A Closer Look With Jamie

What makes Embroidery Expressions different than other shops?

As a small home based business, when you hire Embroidery Expressions, you get me – not a team of sales people. I am very hands on with every client and every project. I develop the strategy, produce the design and oversee the production of each campaign or job undertaken.

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What size orders do you prefer to process?

Each job, big or small is important and treated with equal quality and care. The majority of our customers are small businesses with our average embroidery order being between 50 - 100 pcs. Expressions recognizes the importance of smaller companies as equally deserving of our skills, expertise and attention.

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How does the global market affect your pricing strategy?

The increased demand for cotton has caused a rise in the cost for cotton and freight in garment making countries such as China. This has driven apparel prices up considerably over the past couple of years. The fact of the matter is that from 2000-2010 the average price per. lb of cotton was somewhere around $0.60 cents. In 2011, that same pound of cotton costs as much as $2.40 per. pound. It does not take an economic expert to see that this rise in cost is going to drive the price of products made with cotton up. Economists do predict cotton prices to come down a bit hovering maybe around $1.50 per. pound. However, just as we will never see those low gas prices again, I believe we will never see those low cotton prices again.

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Do you sell products that are made in the USA?

I do offer products that are made in the USA. However, I do not sell a lot of those products because many of my clients tend to choose the least expensive option. It is just the world that we are living in today. I do believe that we may be seeing a shift toward an increase in the manufacturing of certain products made in the USA. For example, the demand for cotton has increased which has increased the need for more workers in garment making countries like China which has driven up their pay and also increased the shipping costs; Thus, all of these factors should drive us to produce more in the USA given the many production costs.

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Do you give back to the community in which you live?

As a small business, I give back what I can. I receive several calls or mailers from local athletic teams, non-profits, and organizations each year wanting me to donate. I give our local school system and all non-profits 5013(C) a 10% discount on their orders. When I set up at a school event, I also give a portion of my proceeds back to the event chair. In addition, I donate several items throughout the year to be used as door prizes or for silent auctions this includes a product donation each year to the Owen County Relay for Life.

I would like to state again that I am a small business trying to make a profit and I cannot give to the point that it hurts my business. I am disappointed in those that continually ask for donations from our local businesses but will not give back by purchasing from those local businesses. In my opinion, it is wrong to ask someone to give you a donation but when you may need a product or service that the business offers you purchase that product elsewhere because you can find it a little cheaper. What happened to reciprocity? … Our small businesses and communities cannot thrive if we continue to take without giving back even if that giving back cost us a little more. And Yes…I lead by example, as I do purchase products and services from the businesses that allow me to outfit them.

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What is the most favorite part of your job?

I love the marketing aspect. I enjoy getting out and meeting people and letting them know what I can do to assist them in promoting their business. I also enjoy creating the designs and sewing them out for the first time.

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What is the least favorite part of your job?

Production…. This is where I make my money but it is rather monotonous.

Pricing…. Many people think that I should be able to charge the same price as some big name box stores because I have less overhead. I cannot buy in bulk like those stores. Therefore, a plain white T-shirt costs me considerably more with my price being just a few cents more and my profits being much less than those large retailers.

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Do you belong to any trade or business organizations?

I am a member of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce.

I have ben a member of the NNEP: National Network of Embroidery Professionsals since 2006. As an embroiderer, I keep my skills up to date attending seminars and classes offered each year through the NNEP.

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Your faith seems to be a big aspect in your life. How does your faith play a part in your business?

I am a spiritual person and thanks to my parents, God has always been an integral part of my life. With regards to business, I just try to produce a quality product at a fair price while treating others the way I would like to be treated. I am not perfect and will never claim to be... hypocrisy. I think that it is easy for people to see a Christ follower fall short or make a decision that they would not and say that he or she is a hypocrite. When in fact, the truth is, he or she is just a person doing the best possible with the knowledge and experiences given. I am just trying to do the best I can with what I have been given. I always say I will continue doing what I am doing until I'm thrown another curve ball.

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