My story about going into the Embroidery Business!
I started embroidering many years ago by hand (boy that sounds old as I chuckle to myself!) The first and most memorable thing that I embroidered were two
pillowcases. They had a picture of a forest, a couple of deer drinking from a stream and a fawn lying on the grass. What a project it was! It took me several months to finish, but was it ever beautiful!
After this first encounter with embroidery, I continued on with embroidered small projects on and off, then just quit for several years. I think having ‘twins’ may have had something to do with the
focus of my time and energy!
I worked at several sewing factories making everything from ladies’ underwear to men’s overalls. Over the years, I was no stranger to a needle and thread.
Around 1981, I got a job at Rocky Mountain Embroidery in Old Colorado City (Colorado Springs, CO). They had a multiple head Tajima that ran off a paper tape, much like some of the old computer programming ran
off paper tape. This tape had holes in it much like the old player pianos you may have seen. The tape was attached to the back of the machine, and it was wound through some ”gear like” areas and connected
to itself with rubber contact cement to form a large continuous loop.
Like a player piano telling which key to play, each hole in this tape told the machine where to stitch embroidery. It was really quite fascinating, especially for its time.
We made lots of various patches there in Colorado Springs. It was a small embroidery business with only the one embroidery machine and one operator. Seeing what that one machine with one operator could do
showed me that it doesn’t take a huge building or hundreds of employees to make large volumes of a quality product. And I was absolutely enthralled with how fascinating it was to create great products.
In 2006, my wonderful husband thoughtfully believed it would be a good idea to buy me a sewing machine for our anniversary. I really cannot sew, but I am short and (mmm how do I put this mildly………) fluffy.
It is hard for me to find clothes (pants) that fit, as they are almost always too long. I had mentioned to him that I would like to have a sewing machine just to hem pants on, just something simple. My loving
husband also knew that I really enjoyed making things that are unique and different with embroidery and stitching; things that you cannot just go to any store and buy. He went to a sewing machine store and
found a special sewing machine that also did embroidery. (What a concept!!) He, being the thoughtful man he is, bought this sewing-embroidery machine for me.
Of course I had no idea that he was doing this or how much he spent on a sewing machine! I found out later it was several thousand dollars! WOW this complicated machine was not what I was thinking of getting.
He thought that because I had run an embroidery machine before, that I would automatically know how to run this computerized embroidery/sewing machine. I knew some things about sewing and threads and backing but, I
now had to take classes to find out how to run this machine! I went to the store where he bought the machine and was wowed by all the cool stuff it could do! All the designs, all the different types of
projects, all the STUFF it could do was incredible! (He had helped me discover my passion!)
Here’s what’s funny! I almost immediately traded up to a larger embroidery machine, one that had more than one needle! I then got a second multiple needle machine and needless to say my poor husband was now regretting being the thoughtful man that he is and wished he had just gotten the machine for a couple hundred dollars that only did stitching! It was too late! I was too far gone by now.
I really loved embroidering things, all things, everything!
I wanted to share this passion with others! Now I have an embroidery business in Gilbert Arizona, that services the Chandler, Mesa to Apache Junction areas; a store front and a great embroidery machine with nine embroidery heads that has a total of 123 needles! I LOVE IT!
I am very thankful to the people of the East valley for all the support.
As most of you know, it has been quite a challenge to keep things going in this economy, especially with a storefront and business. All costs, including the cost of advertising, is very high and very difficult for
any small business.
My best advertising has been word of mouth. If all the happy clients (and that is most of them) that I have made the time to write a review, Google, Yelp, Tweet, etc. I would not have to ever worry about
advertising for the slow months that make it difficult to pay the rent at times. Although I really love what I do, it has not been easy stitching. The most challenging thing about the embroidery business
and the screen printing business for me is getting the word out that we are here. I do not have a sales person so it is very difficult to get out to see people and let them know I am here.
The embroidery and screen printing business is very competitive, because there are many people that do these things as a hobby to make a little spending money. Customers soon realize, for professional work, they end up coming to us after a job has been wrecked by an amateur.
I hope you enjoyed my story about going into the embroidery business.
While it hasn’t always been easy, it is rewarding when it’s working. I am happiest when I am giving completed projects to people, getting paid for it and they leave happy.