May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 59 business ordering aide used by many professional embroiderers. Momsen is also the author of two embroidery-related books: Professional Embroidery: Business by Design and Professional Embroi- dery: Stitching by Design, available on the Web at money, so they weren't so free. In the end, they showed me how to operate the machine: not how to embroider. Hiring someone to come into my place of busi- ness and get me up and running would have been faster and more efficient. I believe it would have saved me money. • I wish I had attended the training that my machine manufacturer provided. At the time I could not afford the expens- es. I knew absolutely nothing about embroidery. I have learned by trial and error, reading the machine book, and studying written material. • I videotaped the installation of my ma- chine and any service calls that were made. This helped me remember what was said—and I could watch them over and over. Purchases Looking into starting an embroidery business means choosing between used and new equip- ment. It also might mean deciding on whether to purchase an existing business. Along the way, we also have to make decisions with regard to branching out and buying non-embroi- dery equipment. • My best decision was to purchase a well-established, existing embroidery and screen print shop with a 14-year track record. The Small Business Administration says that 80 percent of startup businesses fail within five years. We have been going strong since 2002. • I bought a home sewing machine with an embroidery program, thinking it could be used as industrial. I wasted $7,000, as I used it for six months and then sold it. • If I had realized I'd end up with a 15-needle commercial machine, I would've skipped out on one of my two home sewing/embroidery machines. I also would have purchased the best software instead of buying programs sporadically. • I wish we hadn't bought the newest gadgets—like a sublimation printer for $5,000 15 years ago. We should have checked out the client market, waited until we had the cash to pay for it and then waited at least a year to see if that printer would actually be the right one. I would give the same advice about the garment printer. You get so excited about the possibilities when you see these machines in action, and then bring one home only to realize you did not do your homework. Lessons learned! (all images courtesy Erich Campbell, Black Duck Inc.) PW_MAY14.indd 59 4/17/14 9:48 AM

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