Build Your Business:

The Framework of a Champion

January 14, 2016

Each year, Impressions invites apparel decorators of all experience levels from shops of all sizes to enter the annual Impressions Awards competition.

The entries, submitted from around the world, are all works of art in their own right. This year, one particular entry — a framed portrait of the third President of the United States, Thomas Jefferson — blew the judges (and the Impressions staff) away.

Combining intricate detailing with an innovative use of allover embroidery, “Portrait of Thomas Jefferson,” submitted by Zhanna Plaksina, Quito, Ecuador, was not only named this year’s overall Grand Champion, but it also received Grand Champion: Embroidery honors during the 37th Impressions Awards competition, which took place during ISS Fort Worth, held this past Oct. 15-17. The judging panel, which featured industry experts in embroidery, digital decorating and screen printing, thought the design was an excellent representation of the industry’s best work.

While “Portrait of Thomas Jefferson” was a standout, many submissions wowed the judges, from screen-printed production pieces to detailed embroidered apparel and unique digitally decorated entries. Once again, Impressions was thrilled to welcome many first-time decorators to the competition and see such a variety of innovative decorating techniques.

A victory in the Impressions Awards competition is just the start for the designs featured in this issue. In addition to coverage here, all winners will be displayed at every ISS event this year — in five different regions of the country — as well as online in the Impressions Awards galleries. Also, all of this year’s entries will be featured online as an opportunity for decorators whose designs did not make the winners’ podium to get much-deserved recognition for hard work and excellent design execution.

It’s never too early to start thinking about this year’s competition. The official entry form will be available on the Impressions website in May, but if you are interested in entering early, please contact Associate Editor Lauren Mitchell Volker at for more information.

Congratulations to the winners and thanks to all who entered last year. We’re proud to showcase the talent and creativity this innovative industry has to offer.