One Small Piece Can Lead to Big Things

by Mary Castelli, Marketing

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Caine Monroy had a dream. Nothing would stand in his way. This 9-year-old boy, filled with creativity and determination, built an arcade out of cardboard boxes. A claw machine was built with yarn and a simple S hook. A soccer machine had toy soldier blockers. He even built a cardboard office, all before hosting a single visitor!

Caine dreamed of the day he would have lots of customers visit his arcade. Every Saturday and Sunday he’d patiently wait while proudly wearing the shirt he’d thought up and designed. Some might see simple Cooper letters on a plain blue T-shirt, but Caine couldn’t have been more proud of it.

One day his persistence paid off. Nirvan Mullick came into Caine’s father’s auto parts store, looking for a ’96 Corolla door handle. Mullick, a filmmaker, was quite taken with Caine and his arcade. Saddened by the fact that he was Caine’s first and only customer, he hatched a plan. Secretly meeting with Caine’s dad, he discussed filming a flashmob visit to Caine’s Arcade. Knowing the happiness this would bring Caine, his father agreed. Shortly after creating the event request on Facebook, a friend’s repost on HiddenLA sent it viral. NBC News soon followed and before you could say “Caine’s Arcade” it had made it on Reddit. Across the nation, and around the world, people were posting how they wished they could attend.

Caine’s inspiration, paired with this random act of kindness, became unstoppable. The short film Mullick produced at the October event was posted on The initial goal was to raise $25,000 for a scholarship fund to help with Caine’s education. The first day the film was posted, over $60,000 was raised. A week later, the Goldhirsh Foundation pledged a matching dollar-for-dollar grant of $250,000. The Caine’s Arcade Foundation was born and will ensure that children’s innovation and creativity thrive. Since the film’s posting on April 9, $202,673 has been raised.

How does this relate to your business? Think back. Have you turned away jobs that seemed too small? Would you willingly create a single shirt? Many see baby garments as an unprofitable inconvenience, but you never know when that garment will be a part of something HUGE.

If you own a heat press, there are several easy ways to accommodate small orders, whether they’re small in number or in size. Pre-Cut Letters and Numbers are simple to stock, and accommodate single shirt requests in minutes. Pre-Spaced Text and Numbers, available in low quantities, is another simple solution. A wide selection of heat transfer materials, available in a variety of finishes and effects, can be cut on your vinyl cutter to accommodate most any request. And recent advances in digital technology have added CAD-PRINTZ® full color digital transfers to the mix.

With so many options for producing small runs it’s time to reconsider your stance on one-piece orders (again, whether they’re orders for one garment or several one-piece garments). Don’t miss out on your chance to be a part of something BIG. Happy Decorating!



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