Wilmington Business Journal

Jon Spetrino at DazTech HQ: The company sources, prints, stores and distributes promotional materials for clients including on-line retail marketer and dail deals website, LivingSocial.

A nondescript office building in downtown Wilmington is the hub for sales and marketing materials for one of the fastest growing on-line social retail sites out there: LivingSocial.

For the past two years, the company that offers on-line daily deals, like Groupon, in about 647 markets worldwide has contracted with DazTech, a Wilmington-based print and on-line promotional design company to purvey, print, distribute and manage its promotional materials. That effort includes housing about 40 different products in Wilmington and shipping out 15 to 20 orders daily to sales reps in all 50 states, Canada, England, the Netherlands and New Zealand. DazTech has been working with LivingSocial for about two years.

The local promotional printing company came from humble roots. DazTech began by screen-printing t-shirts in a basement with a dryer named The Spirit that had a propensity for arson.

“It was a horrible way to start. Half the shirts we’d print would catch on fire and catch the others on fire,” said Jon Spetrino, 38, owner and president of DazTech. He began the company in 1992 with his brother Dave Spetrino, 40, president of Plantation Building Corp. The company’s name is an amalgamation of Dave’s initials, D.A.S., and Aztec, for the tribal-style that was popular in the early 1990s.

Game changer

“When I took on LivingSocial, that was something I always envisioned us wanting to do or being able to do,” Jon Spetrino said. The opportunity arrived when, one day, a former client called him with a rush order for 500 lime green corkscrews for a start-up company.

“When that call came in, I wrapped my hands around it,” he said.

That was two years ago, when LivingSocial was just spreading its wings. Now, the Washington, D.C.-based company has more than 60 million members, who log in to take advantage of discounts on local restaurants, goods and services, activities and getaways in metros around the world. Word on the street is the Port City will become one of LivingSocial’s next new cities in early April. A spokesperson for the company would not confirm its expansion into the Wilmington market, although a local sales rep has been hired. As of now, the nearest city to cash in on its deals is Raleigh.

LivingSocial’s good fortune has enabled to DazTech to double its business and add two new full-time positions. The company, which used to operate project-by-project, now has accounting, billing, sales, design and distribution set up.

For LivingSocial, the company sources schwag, such as magnetic finger puppet monkeys, imprints items with the LivingSocial logo, stores it and distributes it to sales and marketing staff, who place their orders on-line. Spetrino created the on-line store that manages LivingSocial’s inventory and enables orders to be placed around the world at any time.

On any given day, an order of 20,000 peppermint fortune cookies with custom messages or 5,000 sunglasses could be delivered to DazTech’s downtown office, where it stores LivingSocial’s apparel, bottles, pens, tradeshow booths and banners. To accommodate the orders, Spetrino began leasing the 6,000-square-foot space in September.

Back in the day

DazTech began with printing t-shirts for a rugby team and then a fraternity.

“I am the hands-on person. I am the printer, the screen washer. I even got into embroidery to do the Greek lettering, the cutting and sewing,” Spetrino said.

But it was Dave’s idea to move the company out of the basement and into a storefront.

“Dave, who is really more of a business developer, was able to generate a lot of business opportunity,” he said.

DazTech’s first big order came in 1997 when specialty food purveyor Wagner Gourmet Foods contracted the company to design and print 50,000 customized mugs for its 150th anniversary.

That order gave Dave Spetrino enough capital to get his general contractor’s license and begin Plantation Building Corp. Following that, he handed over the DazTech reins to his younger brother.

1992 DazTech is founded in Radford, Va.
First t-shirt orders were for the Radford Rugby Team and Sigma Chi fraternity

1995 DazTech moves to Wilmington

1997 The young company prints 50,000 customized mugs for Wagner Gourmet Foods;
Dave Spetrino receives N.C. general contractors license and forms Plantation Building

2001 DazTech moves to the Washington, D.C. area, where Jon gets into multimedia and web

2006 Jon moves DazTech back to Wilmington and launches several local retailers’ on-line

2010 DazTech fulfills its first LivingSocial order: 500 green corkscrews

2011 LivingSocial rebrands and grows to about 4,900 employees;
DazTech adds space to store and distribute LivingSocial’s marketing materials, from
fortune cookies to tradeshow booths

2012 DazTech turns 20

Article Written: Alison Lee Satake of Greater Wilmington Business Journal

Got Trade Show?

What to Do…

BEFORE Your Next Trade Show or Event

Things to consider and decide ahead of time:
• Your display. Is your current display attention-getting? Does it reflect your brand? Does it meet all applicable codes and requirements? Is it easy to ship and set up.
• Pre-event promotion. Tell customers and prospects you are attending an event via your website, social media or email, and develop a compelling reason like a demo, contest or giveaway for them to come see you.
• Your goals. Generating a certain number of leads? Connecting with key customers? Consider offering a complimentary service or incentive to prospects or current customers who meet certain criteria.

AT the Event

Things you can do to keep the momentum going:
• Make sure your display is set up to quickly and immediately show what you do.
• Position your booth furnishings to make the area inviting and comfortable.
• Showcase any products or graphics in the best possible light – literally! Dark spaces or blocked graphics diminish the effectiveness of your presentation.
• Reinforce branding in everything from display to giveaways. Don’t forget creative use of space like the floor or tablecloth.
• Step out of the box. Come out from behind the table and engage with passersby.
• Start conversations with open-ended questions that will encourage visitors to stay and talk.

AFTER the Event

Things you can do to ensure your hard work at the show pays off:
• Follow through on every customer interaction in a timely manner. A phone call or email the week after the event is more productive than one a month later.
• Deliver on your promises. Send that sample or brochure, schedule a follow-up meeting or deliver a proposal when you said you would. If there’s a delay, contact the customer or prospect to explain why or risk doing permanent damage to your reputation.
• Track your return on investment. Compare the results to the goals you set to determine whether the event is worth attending again. Not sure how to track results? New technology like QR codes and dedicated landing pages can help gauge how many people you reached at a specific event.

Cotton Pricing and Our Industry

Each year when we have to choose the layout details for our apparel catalogs, I wonder if I should include pricing. I typically shy away from putting the price of a single shirt. DAZTech often produces a volume of shirts in excess of 12 pieces for both screen printing and embroidery. There are so many variables to determine the cost of an item with a customized logo or layout – imprint or thread color(s), quantity, size of decoration, locations (front, back, sleeve, all of the above), even the shirt color affects pricing. Dark colors are not only more expensive, they are harder to print on often requiring a base imprint layer to ensure a clean imprint.

Cotton pricing is nearly double the cost from just a year ago. This could affect your purchasing decisions in 2011. Perhaps you will opt for a simplified design using less imprint colors, maybe order less volume to maintain your budget. If you are interested in producing T-shirts for an upcoming event, 5k or marathon, or simply for the company employees… please don’t hesitate to ask us questions or request a customized quote. We carry nearly every apparel line and will do our best to meet your needs while keeping your custom imprinted apparel costs low. Mfg’s include Gildan, Hanes, American Apparel, Jerzees, Anvil, Fruit of the Loom, Devon & Jones, Chestnut Hill, Nike, Adidas, Port Authority.

Creative Bag Designs and Concepts

Daztech can not take credit for designing and printing these creative bag ideas… it was one of those mail forwards that I happened to find relevant to our industry and most of the images entertaining. Hope you will enjoy as well!

Most bags that require full color printing or an imprint covering large areas are produced in high volumes. 5000 qty plus is typical minimum. The cost in high volume is fairly low per bag, there are often minimal setup/plate fees and the end results can be extremely creative allowing our imaginations to run wild…


Looking for Promotional Products?

You’ve come to the right site.

Whether you are looking for a specific item or just browsing for ideas, our site is your one-stop shopping source. From fun items to the traditional, you can easily shop for some of the hottest items on the market.

Quickly and easily find products to:

  • Improve traffic at trade shows
  • Promote a new product
  • Motivate staff with gift incentives
  • Thank a customer
  • Increase safety awareness

Click Here for the full gallery of promotional products, with product descriptions and pricing.

Click Here for to view our online catalog of sportswear and T-Shirts.

To best serve you we would like to see your logo or layout in advance to determine the best products to use and offer suggestions based on our print experience. If you do not have a design or logo for use, please contact us.

Welcome to Daztech Promotions!

After having a website that has been “under construction” for years, I decided to actually treat our company as a client. A beautiful Saturday afternoon, Labor Day weekend, looking at the project board that has nearly run out of room. This is a great thing! Positive energy when we are this busy. Working on projects that range from a simple logo design (ZZ Metal & Stone, Memphis, TN), Goat & Compass flyer AD to win FREE Tickets to Carolina Panthers v. Atlanta Falcons game in December, Can Cooler Koozie Layouts for the Duck and Dive, Crystal Lifetime Achievement Awards for an event management firms client, T-shirts for each of the 1056 students of an elementary school in Charlotte, Patches for uniforms for the Fillin’ Station Grille that is opening up in 3 weeks, Shirts for Camp Tall Timbers 40th Reunion, Table Center Display concepts for a 2011 event that will be fast approaching, developing iPad Kiosks for LivingSocial.com that will proudly sit in featured merchant locations in the major markets and then when all that is done, I must apply decals to the 36 galvanized buckets that are lined down our hallway for a crab fest in MD next week.  Just a wide range of productions that make up what we do here at Daztech.

So, instead of working through all of  these productions today, I thought it would be interesting to finally install our webpage. Not just for you to check in and see what we are up to or what we can do, but for us, to help us start collecting and showcasing work we have done.  Hopefully becoming a cool repository so that one day I can look back and recall all the amazing opportunities and fun projects we have had the pleasure working with you on.

We manage several sites, build smaller sites that fit that particular niche where the client needs a simple presence, wants their own custom email, provides some contact information, and that is that. Nothing crazy, nothing expensive, nothing they have to manage. Sure we can work on optimizing the sites with some SEO techniques… we already install google analytics so our customers can look at their site stats, keyword searches, visitor information, we know how to develop eCommerce applications, tie everything into MySQL databases, capture data, build custom forms and registration pages, build email campaigns through sites like constant contact and mailchimp…  DAZTECH does all this but doesn’t even claim a site. Unbelievable.  Sure, a simple splash page, a couple of links: Promotional Products or Custom Printed Apparel?  Today, I installed WordPress configured everything to manage the content I will be feeding it. Little by little, it will no longer resemble a site “Under Construction”.

I have been asked several times this year, “You build peoples websites but don’t even have one of your own?”. Unfortunately, “YES”.  It is slightly comical. I do tell everyone that ever asks, “Word of mouth is absolutely your best form of advertising”. What we do here merely complements and solidifies.  There is more to it than that. I simply never stop what I am doing and focus on my own brand and the image we should have in place. Shame on me! Yes, I do have business cards although I rarely carry them and use them more often to showcase the difference between Gloss UV Finish and a Matte Finish.  I am a huge believer in low overhead, offering quality products, fast production, and value. We rely on repeat business, we don’t try to sell, we focus on creative solutions, offering advice, and provide options that hopefully very relevant.

Thank you all for the support, confidence in having us produce your print work for you or your clients.

Daztech works locally in downtown Wilmington, North Carolina, however our products have a global reach.
For more information on our products and services, contact Jon Spetrino.