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DTG Trainging Academy

Posted by Jay Busselle on August 25th, 2020

The DTG Training Academy events have been an important part of the service provided after the sale for Equipment Zone customers. While there have been several paid, two day live training events, this past July was the first, free, online or virtual version. Equipment Zone is the only Epson dealer with the experience and staff to execute these types of live and virtual events.

Large business owners and their staff, small business owners, marketing directors, production managers, operations managers, entrepreneurs and even a few mom-preneurs were some of the participants who attended the Equipment Zone DTG training event. The event was for people who had been thinking about adding a DTG decoration process to their business. It was also for existing customers of Equipment Zone, Allmade Apparel, Cotton Heritage, Inksoft and Vastex.

What was the purpose of the DTG Training Academy?

Our goal was to provide a success template for apparel decorators in general and DTG printers specifically. We were able to develop a timely curriculum and cover critical topics like:

  • What is the correct DTG printing formula
  • How to create the perfect pretreatment process
  • Printing on t-shirts: good, better and best
  • Curing prints with a heat press or conveyor belt dryer
  • What is the Epson F2100 machine maintenance
  • How to sell branded merchandise with online stores
  • Printing on demand and live with your Epson F2100 DTG printer
  • Special guest Mel Lay from Allmade Apparel
  • Profile of Success with Brett Bowden, owner of Printed Threads

This event was designed for people who were hungry for accurate DTG training. Some already owned DTG printers and were looking for better information and less of a sales pitch. Many who attended had been thinking about adding a DTG decoration process to their businesses and wanted real information – not sales hype! This event was hosted and produced by Equipment Zone but would not have been as successful had it not been for the participation of the other industry leaders from Allmade Apparel, Cotton Heritage, Inksoft and Vastex.

The DTG Academy Trainers (in alpha order)

Brett Bowden: He started from his garage as a one man band. Now he has a crew of 27 and a multi-million dollar apparel decoration business, Printed Threads in Fort Worth, Texas. Don’t let the black hoodie wearing, rock n’ roll touring, golden-ginger long locks fool you. He’s a success and he can tell you how he did it!

Jay Busselle: Marketing Director at Equipment Zone. Printed (bootlegged) his first t-shirt when he was 16 and has been stuck in the promo & apparel industry… blah, blah, blah…he love’s branding! Jay is skilled at crushing tacos and was responsible for assembling the trainers and coordinating this event.

Terry Combs: Sales & Training at Equipment Zone. 35+ years in apparel decoration and he can still pull a squeegee and load a shirt! Terry has been involved in DTG printing from the beginning, about 16 years ago. He is a gifted trainer, an accomplished writer and author.

JP Hunt: Co-founder of Inksoft. Tried the soul patch for a while, then went to a glorious, hipster approved, full scale beard… and now he’s mostly clean shaven. JP is really and focused on helping you sell more branded merch online! Few know as much about setting up online stores.

Roy Huseman: Lead Technician for Equipment Zone. This guy is super geeky about droplets of ink. You think he loves DTG printing? Don’t get him started on Dye-sublimation! Roy is an expert at helping you DTG printer stay happy.

Mel Lay: Marketing Director at Allmade Apparel (now officially part of SanMar). Don’t call her Melissa. She started her own apparel company and Target tried to “borrow” one of her designs! Good Morning America interviewed her. She landed on Shark Tank but told them to pound sand. When she’s not being an awesome mom and spending time with her family – she’s kicking ass for Allmade.

Jeff Morgenthaler: Sales & Training at Equipment Zone. Jeff is happiest searching for rare jellyfish near San Diego, California. He loves riding horses with his family in the rugged mountains of Idaho. He also likes taking long walks off the mountain to think about things like how far is the emergency room. Jeff is committed to helping family business owners succeed.

Matt Rhome: Business Development at Epson America. Matt is the godfather of DTG. Some have said he's the OG of DTG! He is the original patent holder and is an expert in DTG business planning and printing. This is the guy that started it all. No joke!

Ken White: VP of Sales with Cotton Heritage. Some call him the cotton whisperer. He’s a true apparel nerd at the fabric level. That's rare. Some aren’t willing to go that deep. Ken is! If you want to talk about how tshirts and hoodies are made… Ken is your guy.

Paul Zingone: Sales at Vastex International and owner of his own business, IdentiTees. Like a lot of us, Paul is used to wearing a few hats. Some like it hot. Paul likes it hot and rolling off a belt. He understands conveyor belt dryers, DTG printing, Screen printing, Sublimation and did we mention dryers?

In total there were 479 online registrations. More than 1,200 people have watched the sessions on YouTube in the first 4 weeks since the live event.
To watch the DTG Training Academy videos click here: