shirts in bulk from a printer, and it is hamstringing our business. In order to grow and reach our potential, we NEED to create our clothing ourselves. This is for several reasons.
First, we want to offer a wider variety of designs. We currently are limited to what we can afford to stock through our supplier -- and even though we're selling shirts, we have to immediately turn around and put that money into new inventory of our existing designs. We can't make minimum orders of new designs and still have stock of all men's and women's sizes.
Second, we want to offer our shirts in a variety of fits. Our supplier only prints shirts on a Basic Short-Sleeve cut for Men, and a Basic Slimfit cut for women. BORING! We want to offer our designs on Fashion Fit shirts and V-Necks, which is impossible through the existing supplier network out there.
Third, we want to create DRESSES. Just as we can't get our designs printed in a Fashion Fit, we can't get our dress designs produced anywhere. In fact, we literally could not find anyone to produce PROTOTYPES on dresses -- it's just not something anybody is doing. We want to be innovative and take the All-Over print BEYOND shirts.
Finally, and most importantly, we want to make our clothing accessible. Because of the rarity of print shops offering sublimation services, and the relative high price of the process, we cannot offer our shirts at accessible prices. We currently sell our limited line of shirts for $49 -- and we hate that pricepoint. That's too much for a shirt, for a lot of people out there. We want to bring our prices down, and eliminating the middle man is the way to do it.
So, without further ado, the designs!
After pledging, you will have your choice of any of these designs. If you are getting a shirt, you will be able to pick your fit -- Fashion Fit V-Neck, Fashion Fit Crew Neck, or Basic Short Sleeve (comparison of fits shown at bottom of page).
And don't forget -- these designs are all inspired by the REAL majesty of our Universe. Each shirt and dress comes with a small card describing the celestial object on your clothing, including the original source of the imagery and other neat bits of information.
Click on any image to see a bigger version!
TANK TOPS are now available! This is the #1 request we've been getting since Day 1. We’ve looked into the costs and logistics, we've adapted the designs, and we’re good to go. They’re printed on 100% polyester 4.5oz American Apparel. They come in sizes XS, S, M, L, XL (Unisex).
Tank Tops are available now at $29/each.
Can you believe our second most common request was for socks? We checked out the options out there, and it looks like we can make this happen too.
And if socks themselves weren't exciting enough already, we’re going to do something really crazy with it. Every sock printed is going to be unique. Not just from the sock it’s partnered with – from every other sock we’re ever going to make. We’re going to do this by essentially printing them at random, placing the blank socks randomly across the heat press before printing. Through random placements of the socks and random selection, placement and rotation of the image, we can generate an INFINITE NUMBER OF UNIQUE SOCKS. Quite fitting, given the seemingly infinite nature of our Universe.
The best part: Even though your socks are random, we are going to pair up socks from the same print runs. This means that while unique, your pair will definitely go together and have similar colors throughout. Here are some EXAMPLES of what you can expect these randomly unique pairs to look like:
They are available in Training (11”), Crew (7”), and Short (3.5”) in Size A (Mens 9-13, Ladies 9-12), Size B (Mens 6-8, Ladies 6-9) or Size C (Mens 5-6, Ladies 4-6). As with the other rewards, we will get your size and length preferences after funding is complete. They have black heels and toes, which allows for a good sublimation print without white creases.
Socks are available now at $12/pair or $29/three pairs.
The shirts, tanks, dresses and socks are 100% polyester, as required by the sublimation printing process. They feel just as soft as cotton, particularly the lighter Fashion Fits. The colors will never fade, even after repeated washings.
Men's and Unisex T-Shirts: S, M, L, XL, 2XL
Women's T-Shirt sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL, 2XL
Women's Dresses sizes: S, M, L
Tank Top Unisex Sizes: XS, S, M, L, XL
Sock Sizes: Training (11"), Crew (7"), Short (3.5") in Size A (Mens 9-13, Ladies 9-12), Size B (Mens 6-8, Ladies 6-9) or Size C (Mens 5-6, Ladies 4-6)
Once the Kickstarter is finished, you will be able to pick your design and desired fit. Here is a representation of the different T-Shirt fits and how they compare to one another:
The biggest differences are that the Fashion Fit tees are lighter (4.1oz fabric weight, versus 5.9oz for the Unisex Short Sleeve and 6.9oz for the Ladies Slimfit) and have a tighter, more tailored fit. If you're not sure which fit is right for you, consult the sizing chart at the bottom of the page for exact measurements.
One last thing -- sublimation printing leaves small white marks in some areas, particularly in the armpit area and along the seams. An example:
We also believe that we can improve this even beyond where we're at now. These marks are representative of what is produced when both sides are printed at once. We intend to print one side at a time, increasing our ability to spot creasemarks and imperfections before the press is lowered. It will take us twice as long, but we expect a higher-quality end product.
We have worked out precisely how much it will cost to move our production in-house. Here's the breakdown:
- Large-Format Heat Press: $9,600
- Large-Format Sublimation Printer: $4,500
- Misc. Materials (printer cleaning kit, sublimation color profile / driver software license, etc.): $2,100
- Projected costs of materials to fulfill pledges: $13,233
- 10% Margin of Error (Wasted product, re-shipments, etc.): $2,943
- Combined Kickstarter and Amazon fees (roughly 8.2% on average): $2,655
- Total funds needed: $35,031
Luckily, we already have existing property where the equipment can be placed and operated, so there are no additional recurring costs (i.e. rent) associated with moving to in-house production.
If successful, this Kickstarter will complete on June 13th. Funds will take up to 2 weeks to be deposited to our account, per the Kickstarter FAQ. It will be an additional 2 weeks of delivery time for the large-format heat press, and everything else besides. We expect a full week of training on the equipment in order to produce a quality print on the shirts and dresses, with minimal white marks.
All that time added up puts us at July 18th for actual fulfillment to begin. From that point, based on average print times, we are allotting a full month until the last reward has been fulfilled. We intend to ship as we produce, so that we can get your rewards to you as soon as possible. Based on these time tables, the first rewards will arrive in the third week of July and the last rewards by the middle of August.
Risks and challenges
Our biggest challenge is the learning curve on the printing equipment. We have a fulfillment chain set up already from our existing website operation, so managing the large number of orders, packing and shipping will be a piece of cake. The printing itself, however, will be new to us. We are thoroughly familiar with the process itself, but we have never personally done sublimation printing.
In order to help address this challenge, we are purchasing our equipment from the most reputable, USA-based vendors. We picked the manufacturer of our budgeted heat press in part because they are well-known for having excellent, personal customer service on their equipment. The same can be said for the vendor who we are going to use for our printer -- getting good support on color profiles and other nuances of the trade is more important to us than the bottom dollar. We have also built a full week of training into our projected timeline so that we can perfect our process before producing the rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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