Closed Saturdays. By Appointment Only.

The Age of Light

We’re on the edge of a really fun future. Get out and enjoy the beautiful sun. Maybe check out a new music concert or local band. T-shirts are always the big win when you see music take off. We don’t make them so check-out TS Designs, Hanes, and Gildan. You can also print your own t-shirts or check out your local shop in your area. We’ve personally had a huge uptick in requests for both sponsorship bags and custom outfits and wanted to take a post specifically on HOW to ask brands for sponsorships and what the realistic limits are.

You can’t fault young musicians for asking the moon and brands do love sponsorship deals, but it’s really hard for brands that aren’t at a location to figure out if this is a nice afternoon cafe with a couple people or a concert of thousands. It’s much easier to overcome the objection by making a small tangible ask, often for say an $18-20/bag set than shelling out thousands in a major city that doesn’t result in any sales. You don’t propose marriage on the first date, at least normal people don’t. Sponsorships should be the same. We keep a number of sponsorship sets available in the shop for live music nights, so any of our wholesale accounts can just add them on for free with monthly orders. The first one is free, additional sets may be purchased as needed. Everyone wins. The alternatives are often a small gift card for an open mike night prize/afternoon jam session from 1-6 or 2-8 pm or window displays which we will discuss next week.

As someone who did sales for 6-7 years in college, except for Black Friday, practicing regularly helps build up small wins over time. Busking tends to be similar. Keep the bar low and focus on volume instead of that million dollar record deal. You’ll have a lot more fun. Which brings us to being a store buyer or store owner and getting extra swag for your shop. The easiest angle is simply mention your weekly music night and ask if your vendor would be willing to sponsor a night. It should be simple, direct, and under $25. A baker’s dozen extra cookie. If you have an extra afternoon or two, you can simply pick up the phone or shoot out an email, “Hi, my name is ____. I’m with ____. Thanks so much for taking the time to talk to me. We’re starting our summer music program and wanted to offer our suppliers the chance to sponsor an evening. Are you interested in participating?” You can also tack it on the end of emails if that's easier. Macy's had a manager program in the early 2000s to attempt to get store buyers to ask all vendors, but results vary. The goal is to be light, polite, and friendly, not destroy your entire supply line or burn relationships. If someone says no, take it and move on. No big deal. Maybe next time.

You can usually get a few items and great free give-a-ways with an open mike session or other casual events to dole out over the summer or fall event. Think of baseball games and audience swag at halftime. Those t-shirt cannons? The extra free swag in shows in the VIP section? Anyways, hope that explanation helps for summer jam sessions or conferences. We had something like this at Artist Alley for almost a decade. Some stores and magazines will keep a gift closet or room. Either way super fun. Well, back to those t-shirts and TS Designs.