There are plenty of customization in the fitness world, and now thanks to Mt. Borah athletes can get suited up in custom apparel complete with logos and graphics. And unlike many companies that require a large run of 25 or more units, Mt. Borah offers its services for low as six jerseys.
We spoke to Ben Wizner, head of team sales and marketing, about how they make this possible.
KineticShift: Today it seems we can do many products in small runs. Is this because the technology has changed so much to allow people to do these small product production runs?
Ben Wizner: When Mt. Borah first entered the custom sublimation market in 2001, it was with the focused intent to fill the gap that larger custom firms had left open for low minimum orders. The small six-unit minimum offer truly redefined the market back then and still does today.
Digital technology was also a catalyst for growth in this market as the design and printing process became so much more efficient and highly integrated. But even more so than technology, it was the commitment to design and manufacture 100 percent of our products here in Wisconsin, which still remains true to this day.
KS: Many of your competitors require larger number of jerseys to be produced, so how did you come about at deciding that six was the minimum number?
BW: Six units was the perfect balance between an ultra-competitive offer in the custom market matched with a simple economies of scale equation. We had to develop the resources, technology and innovation needed to run a domestic production line while staying competitive and obtainable to our custom apparel customers.
KS: Many competitors also don’t allow single one-offs of follow up orders? Again, is this something technology has allowed?
BW: The technology has certainly played a key role in our no-minimum re-order policy, but more importantly as we produce our products here in the US, the control and promptness on delivery gives us the ability to serve customers in a way an overseas production firm cannot. This part of our business (no minimum re-orders) has proved crucial to the growth and long-term relationships we’ve developed with our customers year after year.
KS: There is also the fact that many athletes and teams would like a jersey or uniform kit but simply don’t know what is involved in designing one. Does your semi-custom solution solve some of these problems?
BW:The semi-custom design center is a very nice tool for many of our customers as it gives them a starting point for their design ideas. If customers are more in-tune for a full-custom design, we are able to provide art consulting and logo re-creation services from our in-house art staff at minimal fees.
KS: And again, back to the technology. Is it easier today for users to create logos and other graphics and for Mt. Borah to be able to match the colors and make the jerseys something that a few years ago was really out of the reach for most small runs?
BW:We find that more people in today’s age have greater access to the programs and formats necessary to provide usable artwork right from the get-go. If they are unable to find good quality logos, we do have a logo re-creation service that we can offer them for a minimal fee as mentioned previously. With a full digital dye sublimation process, we have thousands of colors to work with – therefore making color matching more feasible.
Thank you Ben for talking with us.