pic the gift

Personalized: A Conversation with Pic the Gift from St. Louis

Mike Clark is the associate editor for Printwear and Sign & Digital Graphics magazines. Contact him at

While St. Louis-based company Pic the Gift has only been operational for approximately four years, a website boasting an extensive catalog of customizable merchandise reveals just how busy the company has been. Company founders Wes Pickering, Keith Abert, Larry Sainte-Marie, and Joe Werner started Pic the Gift as a channel for both retail and wholesale customers to personalize both soft and hard substrates. Apparel ranging from T-shirts to pajamas, to promotional goods including drinkware and totes offer visitors a wide range of items to choose from.

“The main idea was to get into the decoration business,” says Aaron Montgomery, director of sales and marketing. “It was originally intended to be a retail outlet, but we quickly realized there was a large need for wholesale sublimation.”

Part of focusing on this market involves Pic the Gift acting as conduit for designers who want to bring their original artwork to life on substrates like hand towels, apparel, and promotional goods, but don’t necessarily have the skill set or equipment to do so. Through the company’s services, designers can sell their products on e-commerce platforms like Etsy without having to worry about setting up their own equipment shop or keeping up with order volume. Pic the Gift, Montgomery explains, helps designers handle their high-quantity orders so that customers receive products within standard shipping times.

A busy shop featuring a set of 44" printers for hard substrates, two sublimation printers for soft substrates, and a wide-format printer for signage help accommodate the company’s clients.

pic the gift
Printing facilities at Pic the Gift. 

When asked what makes the business stand out, Montgomery explains that Pic the Gift heads up its own cut-and-sew operation. A significant number of the soft goods such as the tote bags the company offers are custom-made. Montgomery points out that this custom-built niche marketing approach is one main reason he enjoys being part of the company.

“It’s very much a scenario of ‘we’re here to help you grow your business,’” he says, explaining that by offering clients a springboard for a wide variety of custom-branded goods, the overhead of owning machinery and supplies no longer has to be a concern for the customer.

The customization element, plus a collective service-oriented mindset among Montgomery and his colleagues at the company, he says, helps drive strong long-term relationships with clients.

“The mentality here is about doing what’s right, and worrying about making money later,” Montgomery adds. “Once you do what's right, making money comes from that.”

As 2017 rolls on, the company hopes to expand offerings further into embroidery and potentially laser etching. And, despite the already-extensive catalog of goods, Montgomery says that Pic the Gift aims to continue offering more products as the year continues. 

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