(AKA: "Why does it take up to 4 weeks to print and ship an order?")
Nightgaunt Graphics actually consists of 2 parts.
1) Custom Printing for bands on tour / organizations / schools / and businesses.
2) Online Retail + Wholesale printing of official band / artist merch.
Custom printing is what actually pays the bills and keeps Nightgaunt Graphics running.
The average order for custom printing is anywhere between 100 - 5,000 shirts.
Not only do they pay to keep Nightgaunt running, but it also helps bands / organizations / schools / etc
have a source of income for the road, event, fundraiser, etc.
So yes, these orders take precedence.
Online Retail (the website + eBay) brings in about 20-30% of my income.
I continue to run those sites and offer that merch because I love the bands + artwork.
I enjoy printing those designs and being able to give back to the bands who helped shape who I am today.
Profits are split with the bands on a 40/60 ratio.
They get 40%, I get 60% (hey, I AM doing the work here…)
So after all is said and done, I actually do not make a whole lot off of each retail sale.
I like to keep my prices as low as possible while still being able to pay my bands well
and make enough off each to make it all worth it.
There are a small handful of bands on my website who gave their blessing and
do not wish to receive royalties or just want a random shirt once in awhile (which is quite gracious of them).
But it is a small handful and honestly not the ones that sell the most.
In-between printing the above mentioned full Custom Print jobs, or at the end of the day
I will set up Online designs going by the date the order was placed and moving down the list.
I am setting up the Sleep 01: Marijuanaunt design
for an order that came in 2 weeks ago
(2 weeks ago, because since that order came in I have been printing custom orders
or other designs that were ordered before this particular order was placed
and now have the chance to print this design).
That Sleep 01 order is now printed along with any other orders that came in for that same design
during the 2 weeks while I have that design on press.
The person that placed the original order had to wait 2 weeks until I had the chance to move down the list
of the other orders / designs that came in before he/she ordered that Sleep 01 design.
But there have been some more orders for that particular design that came in during that 2 weeks.
Sooooo, those people will actually have had to wait less time for their order because
that design is being printed along with that first order.
Follow? Make sense? With me so far?
There are FAR too many options offered for each design on the website to even consider keeping a stock.
Even for the handful of the most ordered designs.
1 design has a total of: 9 different Apparel options, 4-7 different size options, 2 different print styles (Retro or Normal),
and then there are customization options like “Do not include the small logo / back print / sleeve print”
or “Print the large (Main) image on the front of the hoodie”.
So that is roughly 200 different options/variations/combinations FOR EACH DESIGN.
Inventory is not an option.
I like to offer folks different apparel and brand options to fit their budget or preference (Fruit vs American Apparel for example)
and some customizable options so they will get a garment that they will be as stoked with as I was with printing it.
Now that everything is laid out, remember that Nightgaunt Graphics is a one man operation.
Daily business needs, customer service, website development, art design, printing, shipping,
book keeping, emails, etc…
Is all done by me.
Sure I could hire people, but this is the way I like it and this is the way I plan on continuing.
I got into screen printing as an art form, not a business.
It just so happened to turn into a full business.
My print style and ethics are considered rather abnormal compared to most in the screen printing industry.
I do not wish to offer "run of the mill" prints. And after spending 20+ years perfecting this style
(every aspect self taught: printing, photoshop, web development, etc.),
I honestly do not have the time to teach someone else how to do it to my particular specifications.
Printing is something I still enjoy doing, and I intend to keep it that way and I do not plan on stopping any time soon.
I do hire friends to come in and help on larger Custom Printing jobs
to make sure that the work gets done on time and arrives at the venue before the band does to take some of the strain off me.
The more people that accept the way I do things, keep ordering shirts, sit back and relax while
I do my thing and patiently wait until a specialized kick ass shirt arrives at their doorstep,
the longer I will keep on doing what it is I do...