October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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STITCH SOLUTIONS |||| by JENNIFER COX Pocket Some Cash Customized pockets create profit potential E mbroidering over and on pockets has been around as long as shirts have been sporting pockets. Certain creative embroidery business owners are taking embroidery on pockets to new levels lately, developing trendy custom gifts and even offering custom pocket options that meet the design needs for just about any customer. Jennifer Cox is a co-founder of the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP), a professional organization for business owners to share best practices, ideas, sources, solutions, volume buying benefits and services. Cox is recognized as one of the industry's "Most Creative Thinkers" and repeatedly ranks in the top 40 on the industry's "Power List." NNEP is 15 years strong, and supports nearly 1,000 independent embroiderers and apparel decorators as they grow their dream businesses. Reach her at, or go to Convention Traditionally, embroidered designs are added above the pocket. The bottom of the design should be dead straight with the top edge of the pocket. There should be anywhere from one quarter of an inch to one inch of the shirt showing between the top of the pocket and the bottom of the design. The ideal placement depends on the shape and size of design. For designs consisting of straight lettering, such as on a medical lab coat, leave at least half an inch between the pocket and the bottom of the lettering. Pam Donoghue of Pacific Embroidery in Pacific, Missouri gives a traditional dress shirt a modern twist with her custom bride shirts. Donoghue places the bride's new monogram in a feminine scroll on the shirt pocket. The pocket could be sewn shut, depending on the size of the pocket, and size and placement of the design, as the woman wearing the shirt is not very likely to actually have a need for it. Donoghue adds "I Do" on the left cuff and the wedding date on the right cuff, creating a memorable, yet practical shirt for brides to wear as they are getting all gussied up on their wedding day. She offers a shirt in a blue pinstripe that "looks really sharp and cute," according to Donoghue, as well as the traditional white dress shirt. She's even been asked to create custom shirts for all the ladies in the bridal party to wear while they primp before the wedding. Another option is to embroider the couple's new monogram on the pocket of the shirt instead of her new monogram, giving a nod to her beau on this special keepsake. The shirts are high profit if they are priced properly, as they must be hooped three times. The good news is that products for brides have what I call a "heartstrings" price point. As in, when the finished product tugs on the heartstrings, price is less of an issue than the actual product warrants. I'm certainly not advocating that you charge a In addition to the popular, on-trend patterns, such as the chevron one shown at right, offering other geometric patterns has proved a successful model for some embroiderers. (Images courtesy Vicki Knapp, The Sewing Bee) 52 | Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 52 October 2013 9/16/13 11:29 AM

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