At Threadbare, one of our core values is to embrace the unknown. This one’s a biggie, as it ends up creating a lot of opportunities for growth in our trade.

Embracing the unknown can include anything from screen printing on Yeti coolers to implementing an embroidery department with little-to-no previous knowledge of the craft. Sometimes, you just gotta trick yourself into thinking you can make it work, and then fake it till you make it!

Recently, we’ve embraced the unknown in some exciting ways. While our shop traditionally specializes in the water-based inks that provide those soft, vintage style prints, we’ve taken on vinyl heat pressing as a new option. Ultimately, this has allowed us to provide our customers with a new service: on-demand, heat pressed customizations.

So far, we’ve had the pleasure of heat pressing nicknames and other special requests onto the backs of the Bier Stein’s tees for one of their staff parties. It really made the tees extra special for each staff member!

Additionally, we were lucky enough to be able to offer on demand heat pressing at the 2021 Olympic Trials here in downtown Eugene, as well as gold/silver/bronze decals for some of the qualifiers. Using the metallic transfer material was extremely new for the team and initially gave them a hard time. Nonetheless, they went above and beyond to troubleshoot and, ultimately, complete the order!

While there’s been a learning curve, as there usually is with any new skill, the possibilities unlocked from taking on a new challenge are well worth the stress and uneasiness that often accompany new things!

As a small business, we’re particularly devoted to buying local whenever possible. Half of the places near our shop are actually current or past customers, so it’s only natural that we try and give them business! To us, we’re just paying it forward.

While buying local is mainly a philosophy to us, this business practice is actually quite critical as it brings benefits to the communities we live and work in. Just as consumers buying local more often can help boost their local economy, businesses can have the same impact (if not more) by purchasing from local businesses, too!

For Threadbare, paying it forward is never uneventful: bicycle pub tours with the folks at Pacific Pub Cycle, axe throwing sessions at Oregon Axe, staff appreciation nights at Oakshire (with the after party at Oregon Wine LAB, of course), and even personal movie nights at the Broadway Metro. These are just a few of the many options nearby our shop in downtown Eugene.

These sort of local, business-to-business purchases can be more important than many people think. With the events of COVID-19, buying local acted as an economic support for many small businesses in our city. At Threadbare, we went as far as creating an online store selling shirts and other merch from many of Eugene’s local restaurants, with 100% of the money going straight to the respective business. In a very practical sense, this helped our customers make some revenue such that they would still be in business (and buying tees) once the quarantine was lifted.

However your business can invest in the local community, regardless of the amount, please do it! The benefits to your community alone are astounding. As an added bonus, this local economic impact will also bring benefits to your business: not only does it keep more revenue within the local economy, it can also make your business stand out from others.

To read more about the benefits of local business-to-business purchasing, this article by SCORE, a nonprofit dedicated to helping small businesses grow and achieve their goals, has more information.