May '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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20 1 4 M ay Printwear | 6 5 STITCH SOLUTIONS 6 4 | Printwear M ay 20 1 4 outside the scope of what the company provides, as this is more along the lines of "edu- cation," and you may have to seek other resources to acquire that information. And finally, ask: How do I get this machine serviced? There is nothing more frustrating than having your machine not working optimally when you are facing a looming deadline on a significant order. Here's one hint if you ever find yourself in that situation: contract out the order to keep the customer while you get your machine back in top condition. But, for a more permanent solution, you'll have to fix the machine. There are differ- ent models within the industry. Some companies have their own technicians. Other companies direct you to independent technicians which you contact directly. Either way, find out what technicians are in your area that they recommend, as these people will now become part of the resources you will need. Digitizing One of the biggest challenges for new embroiderers is to clearly define your objectives for your first year as a professional embroiderer. Do you want to become proficient at creating excellent embroidery or do you want to become reasonably capable with the digitizing software? In my experience, it is very difficult to do both successfully within your first year. You make income when the embroidery nee- dles are going, so I encourage new embroiderers to develop that skill first. Within the first year, everyone should learn how to do keyboard let- tering and basic designs that combine lettering and stock designs. Beyond that, using a qualified digitizer is one of the best things you can do to become profitable quickly. There are many qualified companies that con- tract digitizing services. Use them while you get your business launched. Watch how the designs sew out. In doing so, you will be laying the groundwork for becoming proficient with dig- itizing software down the road. | | | | TraININg TIp One the most common mis- takes for a new embroidery machine owner is to think that you should be able to re- member all the training you get when you first start using your machine. News flash— you will forget most of it! The good news: when you buy your machine from a quality company, you can generally get access to their training enough times so, eventually, the process does not feel new and you eventually develop the knowledge to use your machine effectively. It takes six months to get a driver's license, and this machine is not much less complicated than a car. Give yourself ade- quate time to develop your proficiency level. Clearly define your objectives for your business: Do you want to become proficient at creating excellent embroidery or to become capable with digitizing software. Focus on one task at a time. (Image below courtesy Nathaniel Schulde, Litchfield Embroidery Services, image at left courtesy Colman and Company) Don't miss Jennifer's education sessions at the NBM B.I.G. Show in Indianapolis June 12-14! Classes are FREE to registered attend- ees. See page 107 for specifics, and go to to register. PW_MAY14.indd 64 4/17/14 9:49 AM

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