At Roland DG, we get very excited when we launch new devices and why wouldn’t we? It makes us proud when our investment in research and development results in ground-breaking new solutions. It’s easy to forget that our already-established devices are still changing lives and helping jump-start new businesses.
Take Sonality for example, a new personalised baby and children’s clothing company. Dipe Rajani, Sonality’s founder, used to work in banking but he always dreamed of setting up his own business and becoming his own boss. When his wife became pregnant, it was the catalyst he needed to take the leap into a new and exciting career. In 2017, he started coming up with business ideas. “I was looking for something that I knew I’d enjoy,” says Dipe. “Having an interest in fashion, I decided to focus on customised babies and kids clothing.”
Having made his decision, Dipe begun his research and discovered something surprising. “I was a little shocked to see how limited the choice was for personalised clothing. I looked at a lot of sellers on sites like Not on the High Street and the custom options were generally very basic. I wanted to take it a step further and push the boundaries of personalisation”
The name ‘Sonality’ demonstrates Dipe’s commitment to letting customers brand their clothing according to their per’sonality’. The Sonality website contains a design studio giving customers full control over their design. They can add text, images, upload images and create totally unique designs on top quality organic clothing. “We’re in a diverse and multicultural society and tastes are as individual as the people buying clothes,” says Dipe. “In the old days, boys had to settle for dinosaurs and girls had to settle for ponies. Now, with our design studio, if a boy wants a purple unicorn on a skateboard, nobody can tell him ‘no’.”
Aside from offering the ability to create custom designs, Dipe also gives his customers the choice of different heat-transfer material. “One of the things I love about vinyl cutting is the range of different material available. If our customers want to add a little extra ‘wow’ factor, they can choose to have their designs cut from leopard print, flock or glitter.”
The Right Equipment
Dipe’s research led him to discover the wide variety of options available for customising clothing. After studying the market in detail, he decided that using heat transfer vinyl would fit his business. He approached Roland Dealer, Xpres, to find out what his options were. “Xpres are a brilliant company to work with and I found them very helpful. I took their advice and decided to buy a GS-24 cutter from Roland.”
When he was investing in new equipment, Dipe also purchased a direct-to-garment device. Since working with these new machines, Dipe has had the chance to weigh up the pros and cons of each. “The DTG process can be quite fiddly,” he says, “but the GS-24 is incredibly simple and easy to use by comparison - I was ready to go with only an hour of training.” The quick setup was just one feature of the GS-24 that impressed Dipe “Since we launched Sonality in March, the cutter has been operating non-stop without a single problem - it just takes anything that’s thrown at it”.
Reliability and efficiency were major factors in Dipe’s choice. Since his customers have an almost limitless choice of designs, no two orders are alike and as such, it’s impossible to prepare orders in advance. Once the customer submits an order on sonality.co.uk, the website automatically produces a pdf containing their design. “It’s very efficient for me,” says Dipe, “once the order comes through, the cutter can start working within two minutes.”
What’s next for Sonality?
After launching the new Sonality website in March 2019, Dipe has his sights set on further investment to help his business grow. “I want Sonality to become a big name in the kids clothing and gifting market and I’m already looking at expanding my capabilities. I’d like to have a few cutters preloaded with different vinyl so that I can prepare orders even faster. I’m also looking into purchasing a printer/cutter to give my customers even more options.”
At Roland, we love to see our devices changing lives and sending people off on new adventures. Sonality is a great example of somebody following their dreams and creating something unique and we’re delighted that our GS-24 has played a part in Dipe’s story. If you want to find out what a cutting plotter can do for you, click here to download the new Roland Guide to Vinyl Cutters and if you want to know what success looks like, visit sonality.co.uk.