December '16

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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68 || P R I N T W E A R D E C E M B E R 2 0 1 6 Options for Startups Start Decorating Without Capital B Y K R I S T I N E S H R E V E I nevitably, starting a new business is going to come at an expense. While it would be nice if every business had unlimited potential and funds, it's a pretty sure bet that some startup businesses will have more of the former than the lat- ter. Apparel decoration shops need time to build a client base, to learn what decoration processes work best, and to find out what its chosen market wants and needs. The trick is to keep money flowing while the research and discovery phase is occurring and long- range plans are being made. ALTERNATIVE OPTIONS If you're contemplating starting a decora- tion business, your questions may well be these: What does a decoration business really need to get started? Are there ways to offer decoration without the equipment or perhaps even doing the work? If the bud- get is limited, what options exist to help build market share and income while limiting expenditures? Obviously, having capital avail- able for all equipment and sup- ply needs is the best solution, but it's not the only option. There are ways to start a decoration business on a shoestring, creating an income stream that will hopefully lead to increased production capability. If embroidery is the decoration technique of choice, one option is to work with a con- tract embroiderer. A contract embroiderer, as the name implies, is a company that does work on a contract basis. This type of com- pany accepts work from businesses that ei- Kristine Shreve is the director of marketing for EnMart and parent company Ensign Emblem. She devel- oped and writes the EnMart Embroi- deryTalk Blog at and the SubliStuff blog at www.sub- She additionally main- tains the EnMart Twitter feed ( and Facebook page ( Reach her by email at

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