From Hobby to Career: Embroidery Edition

Keilyn Mancilla
By Keilyn Mancilla
Jan 15 / 186 Views

Thinking of turning your embroidery hobby into an embroidery business? If embroidery is something, you have always loved to do, why not turn it into a source of income? For most people this seems like just a dream, but with market research, the right machinery, and proper training, you can turn your hobby into a career.

Learn About the Market

Before you can start making money with embroidery, you need to have a business mindset. First, you need to do some market research. Start with an online search; look into embroidery forums, Facebook embroidery communities, Reddit, etc. Next, subscribe to popular industry publications, such as Printwear Magazine, Creative Machine Embroidery, and Stitches to get current news and stay up to date with industry trends. Once you feel ready, you can join popular industry associations like the Embroidery Trade Association (ETA) and the Advertising Specialty Institute (ASI). Apart from that, you can read books about embroidery, as well as journals of established professionals in the embroidery industry.

woman working with an embroidery machine

Create a Business Plan

If you want to turn your embroidery hobby into a business, you’ll need to have a solid business plan. Think of it as a roadmap to success that will help guide your decisions. A good business plan contains the information needed for effective management and operation of the company to drive revenue and profit. Not sure how to create a business plan? Small Business Administration (SBA) has a guide.

When creating your business plan, you will also want to think about creating your brand. Your brand is your business’ identity and what you'll be known for. A strong brand will help your customers recognize your business. Start thinking about a business name, logo, font, and or color scheme that reflect your business's personality.

Get the Right Embroidery Equipment

Depending on the size of embroidery business you’re looking to start, embroidery equipment needs will vary. You will want to start with an embroidery machine. This will be your most valuable asset. You don't need special skills to operate a commercial embroidery machine, just proper training and practice. Before you pick just any embroidery machine, you’ll want to decide if a single head machine and a multi-head machine is right for your business goals.

Single Head

A single head embroidery machine comes with a single head and can have multiple needles. This type of machine is compact in size and best for home-based businesses. They are not equipped to handle large volume of productions.

Multi-Head

Embroidery machines with multiple heads, commercial embroidery machines, are designed to handle and keep up with high volume production. Multi-head machines are not well suited for the home environment due to their large size.

Funding Your Embroidery Equipment

From simply picking a name to deciding which services to offer, starting your own embroidery business can seem overwhelming. Luckily, getting the embroidery equipment you need to succeed doesn’t have to add to the stress. Money can be tight when first starting a business, so financing new or used equipment can be a life-saver. Go with a lending company that understands the embroidery industry and offers flexible financing programs. They’ll help you figure out the best equipment for the job and for your business’s future.

Keep in mind that used machines are cheaper, and a good leasing company will finance new or used equipment. Once your company has gained some traction and expanded more, there’s the option to buy out the equipment at the end of your lease agreement. Make your embroidery business a success with the right equipment.

Put Your Finances in Order

According to the Small Business Administration, half of all small businesses fail within the first five years. Preparing your finances and projecting your expenses now can help your business succeed and grow. You can start by creating a budget to help you anticipate cash inflows and outflows, prepare for tax obligations, and identify financing needs. You will also want to set up a bank account for your business, to keep business and personal finances separate.

Get Started

Starting your own embroidery business is not as hard as you think, with extensive research and a solid business plan you can achieve your dream embroidery business.

Check out these other articles on building your embroidery business:

  •  business growth 
  •  decorated apparel 
  •  embroidery 
  •  embroidery equipment financing 
  •  equipment financing 
  •  financing 
  •  flexible financing 
  •  grow 
  •  start-up 

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