About Us

Best Promotional Items Company

Company OverviewHistoryMission Statement - Award Winning DesignsLocations

Company Overview

For over 25 years, Active imprints has built a company with one purpose in mind: to help you achieve your particular goals. From custom-decorated apparel to the latest, most exciting promotional products, we’re ready—and more than able—to help you from start to finish.

Active Imprints maintains it’s own garment decorating facility plus an in-house graphic art department that assures you strict quality control and on-time delivery. In addition, we guarantee on apparel we supply that our decorations will last the lifetime of the garment!

We have won several awards in the apparel industry for our outstanding screen-printing and embroidery including "Impressions" magazine's "Best Overall Design" Award. These award-winning designs and garments have earned us a reputation as one of the top screen printing and embroidery companies in the United States. We pride ourselves on being one of the more technologically advanced facilities in the apparel decorating industry.

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The First 20 Years

Once upon a time, many, many years ago, Duane Watlington took a high school graphics class to earn an easy A. It was in this graphics class, taught by Mr. Wisnefsky (“The Wiz”), where Duane was introduced to screen-printing. While working on projects for this class, Duane came up with the idea of making a pre-print line of surfing related T-shirts to sell at surf shops on the Jersey Shore. During his junior year at South Brunswick High School, Duane invested $1600 that he had saved up for a car, bought some equipment, and created 3 designs to sell. He called his new company “Ocean Atlantic” or “OA” for short. Duane got the name for his new company from another successful line of surfing shirts called Ocean Pacific or OP for short.

During that summer, Duane tried to sell his line of shirts to various surf shops. The shops he showed his designs to liked the quality of his printing, but did not want Ocean Atlantic’s name on the shirts. Instead, they wanted Duane to make them shirts with their name on them. They explained to Duane that it was hard to find someone who could print multicolor designs really nice like his shirts. So, reacting to the feedback he was getting, Duane changed the business model he had developed and started to provide custom screen-printed shirts to local small businesses and organizations.

Over the next school year, Duane’s business continued to grow. More and more local businesses and teams heard about Ocean Atlantic and were giving Duane their orders. Just after graduating from High School in 1984, Duane quit his job at a local pizzeria and started printing shirts full time. With the help of his little brother Keith, they cranked out a lot of shirts that summer from their grandmother’s garage.

Over the next several years, Ocean Atlantic supported Duane as he attended Rutgers University’s School of Business. Duane spent his mornings on the road selling, his afternoons in class, and his evenings and weekends printing shirts. Upon graduation in 1989, with a BS in Finance, Duane built a shop next to his grandmother’s house and opened Watlington T’s located at 620 Ridge Road in Monmouth Junction, NJ.

In 1991, the demand for embroidered garments was exploding so the company purchased two embroidery machines to bring our embroidery production in-house. With the volume of business doubling each year, from all our satisfied customers, Watlington T’s had to move the screen-printing division to a larger facility in 1992. We also made an investment in another embroidery machine and more screen-printing equipment including all new computers for our art department. Over the next couple years, demand continued to grow. At that time, it was decided to increase our production capacity by purchasing our first automated screen printing press. The acquisition of this machine opened the door for us to competitively, bid and produce really large orders, and offer contract-printing services.

In 1995, Duane noticed that his customers were requesting more and more non-wearable items to be imprinted. Items like mugs, magnets, key chains, and pens could also be imprinted with the customer’s logo that we already have on file from doing their wearable orders. To be able to offer a full range of promotional products, Duane joined ASI (Advertising Specialty Institute), which gave Watlington T’s access to over 2,500 suppliers with more than 500,000 imprintable items. This new association enabled Watlington T’s to satisfy its customer’s needs for “Everything Imprintable”.

The following year, Duane decided to change the business name to one that more accurately defined what we do. Active Imprints was chosen since we imprint using different methods on activewear, not just T-shirts. Plus, Watlington was hard to spell. This new name, along with a proactive marketing approach, propelled the company even more. In 1998 our production facility doubled in size and at this time the screen-printing and embroidery divisions were merged under the same roof. This move made more space available at the Ridge Road location to be utilized as our sales and corporate office. We also purchased more embroidery and screen-printing equipment to keep up with our ever-growing demand.

During the summer of 2000, while on vacation at the Jersey Shore, Duane had to make some copies and visited the local print shop, Coastal Printing in Ship Bottom. As Duane left with his copies in hand, he noticed a screen-printing business located right next-door called Starving Artist T-Shirts. Duane stopped in and introduced himself to the owners, Beverly and Ray Laird, and talked shop a while. Their businesses had a lot in common with each other as far as their commitment to quality, their customers and community. They, like Duane, had also been in this industry for over 17 years, but were looking to transition out. Duane, on the other hand, had excess capacity and saw this as an opportunity to grow his business.

In March of 2001, Active Imprints purchased Starving Artist T-shirts and opened up a second sales location at 518 Central Avenue in Ship Bottom. Beverly and Ray donated most of their equipment to a charity in Philadelphia that helps train inner-city kids the art of screen-printing. It also enabled Ray an opportunity to pursue his dream as a youth minister. This was a win-win situation for all parties involved including the customers of Starving Artist T-shirts.

Today our plan is to continue what we have been doing for over 20 years. We provide our customers with quality decorated apparel and promotional products in a timely fashion and within their budget. The fact that over 76% of our new business comes from referrals tells us we must be doing something right. In addition, it is our employees that are responsible for Active Imprints’ continued success. This All-Star Team of professionals is highly experienced and ready to meet any need you may have. Poised for new challenges and continued growth, the Active Imprints staff is excited about the opportunities that lie ahead and look forward to serving you for the next 20 years.

Promotional Product Company, Corporate Gift Company for Imprinted Pads, Keychains, Stickers, Calendars, Customized Gifts, Promotional Apparel and More

As an award winning promotional items company, Active Imprints has served customers as a high quality promotional product company for over 25 years. No other corporate gift company has such an extensive history of commitment to excellence. Our garment decorating facility combines with an in-house graphic art department to ensure paramount quality control and on-time delivery. We also guarantee that our decorations will the last the lifetime of the garment they’re applied to.

More than just a screen printing business, our team of professionals will work with you in your promotional products advertising. Increase the exposure of your logos on a variety of promotional apparel, including calendars, customized magnets, gifts, pads, stickers, keychains, and much more. From screen printed t-shirts to personalized pens, the possibilities are endless. Active Imprints is a promotional items company that opens the door to your creativity for giveaways for that special event. Nearly everything can be imprinted to give it special meaning or attractiveness. You can browse our vast selection of promotional products online, visit one of our showrooms, or have a sample shipped to you. We work hard to be more than just a promotion store. We go the extra mile to ensure the highest level of customer satisfaction. Teamwork, organization, and quality workmanship are the backbone to our company and the products we supply.

Active Imprints has won multiple awards in the apparel industry, including “Impressions” magazine’s “Best Overall Design” distinction. We pride ourselves in being one of the most technologically advanced facilities in the apparel decorating industry. More than just a corporate gift company, Active Imprints works hard to be the best promotional items company out there, striving to meet all of your promotion needs. No other promotional product company has the qualifications and commitment to customer service to measure up to Active Imprints.

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Mission Statement

To provide each of our customers, the finest quality, custom imprinted products with outstanding customer service in a timely manner and at competitive prices. We view our employees as family. We reward a solid work ethic, positive attitude, innovative thinking and the acceptance of responsibility among our employees. Teamwork, organization, quality workmanship and efficiency are the backbone of our company and we recognize that it is the employees who deliver that payload.

We believe that by listening, promising and delivering as a team we can establish a long term, working partnership with our clients. We consider our word as an all out commitment and will do whatever it takes to keep that commitment. It is our goal to have moderate growth, annual profitability and national recognition by providing unrivaled service, superior design and quality craftsmanship.

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Award-Winning Designs

Many of our designs have been recognized by the Screen Printing industry for their excellence. Here are just a few that have won awards.

Promotional Items Company, Promotional Product Company, Corporate Gift Company
"David Horsnall Pro Fuel Harley"- This design was honored in Screen Printing magazine's Terrific T-Shirt Contest for exceptional use of multi-color on a large press.
"Wolf"- This design comes from our popular Nature's Wear collection of shirts. It was honored in Screen Printing magazine, in the category of multi-colored light ink on a dark shirt. The original painting was done by Paul Fenwick and is available in black on T-shirts, sweats, and long sleeve tees.
"Cougar"- Another Fenwick design which was awarded best overall design by Impressions Magazine. The Cougar is also available in the Nature's Wear collection, Screen Printed on a pebble 100% cotton Hanes Beefy-T.

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Central Jersey - (Click Here for MapQuest Directions)

Our corporate office and central NJ showroom/sales office is conveniently located just north of Princeton at 4266 US Hwy 1 N.,  Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, 08852.

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Long Beach Island - (Click Here for MapQuest Directions)

Our Long Beach Island showroom/sales office is conveniently located just off the causeway at 518 Central Ave. in Ship Bottom, New Jersey. We are located at the corner of 5th Street and Central Ave. between Coastal Printing and Tramontano Fruits and Vegetables.

Active Imprints is a Promotional Products and Corporate Gift Company. Our main offerings include: Personalized Shirts and Customized Bags for your personal and business gift needs.

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Other Resources

Promotional Products, Corporate Gifts, Promotional T-shirts, Custom Golf Shirts, Imprinted Pens Promotional Products, Corporate Gifts, Promotional T-shirts, Custom Golf Shirts, Imprinted Pens