May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M AY PRINTWEAR | 63 STITCH SOLUTIONS BY JENNIFER COX cess of learning how to make your machine sing, dance, and do anything you want on behalf of your customers. Much of your education comes from experience and by connecting with other embroidery profes- sionals that have the same machine or same needs. You get education at industry trade shows, through online communities, and by connecting with other embroidery busi- ness owners in person and online. Next question: What digitizing software is compatible or recommended with this machine? Most of the embroidery machines are sold with a specific brand of digitizing soft- ware, one that is designed to interface seam- lessly with the embroidery machine. There are some software products that can be used on a variety of embroidery machine brands. Since you will be using this software daily, I strongly encourage you to spend time ex- ploring the software before you make your final decision about which machine to buy. You will be more proficient sooner on the software that you are most comfortable with from the beginning. It is more of a "right brain, left brain" thing than a "good software, better software" comparison. Some software will just seem easier for you to grasp, and that is the one I recommend you consider strongly. Also, find out: What kinds of support do I have access to with the purchase of this machine? This goes back to the training question. Once you have your machine, where can you get additional information when you have a question? Is there a manual or a toll free number? Can you return and repeat the training? Are there classes, DVDs, or videos online? Does the company offer any follow up with you? Again, training is not the same thing as education. Learning how to get your ma- chine to work falls under training, but getting it do more complex work may fall There is a key difference between "train- ing" and "education." Training is provided by the machine manufacturer or the com- pany from whom you purchased the ma- chine. It is when you learn what buttons to push to make the machine function. Education, on the other hand, is the pro- Start an Embroidery Business PW_MAY14.indd 63 4/17/14 12:08 PM

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