Blanks & Vinyl Shoppe

Home Business Blooms into Custom Print Shop

Blanks and Vinyl Shoppe   |   Magee, Mississippi

When you can’t find the shop you need, sometimes you just have to build one. Amanda Jackson of Magee, Mississippi had been creating custom designs using her craft vinyl cutter at home for years but was frustrated that the nearest supply store was an hour away. After careful consideration, in 2017 Amanda opened Blanks & Vinyl Shoppe, stocking vinyls of all types and offering heat transfer vinyl (HTV) and direct-to-fabric (DTF) apparel prints along with custom gifts.  

Now, her downtown shop is thriving – so much so that she’s looking for a new, larger space. We talked with Amanda about how she built her business, which production equipment purchases have made the difference for her, and what she’d like to do next. 

Graphics on folded T-shirts

How did you decide to start Blanks & Vinyl Shoppe? 

Amanda Jackson: I was making projects at home on my 15-year-old craft vinyl cutter, and I was having to drive an hour away to get supplies. I talked it over with my husband, researched the idea, and then opened my shop in October 2017. I started out selling different types of vinyl, along with whatever custom items I could produce on my craft cutter. 

Tell us about your store today. 

My store is located right off Main Street in downtown Magee. It measures about 700 square feet, and I run it with the help of two employees. I keep my printers in a production space behind a wall, and in the store’s retail area I stock all kinds of vinyls. I also display HTV and DTF prints and custom-printed gifts like T-shirts, tumblers, and blankets. 

“My new BN-20D makes creating custom apparel even faster...My clients love it!”

How did you choose your production equipment? 

In 2020, my business had begun to grow, so I decided to upgrade my production to a Roland DG VersaSTUDIO BN-20 20-inch desktop printer/cutter. I research everything before I buy, and the BN-20 is highly recommended among professionals. Also, it’s easy to operate. I looked up a few videos and basically taught myself how to use it.  

In addition to being more robust and faster than a crafting machine, my BN-20 can print in full color, and has integrated contour cutting. It’s a real workhorse. Some days it runs from 6 a.m. to 9 p.m.  

Personalized graphics with masquerade theme

What led you to add a direct-to-film system? 

Direct-to-film is appealing in that you don’t need to do any weeding or masking. My BN-20 is an incredibly reliable device, so when Roland DGA announced it was coming out with its BN-20D direct-to-film solution, I was immediately interested. My new BN-20D makes creating custom apparel even faster, and the color and performance have been great. My clients love it!  

What is a typical print order for your shop? 

Usually, my clients send me a picture of something they want, and we go from there. Or, if I post a product on my Facebook page, they contact me about ordering that item or something similar. Some of my clients just email me the digital download they purchased from a seller on Etsy or another site. I put my cut lines around it and send it to the printer, or just print it on the DTF system, depending on the client’s preference. 

A typical print order size starts at one item and can range up to hundreds of items. It just depends on what people are looking for. We do a lot of special occasion apparel. like reunion shirts, graduation t-shirts, wedding party shirts or hoodies, as well as plenty of sports team apparel. 

The bulk of my business consists of selling these prints from my printer/cutter and DTF machine. It’s going so well that we’re starting to outgrow our current workspace! 

Printed canvas with a bride in a park

What other products do you offer? 

Recently, I printed a dance floor decal for a wedding that featured the names of the bride and groom. It was a large graphic, but I just divided it up and ran it on my BN-20. I’m not scared to try anything. 

In addition to floor graphics, I’m getting requests for banners and posters. I’ve also printed baby shower signs, locker room nameplates, bridal portraits, and lots of stickers and decals. I also do a lot of seasonal graphics. For instance, these days I’m producing cut vinyl and decorations for graduation caps and signs. 

I sell adhesive vinyl, heat transfers and blanks, and gift items, including custom-printed T-shirts, dresses, and onesies along with jewelry, drinkware, and other fun items.  

What do you see for the future of Blanks & Vinyl Shoppe?

In the near future, I’d like to expand my shop’s footprint. I’d eventually like to add a large- format printer so that I can more easily produce banners, window graphics, and other products people are asking for. Also, clients have suggested that I conduct some classes, but I don’t have the space for that right now. 

There’s plenty of demand out there, and I feel confident that with the advanced, reliable, professional printing equipment I have, my business will continue to grow.