Author Topic: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?  (Read 5400 times)

Offline Mr Tees!!

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...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« on: January 24, 2013, 04:27:39 PM »
...had a good conversation with a colleague here about my business getting its feet wet in the embroidery game. I now have two good companies here locally that I can sub out work too, and thats going OK. I was thinking about bringing in a 1-head just to do the real custom stuff, like name drops, small-run stuff, and promotional shop stuff. Mainly i want to be able to control the custom work like names & monograms, so when something goes wrong I am not relying on an outside source, drop-shipping or delivering goods, and just generally being at the mercy of my embroiderer.

..I know that you arent gonna get any sort of production out of a single head, and the arguement was made to me that its all but impossible to make a profit in any way with a single head, when used in a brick-and mortar shop with real overhead (home businesses nonwithstanding, in other words).

...So I guess I am wondering, did any of you that started as printers jump into embroidery afterwards? how did you go about it, where did you start?

...looking forward to this one. Thanks all!!
Thanks TSB gang!!

...Sean, Mr Tees!!!


Offline ebscreen

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #1 on: January 24, 2013, 04:31:27 PM »
We did exactly what you are describing.

We have a single head SWF, and no, you really can't run production.

Luckily less than a block away is an incredibly priced 3 day turn contract embroidery
shop.

We're looking hard at 4-6 more heads, but the contract shop mentioned above is making
that a difficult decision.

We don't advertise embroidery at all, but enough comes in to justify it, and I imagine with a
little effort we could bump that up quite a bit.


Offline repogolfer

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #2 on: January 24, 2013, 05:17:46 PM »
We did the same thing as well...single head to start with...only because the other company in town were real tools.

One of the ways that I have always looked at it was like this..You have a single head you hoop a couple of items and you hit go...doesn't mean you have to stay there and watch it..so in other words when we didn't have employees...I would hit go, scoot back to printing, and when the machine finished I went and put the other on..and thats how my day went.  Production no...getting it done...and making money on both ends yes.

Its so much easier now..although I've gained some weight by not moving as much..

Offline Inkworks

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #3 on: January 24, 2013, 06:15:12 PM »
I found the best local embroiderer and told her if she wanted to buy her own machine I'd rent her shop space at my cost. I get about 40-50% mark up on the digitizing and embroidery and all of the mark up on the product. that's where the money is anyways. She runs her own jobs and I don't have to learn embroidery at all, just write up the orders and stack them on her shelf. She's fast, motivated, and does great work. Did I mention she also does all manners of sewing/alterations and repairs? We're already doing good business with the local hockey teams and that will probably only grow.

I really love passing off the jobs internally and not having to think about them until I invoice.
Wishin' I was Fishin'

Offline DKgrafix

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #4 on: January 24, 2013, 06:27:46 PM »
I expanded into screen printing. I started with embroidery first. Small orders I was doing in house and bigger I would send out.
Added screen printing 2 years ago.
I actually just bought another single head embroidery machine, I will be picking it up this Saturday. I also look at another one locally.
With doing everything from basement, I have to limit myself for a compact single heads. My Goal is to have 3 single heads. That should cover most of the jobs up to a 100-200 pieces. Everything bigger would be sent out.

Offline abchung

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #5 on: January 24, 2013, 08:37:10 PM »
We started off with embroidery first, because we mainly manufacture  custom promotional jackets.
We knew we needed a large machine back then because we knew how many jackets we were manufacturing.

We considered getting a single head 5 years ago, but for over $10k and can't be used for production, it is just dead money sitting there.

Before you get one:
1. research on digitizing. you can safe some money for simple jobs.
2. How many pieces per project.
3. Speed of machine, (however, this may also depends on the thread, some threads break more often than others, thus we need to reduce the speed).
4. How well the machine can align the needle. (we have customers running to people who have Chinese machines, then come running back to us).





Custom Garment Manufacturer for local market within Indonesia.

Offline stitches4815

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #6 on: January 25, 2013, 11:48:09 AM »
We started with embroidery.  Got a brand new Tajima 4 head 15 color machine.  Then a year later we got into screen printing.  I know this isn't what the thread is about but I thought I would share.   ;D

Offline 3Deep

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #7 on: January 25, 2013, 12:13:47 PM »
We use to contract out our embroidery for caps during baseball season, but those guys kinda stayed busy, one moved and we just could not get stuff done like we needed, so we bought a single head machine.  Real production no way, but we've been able in the pass to really make it work on low amounts such as 100 left chest or caps its all in the planning, we hoop 3 caps and start screen printing and just go back and forth the same on left chest polo's.  I could not see us tearing thru a 200 or 300 pc embroidery order I will have to contract that but small amounts yeah you can make some profit...plus it gives you more control of the out come and you might learn how to digitize which is a big help or you can always call Barbara!!!!!!!

Darryl
Life is like Kool-Aid, gotta add sugar/hardwork to make it sweet!!

Offline mk162

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #8 on: January 25, 2013, 12:30:23 PM »
I've got a single head I will sell you.  Melco "training" machine.  For the first 2 years of it's life all they did was tear it apart and oil it in the training center.

I am selling it with the digitizing software for $2500.  The software is OK, it does network with the machine and sends files over.

It's a 10 needle with cap frames and various other frames...and a lot of poly thread

Offline bj

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #9 on: January 27, 2013, 02:00:35 AM »
I think most people do start with a single head and then expand from there once they get their feet wet.  If you already have orders coming in for embroidery but sending it out why not jump into at least getting a double head so you can do more in house?  Even if you have a small order of fullbacks, running them on a single head is very time consuming.  Time is money....

Offline GraphicDisorder

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #10 on: January 27, 2013, 10:19:02 AM »
I think it's challenging to make much money with a single head in a situation with overhead.  We came from a single head to 11 heads yes, but we also did it while working in a basement, nearly no overhead.  Machine could sit and make nothing and it did not matter, in fact we had 3 heads in our basement when we left PA in late 2009, it took me another 2 years here in TN to be able to afford another machine because of overhead sucking down some of the cash flow.  If I had to start over today, given I am in a shop with overhead, I would buy nothing less than a 2 head, and if the funds were even close I would go right at a 4 head or 2 x 2 heads, or even 2 or 4 single heads. 

I think people assume name drops are a 2 minute deal.  It's not, you have to digitize the name, save it to a disk/usb, load it into your machine, locate and hoop your garment, sew it, un-hoop, trim, fold, etc. Now yes you can be hooping the next or digitizing the next while one is running but still you have some time there where the machine is going to be waiting on you.  Quickly it will become a "full time" job just manning the machine/digitizing/hopping/etc.  So you have to hire to run this machine.  Which means more overhead.  Of course this all only works if you have someone else selling the embroidery...

The only way to make any real money with embroidery is to be repeating your design many times or to be sewing different things at the same time thus effectively doubling or more your per hour output.  If you are a established, profitable shop, and committed to making embroidery work for your business, it is my advice that you should suck it up and get a couple single heads at least, or a 2 or 4 head, or a couple 2 heads or some combination of it.  Put yourself in the position to be able to do the work and have the machine situation not be your restraint. 

That's my input.  Every situation is different so take it for what it is......
Brandt | Graphic Disorder | www.GraphicDisorder.com

Offline Gilligan

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #11 on: January 27, 2013, 10:44:04 AM »
Brandt and I can somewhat agree here (I actually typed "disagree" at first... I guess my fingers just couldn't do it subconsciously LOL).

I have a single head and it does pretty good but the problem is output.  You just can't get much production out of it.  I think I've done the math a few times and we make about 25-45/hour on it.  My pricing factors in markup on the garment, so the nicer the garment the easier it is to make a bit of money.  This is with basically a min. wage employee running the machine.  It fills time and serves a need for our customers but think of it this way.

If I add a 2nd machine I immediately double my hourly income on that machine with essentially no more hourly overhead (beyond the equipment purchase).  Unfortunately that doesn't keep doubling as you add more machines, it exponentially makes less... but still depending on how busy your are with it, or how much square footage you have (we are pretty tight), then adding heads is the only way to fly.  If I could have 3-4 heads RIGHT NOW, I'd have more capacity than I need (equals, room for more work, which is coming/faster turn arounds) and my per hour profit on embroidery would be 3 to 4 times what I have now (meaning at least 75 and up to almost 200) which is much more acceptable in a real production shop.

Just my .000000000002 cents

Offline GraphicDisorder

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #12 on: January 27, 2013, 11:06:51 AM »
Brandt and I can somewhat agree here (I actually typed "disagree" at first... I guess my fingers just couldn't do it subconsciously LOL).

Holy crap, we agree.  Let the sea's part.
Brandt | Graphic Disorder | www.GraphicDisorder.com

Online tonypep

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #13 on: January 28, 2013, 09:45:22 AM »
Our uniform division and resort applique biz supports 42 heads and it continues to grow. Gets loud in there at times.

Offline RickM

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Re: ...SCREENPRINTERS: how did you expand into embroidery?
« Reply #14 on: January 31, 2013, 10:49:02 AM »
Expanding your business is always a good idea, especially when you already have a good base and some leads going forward with this new venture!!  Bringing in a 1 head machine would be great to start with, then possibly look into expanding to a 4 head if business warrants it!!  Best of luck!!