In our second edition of the Tier One Business Spotlight, I have the pleasure of introducing Ariall Crawford of Pretty in Kalico. Her company specializes in the creation of fun and personalized gifts through screen printing, sublimation, and heat transfer vinyl applications. During the course of the interview, we’ll gain insight how it feels to lose one's job (through no fault of her own) and turn what was once a simple hobby into a full-fledged business. Also, we’ll get an in-depth perspective on the lessons she had learned through the transition, all the while maintaining a loving family and household.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - How did the idea for your business come about?
It all just kind of sparked in my head, then I purchased my first cricut machine, which was about 7 years ago. Now, I have sublimation and commercial vinyl cutting machines.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - How did you come up with the name of your business?
Ironically, it was a combination of my maiden name, which is Kallimanis, and my father’s business influence. Taking The Kali then adding the co, getting Kalico. Thus, Pretty in Kalico was born.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - When did you start your business?
I was working a full time job and working roughly part time with my business during the inception year. I actually thought of it as a hobby and not an actual business. But, that all changed when I found myself unemployed due to company wide layoffs. At that point, I made the decision to jump in with both feet and to never look back.
T-Shirt Wholesaler -Can you describe your business? Location, Size, Number of Employees, Etc?
I run my small business out of my home with the main office located in the living room (lol). It is solely a one women operation.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - What motivates you?
Family has and always will be my driving force; my husband and son. After getting laid off, I refused to idle and wanted to provide any additional support to my family, the best I could.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - Can you describe your typical customer?
The bulk of my customer base are looking for quality at an affordable price. My average customer demographic would be female, age ranging between 18 – 65, with an estimated average gross income of between $15,000 – $45,000.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - What kind of culture exists in your organization and how did you establish it?
I believe on providing a product at an affordable price without compromising quality. I was able to achieve this by cutting cost on both material used and shipping. T-shirtwholesaler has helped cut my costs by at least 20%, with the tiered pricing system.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - What have your biggest challenges been and how have you overcome them?
First and foremost, maintaining a household whilst running a business. It was also challenging at first, transitioning from working for someone else to working for myself full time, and being more business minded when making decisions.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - What sets your business apart from the competition?
I offer a wide range of products at various of price points. Due to my geographic location, I can drive 20 minutes to a completely different demographic and am able to sell a higher end product without much resistance. It's a constant dance between finding the sweet spot on pricing and customer service.
T-Shirt Wholesaler - How do you define business success? Is it money? Freedom? Influence? Creative expression? Something Else?
Success to me is when you have repeat customers or I see customers wearing the shirts I have created! Also referrals are super satisfying too!
I’d like to extend a huge thank you to Ariall for all of her time and giving us an inside look into her business. If you are interested in any of the services she provides, you can get in touch with her via Pretty in Kalico’s Facebook or Instagram channels.