Chapter one – Where To Begin

Where to Begin?

Whether you are inclined to be a commercial embroiderer or a homebound hobbyist with a thread fetish and a desire to needle something, you’ll need a needle, thread, machine, some cloth, maybe a hoop, and a concept of what you want to sew onto the cloth. With this in mind, and the age of the 21st century and various levels of automation to create embroidered designs onto material, the story ejects the reader into the embroidery world of equipment, hardware, software, support devices, threads, scissors, and band-aids.

Various innate rules apply to this business (herein references are made to a hobby, or effort as a business). Rules will be presented in the section of their applicability of the topic. RULE 1 – Do not bleed on the material. Which brings is directly to RULE 2 – DO NOT join the NITFC – Needle In The Finger Club. Some folks joined that club more than once – ouch!!

With a single sentence, “I want to open an embroidery business,” my life has been transformed into a maze of products we have purchased, material we have sold, and lessons learned of “I don’t want to do that again.” The purpose of this guide to embroidery is to enlighten the reader on the many facets of this industry. If you read this and still get into the embroidery business, then it’s welcome to the club and I’ll see you at the next show!!! (Details to follow.)

Before entering into specific topics, the best place to start is with questions and answers. Details will fall out of the topics and specific topics will yield discussions into additional subjects to follow the rabbit down the hole. Yes, it is a maze, and amazing, of the in-depth nature of this information.

Let’s start with questions…lots of them. Following the list of questions, the individual questions will be printed above answers.

    • What’s it going to cost? $$$$
    • Can You Make Money with a Single Head Commercial Machine?
    • What do I NEED to be in the Embroidery Business?
    • A Machine
    • Threads
    • Hoops
    • Backing/Topping
    • Designs
    • Some Basic Assumptions
    • Three non-tangible item

–       An Idea
–       Customers
–       A desire to provide good service

  • External Marketing Tools
  • Contract Embroidery … Get Help!
  • Great Customer Service
  • Item/Garment Sales with Embroidery
  • Competitive Pricing (a little high is OK)
  • Time Management
  • To Digitize…. Or Not to Digitize?
  • Niches or ???
  • Taxes
  • Networking…A Must!
  • Time and Money
  • The Reality of Embroidery
  • Additional Pricing Considerations
  • Room Space
  • Hardware
  • Software
  • Support Equipment
  • Support Services and Organizations
  • Garment/Item Vendors
  • Design Companies
  • Formats
  • Training
  • Tricks

“In Embroidery-land, there is no Utopia!”