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Branded, a new store in Tempe, provides space for Arizona businesses looking to sell fashion and art such as clothing, jewelry, accessories, photography, and other works of art.
We talked to shopkeeper Drew Reyner about where the idea of starting such a company came from and how he would like to build a team to work with – and we received information about the opening on Saturday, March 29th, from 11 a.m. of business until 4 p.m.
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Next to the store is a screen printing warehouse where bands, corporations, and nonprofits can print clothes at a fraction of the price they would cost elsewhere, according to Renyer.
He says the idea for the store came during his endeavors at a nonprofit he founded called Give1Too, which was set up to help a friend’s daughter who had alopecia.
Reyner says it has come to Give Back Printing, the screen printing side of the branded retail store, where anyone can learn how to screen print under Reyner’s guidance and print their t-shirts much cheaper than other screen printing companies would cost .
When Reyner started Give1Too, most of the money he earned came from t-shirt sales and he used local screen printers for all of the Ts.
“I was curious how much it would actually cost to print these compared to what I paid for,” says Reyner. “I looked it up and thought, Gosh, we could do this ourselves. So I found a screen printing facility in Sacramento that was out of order, flew to Sacramento, put on a U-Haul, and drove back.”
At that time, according to Reyner, he opened a small shop in an industrial warehouse not far from the current brand location, in which he wanted to print exclusively for himself and the non-profit organizations. After deciding to do something to cover the cost, he got a local company looking for a place to print and taught them to do their own printing.
Reyner says the man from this company was there six days a week and the screen printing class was a great help to him.
“So I thought: This is great. I wonder if I can teach people that, they can save money, entrepreneurs can start new clothing lines and see if it works,” he says. “So we started to see if people wanted to print for themselves and it worked. They saved money and learned a trade so it was great. Then we started working with nonprofits to make them money save and make more money for their charities. “
Soon after, he decided to move locations to a location right next to Four Peaks on 8th Street in Tempe, with a small plaza next to a door. Reyner says he decided to give the people who came in and printed a place to sell their stuff.
“So they can come in and print and then sell right next door,” he says. “You can learn how to get into stores, how retail works, and all that stuff, and we’ve added the charity component from Give Back Printing along the way. We have three rotating charities every month so whatever we buy, Give like a little nerf golf ball, and the charities have their own little stations, so you indicate which charity you want to support, and then we make custom shirts for the charities we donate revenue to. “
On the screen printing side, 10 percent of sales are donated to a company charity that selects screen printing from a list provided by Reyner.
“Nonprofits come in and don’t want to pay a lot of money,” Reyner says. “And I sit with them and we print shirts together … you only pay for the t-shirts, the screen we print on, and then it’s just a small hourly fee.”
Reyner says he love the work he does with Branded and Give Back Printing because he went to secondary school and wanted to teach business in high school and in coach.
“This is the best of both words, I can still teach, I can still run a business, so I love it,” Reyner says.
As of now, the only criteria for bringing an item into the store is a company in Arizona – the store does not accept anyone from outside of the state – and it has to correspond to the overall theme, i.e. everything that has to do with fashion and art.
Reyner says he wants everyone who comes in to sell his product to be a collaborative member of the business.
“I don’t want people to come in and just take off their clothes and say, ‘Well, I’m coming back to pick up a check, hopefully it’ll sell,'” he says. “And I don’t want to be the kind of guys who ‘bring your stuff here, hopefully it sells.’ I want you to work with me – together on marketing, sales, growing your brand and growing this business it’s super interactive. “
Reyner says the companies will come to a brainstorming session every month where anyone can share what worked and what didn’t work for them, share contacts, and have forward-looking discussions.
“Every clothing company I’ve spoken to wasted an immense amount of time and money right from the start, just the learning curve,” says Reyner. “It’s just a great way to skip a lot of adversity and learn from other people.”
Aside from nonprofits and local clothing companies, Reyner says much of his screen printing business comes from local indie bands who have shirts printed on a weekly basis.
As of now, Branded offers products from around 15 different companies and three local artists.
The grand opening of the store is Saturday, March 29th, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. It takes place in front of the store, with stalls from all the companies, games and sweepstakes, coffee from Espresso Italia – the cafe that will go to the store next door – offered on a donation basis, as well as two of the current charities, Mayday Pit Bull Rescue and Advocacy and Jette’s Journey Foundation.
According to Reyner, Jette’s parents came in and discussed how they could work together to help the charity raise more money. Jette is a 12 year old going through another round of chemotherapy and has come up with a concept to help other children who are going through their first round of chemotherapy.
“His whole goal is to raise money to create what he calls ‘combat boxes’,” says Reyner. “What it is, for first-time chemotherapy kids, the gist of what he has learned is what he wants in a box. So he collects money to make the boxes and store supplies in them.”
All of the money raised through the event will be donated to Mayday Pit Bull Rescue and Advocacy and Jette’s Journey Foundation.
For more information, visit Branded on Facebook or getmebranded.com.
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