How did I get here?
Have you ever thought about turning your hobby into a full-time business? I did … long before Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube existed! For a few years, I did some on-the-road sales without the aid of GPS or a cell phone. Well, that’s not totally true, I did have one of these:
I began my embroidery journey with a sewing machine attachment in 1998. I had been managing someone else’s shop for nearly twenty years and was ready to go out on my own.
It was a big decision to start a business and do what I loved full time. I’m embarrassed to say that I didn’t do any of the things they tell you to do when starting a new business.
I did not have a business plan, I did not join the Chamber of Commerce, I didn’t even advertise. What I did do is tell people I already knew that I could make shirts for them. I knew I would get orders from the organization I was involved in since we were already buying embroidered apparel.
(I would show you a picture, but they are all stored in the ancient archives)
I invested in my first commercial embroidery machine and digitizing software in 2001. Right from the start, I wanted to be able to create my own embroidery files. It was a single-head machine and I couldn’t get the orders done fast enough.
I knew that I was in for the long haul so I applied for a business loan and I bought a multi-head machine in 2004. There was no room at home so I moved into a small retail shop and then the orders really started coming in!
In 2005 I purchased my third machine and had to move to a bigger location. What happened next was something I never expected.
I was offered the opportunity to become a subcontract embroiderer for a large online t-shirt company. I accepted the offer and no longer had to wonder where the next order was coming from. I was guaranteed a set volume every month with increases every year. It was unbelievable to me how all this happened when so many businesses fail the first year!
I have made thousands upon thousands of logo shirts, hats, jackets, bags, blankets, and more. My database of embroidery files is over 8,000 and still growing. It has been a joy beyond my wildest dreams to do what I love every day.
I am now at a point in my life where I no longer want the pressure of running a big shop, so I have moved back home again and am excited to spend more time digitizing and creating the embroidery stitch files. I am an embroidery nerd and I still enjoy figuring out how I can make my designs with as few trims and jumps as possible.
I love watching the designs come to life in stitches, especially those done by request. One of my all-time favorites is an embroidered jacket back design I made from a photo of a painting on the side of a barn!
Wilcom and Corel Draw software are both amazing and powerful programs that have served me well over the years.
In closing, I want to thank you for taking the time to read about me. Above all else I want you to be completely satisfied with your purchase. I love being part of this online community of makers and seeing what you make from my designs, so please share your photos to inspire others.
Do you have something you’d like me to digitize for you?