The Custom Rhinestone Apparel Business

Whatever business catches the interest of entrepreneur, the same two questions need to be answered before you open the doors, create the website or hit the road selling - What will you need to get started and Who are you going to sell your products to

You can get all the hardware and software you need to run your business starting at $15995 or lease to own for just about $340/month, and the markets, companies and individuals you can sell to are plentiful. In fact, more companies buy a second rhinestone machine, or upgrade their current one to the next largest, than any other apparel decorating technology we sell. 

Read the What You'll Need and Who You will Sell to sections below, then let's get started with your new business!

Or you could take a quick look at one of our Bling Success Stories with Pamela Mosby from Bling Out Loud... just click here.

What you Need to Get Started
 Getting Started in the Rhinestone T-Shirt Business

 First of all, let’s start with a few encouraging facts about starting your own rhinestone T-shirt business.


  1. As you can see from our ROI article, the profit margins on custom rhinestone t-shirts are excellent.
  2. You can easily get into the custom t shirt business for under $20K in hardware and software, which is probably less than the car you’re driving.
  3. The entire business can be operated from one small room.
  4. There’s a real track record of success in the wholesale rhinestone transfer business and the retail rhinestone t-shirt shop. The CAMS Automatic Rhinestone Setting Machine is the most upgraded apparel decorating system ColDesi sells, and many of our existing customers buy TWO or more… That’s a sign of success.

The components you'll need for a wholesale rhinestone transfer business, retail rhinestone decal or custom t-shirt shop.

• One Rhinestone Machine

The heart of your business, or at least the mechanical heart, will be your rhinestone transfer machine. Once you have an idea of the market you’d like to serve, and the budget you have to work with, you can choose the best rhinestone machine for you.

Some of the most basic questions you’ll need to answer are:

What is the best rhinestone machine for my application? If your focus is on simple designs and rhinestone decals, the CAMS 1V-2P may be fine. Or you may need the commercial wholesale rhinestone transfer machine, the CAMS 4H-3P

The CAMS 1V-2P sells for about $15K, or leases for $350/month, but can be more or less depending on your options.

• 1 or 2 Heat Press Machines

A heat press is essential for any apparel decorating business and you are sure to find many uses for it. With a  good, industrial heat press you can do rhinestone transfers, rhinestone decals, t-shirt transfers, and even embroidered patches if that’s already part of your business.

We normally recommend the GeoKnight DK20 Automatic Heat Press. This commercial clam-shell unit has a timer and an automatic pop up to make sure you don’t over press your rhinestone transfers, is made in the USA and has a great warranty. This heat press sells for $1345.00.

You should consider getting 2 heat presses if you expect do have a high volume business. It really speeds up production time!


• Rhinestone Software

We include Sierra Hotfix Era Rhinestone Transfer Design software with every CAMS Automatic Rhinestone Machine.  Not only does it make creating stunning rhinestone designs easier than ever before, you can add drivers that will run one of our new ProSpangle spangle transfer machines, a bling machine alternative to rhinestones, but will also run a plotter.

You can even upgrade your Hotfix Era software to Design Era and run an embroidery machine from the same application!

Who Will you Sell to?

Who is your Custom Rhinestone Transfer and T Shirts customer?

Your Marketing efforts are an important part of your business success, and it all starts with a list of who your potential customers might be. Here is a list of the most common prospects for your custom rhinestone apparel business. Your list may vary widely depending on your local market, but you should find some solid prospects and be inspired by the amount of available customers you can find!

Rhinestone T-Shirts for Schools

Schools are, of course, one of the most popular markets for custom rhinestone t-shirts and decals. Depending on the population in  your area, you may be surprised to find 40-50 schools in your county alone - in our own Hillsborough County, FL, there are almost 100! Schools of all sizes have similar needs as far as custom t-shirts and rhinestone wear goes including: Cheer Squads, Sports Team Fans and Boosters, Fundraising - many schools will sell "promotional" custom rhinestone t-shirts to support PTA, etc. 

Rhinestone Dance Costumes

Dance Schools - not only is there opportunity to provide rhinestone dance clothing for performances, but the dance school supporters and members often buy promotion clothing for every day use. 

Tourism and Rhinestone T-Shirts

This is a very popular market in our home State of Florida, but there are opportunities for tourism oriented t-shirts in almost every corner of the country. Walk into any tourism venue, a cruise ship terminal, airport, local landmark and even museum stores, and you'll see some king of rhinesotne t-shirtt or hat in evidence. Rhinestone resort wear is also a very profitable market, with bling machine produced flip flops and rhinestone resort tees available in every gift shop. How about a rhinestone logo on that complimentary bath robe?

Events, Clubs and Charities

Pick up any newspaper or search for "things to do" in your city and you'll find a charity run, dinner, picnic or club event going on almost every weekend. Each one of those organizations, teams and individuals are rhinestone t-shirt prospects!

"Trade" Shows

By trade shows we mean events that take place around a common interest. ColDesi has many DTG Printer and Rhinestone machine customers that make their living off specific market shows like: dog shows, gun shows, horse shows, boat shows - anything you can think of where a rhinestone "I Love ______" rhinestone t-shirt would sell. 


How a Rhinestone Machine Works
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