The whole thing started as a very simple idea. Much like any good, simple idea we realized that actually done right this could be so much more. However, we could never have imagined the overwhelming response to our first ever Halloween “ScreenPrint your own Tote bag” Spooktacular.
The pitch was that the Kids school holidays were just around the corner. It was also coming up to Halloween and what does every kid need for trick or treating? YUP Tote Bags for their sweets. We had decided that we were going to provide a quick and easy crash course in how to SCREENPRINT your very own Tote Bags with a specially designed image that our very own Nika had created just for the sessions.
What started as “Let’s run this for 2 or 3 days” quickly became “why not a week”. There were conversations around timings and making the bookings every couple of hours but for reasons I shall explain in a minute that went right out of the window.
It had been decided by MD Sarah McMorn “There will be no charge for this”. General Manager John Dougall also thought we needed copious amounts of sweets Oh and we need to decorate the Embroidery Unit. It is safe to say that the team felt like we were now on a mission and this was going to be a successful team effort… Well, Now we need to tell our Master Screen Printer EVAN **yikes**
We had to get the word out now because all of this was decided on Thursday and we needed to let parents know. Kevin (that’s me) took to social media and started shouting from the rooftops. I also put a letter together for all of the schools to send out via ParentMail (we can’t thank the local schools enough for their help), also quick shout out to Emma Baxter too who was hugely instrumental in helping share our posts getting the word out.
As mentioned above Nika got to work on not 1 but 2 spooky designs for the kids to choose from, an orange halloween pumpkin and a scary witch (she smashed this out of the park). John set to work on decorating the dept and buying tons of sweets. While I had to break the news to a somewhat bemused (yet secretly buzzing) Evan.
Oh yeah we also somehow had to get the Screen Printing Carousel along which sounded easy enough but it turns out these things don’t like to be moved all that much.
THE CALM BEFORE:
Now we wait… The messages and phone calls started to trickle through for bookings which really was exciting but we didn’t want to overload the dept so spacing was key. It was clear by Sunday night spacing was out the window and the early indicator was that our week would be pretty full and that John might need to get more sweets!!! SPOILER ALERT we ran out a couple of times.
MONDAY (The Kev and Ev Show):
Monday came round and before we knew it 10am had arrived, bringing with it our first two Jr Screen Printers cousins Mila and Mackenzie. It was okay though because I had my script memorized (a script that saw numerous revisions through the week) and if it went sideways I could just quickly get to Evans section. Our little learners were about to get a crash course in screen printing and they loved it. I guess now would be a good time to run through how the visits went…
- I would meet our young Ghouls and Goblins at the door and explain the process briefly. So many kids came dressed up which was adorable.
- Once the image was chosen for their totes it was over to “The Carousel of Carnage” tastefully decorated with fake blood, you know to really sell the gimmick.
- Evan would demonstrate the process of pushing the ink through the screen onto the A4 Paper ready for the “Sacred Sands of time from the Persian Shores” If you know the reference, you know.
- Now it’s round to the Little Buddy to basically Bake the image ready for pressing to the Tote. Every now and then I would call this “The Dutch Oven”. Much like Disney, It’s good to add a little humor in there for the parents hahaha.
- To the Heat Press where our now fully trained screen printers would press the image onto the Tote bag. You wouldn’t even believe how many kids were amazed when I told them it uses the heat of a thousand candles. I have zero evidence to back this up but it is very very hot.
- Now the best part. Get some sweets and pose at our Social Media wall…
Monday went by without much of a hitch, we had 18 children come through the door of varying ages and the response from each and every child was somewhat overwhelming. Parents too, they had so many great things to say about what we were doing. The calls had not stopped coming in either for bookings so the week ahead was looking busy.
It is safe to say that the week had been a huge success, we have about 200 photos and a bunch of videos to show. They all ended up on our social media in some form or another. In total we ended up having 148 children come in to learn from us. Evan was going to sleep well that weekend. Now on a personal level I have to say on behalf of the team that Parents, you guys really came through when bringing your little ones to have a go at Screen Printing and we loved having them here. Every child was superb and they were absolute naturals that I would love to see come through our doors again and hopefully we shall be planning more things like this for the future. So many different stories we will take from all of this and even Evan started to get into the swing of everything (while pretending he wasn’t).
All in all the week was a huge success and none of it could have been done without the participation of our young Screen Printers. I think from the very start we knew the idea was a good one and it could really be a community experience for all in these strained times. I don’t think we thought it would grow the legs it grew. Fantasy Prints as a company was very proud to see so many eager beavers wanting to join us for this and we can’t thank all of the parents enough. For those that could not be squeezed in, we shall hopefully run something like this again soon. So keep those eyes peeled for our next event.
THANK YOU and See You Soon.