Supporting your business

L-R: Nadia Faccenda, host, Jawad Jumani, head of AWDis, Kirsten Ferrol, deputy product manager, and James Homan, business development manager

On Thursday, January 14, the team at AWDis hosted their very first webinar, with the aim of explaining how they can support your business. Here we run through what you missed out on.

Back in the autumn AWDis launched its business support team with the aim of supporting garment decorators seeking additional guidance to grow their business. To further enhance that support, the AWDis team hosted their first webinar exploring what they can do for you.

Taking to the floor first was Jawad Jumani, head of AWDis. JJ took the viewers through the fun video ‘How to pronounce AWDis’ and gave explanation behind the brand’s name. For those not in the know it’s actually an acronym for the term ‘all we do is’. Back when AWDis launched in 2008, the brand had just one hoodie style, the JH001 College Hoodie in 30 colours and five sizes. That’s literally all AWDis did! It’s still one of AWDis’ top selling styles 13 years later, but now comes in 74 colours with some going up to size 5XL.

Just Hoods was the first brand when AWDis started business. With the help of partners both on the supply side and the distributors the brand works so closely with it has grown to become one of the leading brands in hoodies, sweats and fleece products today. Three years after the introduction of Just Hoods, AWDis launched its second brand, Just Cool. Using the same formula as its big brother, Just Cool has developed into a leading brand in the printwear market focusing on sportswear and activewear.

AWDis Connect allows decorators to colour match across the AWDis brands with ease

The AWDis umbrella

Most of you will know about the presence of the Just Hoods and Just Cool brands under AWDis.  However, the AWDis umbrella has grown to include five other brands, some of which you may not have been aware of.

These include the following. Just Ts provides a wide choice of fashion forward Ts for both men and women where size, fit and fabric are all important. Just Polos showcases AWDis’ fantastic range of stylish polo shirts. So Denim is an adaptable and affordable work to weekend range of denim apparel. Écologie is a brand of fashionable garments at the forefront of sustainability without compromising on style. And finally, Academy focuses on great quality schoolwear.

Among the global trends that JJ mentioned, he also covered COVID and post-COVID operations, sustainability, ethical standards and co-operation with the factories, as well as the digital trends that are actively being explored and actioned by the AWDis team.

Next up was Kirsten Ferrol, deputy product manager. Kirsten opened by explaining a little bit about her job role. She explained that the AWDis product team has almost 20 years’ experience in the printwear and promotion market and that it is their mission to develop ranges that exceed customers’ expectations in terms of quality, range and price.

During her presentation, Kirsten took the time to inform viewers about the AWDis brands’ key styles, notable trends and new additions for 2021. Plus, she demonstrated the benefits of AWDis Connect, the facility that allows the customers to find matching styles and colours in the AWDis brands’ range. Especially sought after is matching colours in the Just Hoods, Just Ts and Just Polos offering. 20 of the 24 JT100 colours match back to the JH001, with all 14 colours of the JP100 matching both the JT100 T and the JH001 College Hoodie.

Kirsten then ran through the three core trends that are key to AWDis’ development process.

  • Performance: Away from AWDis’ core Neoterics, AWDis has created fashion led capsule collections using key performance led fabrics.
  • Retail led: Using a combination of current retail trends and in-depth future forecasting AWDis creates pallets, silhouettes and collections that are not only in demand right now, but will be relevant for a number of years to come.
  • Sustainability: Acknowledging this growing trend for sustainability throughout the industry AWDis launched its Just Hoods Organic Range for 2021. Kirsten said that the team used their expertise in high quality basic fleece styles to create a collection that gives you a sustainable version of the classic Just Hoods’ styles. Using 80% certified organic cotton and 20% recycled polyester the styles feature the same great printing surface as the JH001 with 100% cotton face making them ideal for nearly all embellishment techniques.
Acknowledging the growing trend for sustainability, AWDis introduced the Just Hoods Organic Range earlier this year

Business development

Following Kirsten was James Homan, business development manager, who was tasked with explaining the role of the new business development team. The team was created as the most effective method to reach out, contact, offer support and form close working relationships with as many printwear and promotion decorators as possible.

Last year AWDis conducted its first industrywide research into the printwear and promotion industry. From the results it was quite evident that more could be done, in particular to AWDis’ approach to communication and engagement.

James outlined what the team has been doing since it was set up in September last year. He said, that firstly, the team has been working hard attempting to reach out directly to as many decorators as possible throughout the UK. This is a tall order as from the research carried out, AWDis estimated there are as many as 8,000 of you. Secondly, he said it’s not just about contacting, it’s about starting to build strong relationships and partnerships. That means having some insightful and in-depth conversations with customers to discover what makes their business tick and how AWDis can help them in the near future. He continued to say that as a result of these conversations the team have been able to identify some challenges and opportunities for some decorators and have offered some solutions to the challenges and suggestions to maximise their opportunities.

According to James, many decorators have been asking for help with their marketing materials so the team has been supplying brochures, colour cards, pull up banners, branded hangers, posters and even branded manikins. There has been plenty of requests for digital images as well.

Further requests from decorators for product updates and samples have also been forthcoming.

James added that the team have also been informing decorators about everything that’s going on at AWDis. Many have been asking what new styles, products and colours have been introduced or are planned for the future.

James concluded that if the business development team can understand areas of your business such as your strategy, your market position, structure, intentions and marketing approach, then they can offer support through product and marketing customisation and supplements and ultimately add significant value to your business.

The three speakers then took to the floor to answer any questions from viewers that had been asked throughout the webinar.

That concludes the overview of AWDis’ first ever live webinar. If you missed it and would like to watch it, you can find the video on the AWDis Brand YouTube channel.

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