In 1995, my wife decided that she hated her day job. The pay was meager, the commute was terrible, and most importantly, she felt she could accomplish more with her life. At that time I was a seller of textile machines. I sold serious industrial textile equipment ranging from 15 head 3 ton embroidery machines to smaller single head embroidery machines that you can easily run in your garage. So one day I suggested that he buy a used single head machine and our business was born.
We scoured the neighborhood looking for local businesses, schools, police, and fire stations looking for people who would like to have their custom logo embroidered on shirts, caps, and polo shirts and found that it was fairly easy to find businesses. Within a year, the business started to grow steadily and it became apparent that our single head embroidery machine could not keep up with production.
At this point we had to make a strategic decision. Do we invest more money and grow the business? Well, we bought a 6 head embroidery machine for $ 50,000.00 (which barely fits in our garage). The business grew and our new machine was able to keep up quite well. We also hired an employee to help us run it.
I know what you are wondering. How much money did you earn? I can tell you that there were months where we made $ 9,000.00 per month, but that was pretty tough work and we started to lose our work-life balance. Then my wife gave birth to two children and had to make another strategic decision about how much we wanted to work. I had my own day job and was working with my wife late into the night to help her get orders. Something had to give, so this is what we decided to do.
We fired roughly 20% of our clients, starting with clients who demanded net 30- and 60-day terms, and to be honest, we also fired clients who were too demanding (and somewhat jerky). I’m a nice guy, but I must admit I was pleased to fire some of these clients. The bottom line was that we were able to make around $ 60,000.00 per year working an average of 4 hours a day for some really nice companies who treated us with respect and paid their bills on time.
Fast forward to the present, we sold all 6 heads and bought a newer and faster 4-head Barudan embroidery machine. We bought it used for around $ 30,000.00. I know it sounds expensive, but remember we bought the first machine, a single head, for about $ 8,000.00. If the barriers to entry in this business seem high to you … that’s a good thing. It prevents everyone from entering as well. For example, you can get started in the screen printing business for $ 1,000.00. However, look around your neighborhood, you will quickly discover that screen printers outnumber embroidery stores 5 to 1. Second, you may also notice that embroidered items are priced much higher than items. silkscreen printed.
The decision to stay small in order not to be too big turned out to be a big decision. China crushed the big business of embroidery shops in this country. I’m talking about a business to which I sold machinery that had 10 or more 12-head embroidery machines and made a significant production. All of that business was sent overseas, eventually forcing me to find a new job (I no longer sell embroidery machines). But the small local shops stayed alive and thrived. Think about it; If you need 50 embroidered caps for your small business or high school team, are you going to arrange a shipment from China, when can I deliver that order in 3 days for the price of $ 8.00 per hat? By the way, the hats cost me between $ 2 and $ 3.00 a piece and it takes me about an hour to complete the order.
Let’s do the math on that. $ 5.00 profit per hat x 50 hats = $ 250.00 gross profit.
If those hats cost $ 3.00 each, that’s a cost of $ 50 x $ 3 = $ 150 of cost of goods.
The net profit is $ 100.00 for one hour of work. I will work for $ 100.00 an hour at any time.
So that’s the story of my wife’s work from home. It has been a rewarding career for her that has allowed her to earn money and continue to be a mother. There is another point to highlight here. Not every work from home opportunity has to be an online opportunity. There are still honest companies with kindness still doing something in this country. God bless America and the chance to win a dollar in this great country of bears!
That was in 1995, today his business is still going strong (although the recession slowed it down a bit). Best of all, she was able to work at home, earn money, and raise two wonderful children at the same time. If you want to ask questions about getting started in the embroidery business, please leave a comment on this post. I am happy to tell you everything.
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