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Well, we did it!

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Old February 10th, 2008, 04:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
ChristyC ChristyC is offline
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Default Well, we did it!

I haven't posted in a while (I think it's been 8 or 9 months!) because we've been in the midst of a 3 month long cross-country move and all that entails. Things are beginning to settle down a bit, so we were finally able to focus on embroidery. I was able to speak with an old friend recently who actually owns an embroidery shop and listen to his advice and go from there.

This weekend, we attended ISS Orlando. I attended 12 hours of seminars on design and digitizing. My DH attended 12 hours on hooping, troubleshooting thread breaks, and business topics.

I was really surprised that the digitizing seminars made total sense to me. I think that having worked on a residential machine with editing software and having worked in graphics programs like Paint Shop Pro really helped.

But even more surprising was that my husband LOVED his seminars and he's totally excited about switching industries and jumping into commercial embroidery.

We are leaving with loads of catalogs to look through. We went ahead and purchased an SWF 1501CE 15 thread single head machine. We considered a dual function two head or buying two single heads, but thought we would start with just one. We plan to operate out of a home-based shop and don't need to be a full-time business to make it - but we do intend to operate professionally and grow the business to where we're comfortable.

If you'll remember, I had initially been sold on the Amaya. After realizing that tension knobs were nothing to fear, we were opened up to many other options. Our machine should arrive next week and we'll hopefully attend training that week, as well.

I do have a few questions though (and I'm sure I'm going to have an awful lot more!)

- Can anyone recommend a software program for shop management that is good for a small shop and doesn't cost $1000? We'd like to be able to print professional looking forms, store orders/designs, and run reports. Interfacing with QuickBooks would be a major plus.

- How do you find a reputable digitizer? After all of these seminars, I see how important underlay and good layout is and how you as few thread cuts as possible, etc. Do you just hire a digitizer and see what they produce or is there a better way?

- Are all thread brands created equal or are some better than others?

- What's your absolute best piece of advice for a newbie?

I did somehow manage to restrain my husband and keep him from buying a DTG printer or dye sublimation system. He was very tempted

Thanks ya'll!
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Old February 11th, 2008, 08:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
russellembroidery russellembroidery is offline
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Default Re: Well, we did it!

i sent you a email


Darla
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Old February 11th, 2008, 10:03 AM   #3 (permalink)
Robert Young Robert Young is offline
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Default Re: Well, we did it!

Congrats on your new home and business! The best advice I can give is to find your nich (es) and specialize in them... they would be the things you have passion about and because of that I think your quality would be better on those, helping you sell even more.
For example we have several digitizers and one of them LOVES to do machinery, tractors, cars and trucks and stuff... so any of those logos come our way he gets them... while we would never give him a design with fur effects, they do not interest him at all... so we have another "nut" who LOVES those type of designs, ha.
These passions will change over time helping you build your business even more. For the past 7 years I have workded with a company that ONLY does digitizing, specializing in it, no art prep, no outsourcing, no web development, etc, only digitize..... and now I am changing my job to ONLY doing large scales embroideries for interior designers and fashion applications... so yards of custom embroidered fabrics,etc... a far cry from corporate logos, but it is where my passion as led me in this industry.... so be open to try anything and when something strikes a chord... GO FOR IT with gusto.

Best of luck! If you need anything , don't hesitate to ask.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
SunEmbroidery SunEmbroidery is offline
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Default Re: Well, we did it!

Congratulations! It sounds like you had a great time at ISS. As far as finding a digitizer goes SWF might be able to recommend some. I think its helpful to find someone who uses the same type of embroidery software so they can send you an outline file in case you need to do minor editing late some night, etc. Also you won't have any "translation" problems. When I first started I used a couple of digitizers who used different software I had some issues like trims that disappeared when the file was converted into the format I needed.

For thread I like Madeira Polyester. I used Robinson Anton a bit but had more issues with it. Most people will suggest what they use.

If I had it to do over again as a newbie I would have purchased a Hoop Master & shirt folding board right away. Also I would have ordered a selection of thread in the basic colors. Initially I wasted a lot of money on shipping when ordering thread. Finally, keep track of your profit and expenses on every job and don't feel like you have to accept every job. I think some customers seek out new embroiderers with no profit, PITA jobs because they know the experienced embroiderers won't accept these jobs. Good Luck!
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Old February 11th, 2008, 10:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
tonym tonym is offline
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Default Re: Well, we did it!

congrats......there is a nice program that tracks everything.....its called tboss

digitizer i use The Wicked Stitch of the East

thread madeira polyneon......cant say enough good things about this thread.....who says isacord is the best?
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Old February 11th, 2008, 11:38 PM   #6 (permalink)
ChristyC ChristyC is offline
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Default Re: Well, we did it!

Thanks for the replies!

Good idea to get digitized files back in the native language. I know that will also allow us more freedom to edit if required.

My DH is wanting the Hoop Master badly. I thought we could put it off. But you're the second one to recommend we get it right away. I think he's calling them tomorrow.

Will look into tboss

Thanks!
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