I got into the official “screen printing industry” in 2004 directly out of the world of punk rock, warp tour, recording and touring. While some aspects of the industry were fun like the creation of art and seeing it come alive on a garment, helping new printers start, learn and grow, and experiencing massive growth ourselves with all the fun and challenges that come along with that. There was one thing that was very clear to me, the industry lacked the business energy, learning, motivation and ultimate personal and corporate growth that comes from this. Education was focused on technical skills and while learning inside the industry seemed to be strong, there was so much left on the table outside of it.
15 years later I am excited to say that has all changed. In the last two years the focus on personal and business development and growth has become alive and well inside of garment decoration. It’s no longer enough to go to a tradeshow and hear the same seminar that has been taught for the past 20 years, or get on a forum and talk about EOM, thread diameter, and tension, the bar has been set to search outside of what we know and learn from what others have done outside of our world of ink, squeegees, and t-shirts because after all, if we aren’t pushing ourselves and others around us to learn and grow, the only other option is to die.
Two years ago my friend and industry leader Brett Bowden pitched and idea to me that would bring the content, thought leaders, and movers and shakers together in one place to feeI off the goodness and energy we were all craving and frankly needing. A year later in 2018, this launched as ThreadX 2018! In February, 200+ screen printers, garment decorators, and thought leaders gathered in the Palm Desert to kick off this inaugural and what I would consider to be momentous event. The energy was alive and the speakers were primed.
I was asked to speak and entitled my topic “stand up or shut up” which I built to inspire and motivate the audience to push themselves and this industry forward, stop settling, stop compromising, and stand up. I speak a lot and can honestly say I have never been so nervous and excited to speak to a group of people in my life, why? It wasn’t the number of people, it wasn’t the subject, it was the reason behind why everyone was there. They were there to grow, to push themselves forward, to achieve something collectively I have not seen in the industry for the 14 years I had been it it.
At the end of the day, I can honestly say that SGIA delivered on our expectations and helped to make a new stage in the garment space. This belief that we must grow, we must learn, and we must drive ourselves and each other forward is something I hold core to the bone and events like ThreadX help pull all that together! With the success of the first year ThreadX is poised for an encore presentation February 17-19 in San Diego, CA. This year the stage is set with panels on “live screen printing”, major league garment decoration, and thought leading speakers like Aaron Draplin on branding, development and motivation. The best part is that SGIA has made it more accessible to more printers and garment decorators by increasing the number of seats, lowering the fees, and making the location easier to get it!
Whether you’re feeling on fire or stuck, in needing new ideas and motivation, or just want to have an amazing time with your industries co-horts, I hope to see you at ThreadX 2019. https://sgia.swoogo.com/threadx19/