EnMart Embroidery Talk

Educating the Machine Embroidery Community

25th September 2015

Not Goodbye, Just Au Revoir

smiling business people waving handsThe first post on this blog was written in October 2007.   That’s 8 years ago.    In 8 years,  a lot can change and, as time has gone on, the whole concept of what this particular blog should be has expanded and grown.   When we started Embroidery Talk,  EnMart was just beginning and we had no idea that we’d one day be selling sublimation supplies,  and crafting threads,  and quilting threads and have plans to expand even further.    While our sublimation news and information eventually migrated to SubliStuff,   we’ve been trying to stay true to the original subject matter of this blog,  all the while realizing that we needed to expand the areas about which we talked,   as we now had a much larger array of products to discuss.

The reality of the situation is that EmbroideryTalk is growing older,   there have been a lot of developments in WordPress themes since it was set up,   and the poor blog is already carrying a pretty heavy weight with 500+ posts.   Add to that the fact that EmbroideryTalk has now expanded to encompass QuiltingTalk,  and CraftThreadTalk,  and a host of talk about other products that we didn’t even dream we’d be carrying in 2007,  and it quickly became apparent that while the current blog was useful,  and should stay in place,   our ongoing blogging efforts needed to find a new home.

The good news is that we have found a new home for our blog.   We call it Threaducate,  and that’s what we intend to do there,  educate our customers and friends about thread,  machine and hand embroidery,  quilting,  crafting,   as well as the supplies that go along with the thread.     All the topics and themes that, we hope,  made EmbroideryTalk useful and fun to read will migrate to Threaducate.   We’re simply expanding our knowledge base and opening up our subject matter,  while creating a space that also reflects EnMart in 2015 and can be easily read on tablets and phones as well as a desktop computer.

Right now, Threaducate is still a work in progress,  and the look of it will change.   The content,  however,  will remain true to the goals we laid out in our first post here on October 2, 2007.   They were as follows:

Our hope is that this blog will become a reference both for our customers and for others who machine embroider or work in the field of apparel decoration. Our other hope is that, by providing you with a resource, we will also be able to introduce you to our company and the products we sell. We have used our connections and searched the world for premium products which we will make available at prices that will suit any budget. Our EnMart Store and the products we sell there will be one of the topics this blog covers. Other topics will be dicated by the questions we are asked, information that I find on other blogs, forums or sites, and our own experience.

In the posts to come you will find hints, tips, stories and opinions. We think of this blog as the beginning of a conversation. We’ll talk and, hopefully, you’ll talk back. We encourage discussion and questions, and will do our best to be a useful resource.

I’d like to think,  almost eight years after those paragraphs were written,  that this blog has accomplished the goals we set out back then.

I also look forward to carrying those goals on to Threaducate.

We invite you all to join us there.

posted in About EnMart | 0 Comments

24th August 2015

Marketing Monday: Ignore the Box Entirely

thinking inside the boxOne of the pieces of advice that is now so overused it’s cliche is the advice to “think outside the box”.   What this means is to think outside the conventional boundaries that surround whatever it is you’re considering.   It is hoped that the result of this outside the box thinking will bring you to new solutions which will allow you to solve problems and use products in new ways.   The problem with this advice is that it acknowledges there are a conventional set of thoughts regarding whatever you’re thinking about,  and those boundaries can still limit you,  even when you’re trying to think beyond them.

At EnMart,  we don’t just try to think outside the box,  we refuse to acknowledge the box even exists.   Our goal is to create new uses for “old” products,  and to help our customers find ways to use our new ideas to increase their profits.   I’ll give you a few examples, so you can see how the process works.

The first example is one of EnMart’s newest products,  embroiderable stuffed animals.   Most people,  when asked about these stuffed cuties,  would say they’re primarily for children,  mostly used as a stuffed toy or a birth announcement.   The people who would say that aren’t wrong,  that is the traditional box in which those animals have been placed,  but there are lots of other ways they can be used.   A embroiderable stuffed animal can be a souvenir,  an advertisement,   a gift bag,  an expression of love (Happy Birthday/Valentine’s Day/Anniversary) and a wide variety of other things we just haven’t thought of yet.   The only limits on what can be done with these animals are those of the construction of the animals themselves and the method used to decorate them. The potential markets for embroidery stuffed animals are practically limitless.   How about one embroidered with the high school or college name and graduation date for a new graduate?   What about a Greek version of the animals,  with house and induction date for new pledges to a sorority or fraternity?  Whatever your corner of the market and customer base,  there is most likely some new use that can be found for these versatile animals.

As a second example – let’s consider a simple countertop display for large cones of thread.   Most displays holding large thread aren’t designed to sit on a countertop and,  if they are,  they’re generally boxy and unattractive or phenomenally expensive.    When we were looking at options for a countertop display for our Iris poly and cotton quilting thread  we knew we wanted something with a reasonable price,  that was easy to set up and easily portable.   We also wanted something that maximized the use of the real estate it took up in a store.    When we couldn’t find anything that met our needs through traditional sources,  we started looking elsewhere,  and hit paydirt.   The result is our rotating countertop disply,   which holds 54 king cones,  rotates for easy access to both sides,  is easily portable so it can be taken to trade or craft shows,   and is easily assembled.  It’s a new use for a basic rotating display that any quilt shop will be sure to love.

It is always easier,  I suppose,  to stick with conventional wisdom and acknowledge the box,   but the problem with acknowledging the box,  whether you’re thinking inside or outside of it,  is that acknowledging the box won’t get you where you need to go.    It’s often harder,  but in the end far more rewarding,  to forget the box entirely and start with a clean slate and a world of possibilities.   The only limits are the ones dictated by the product and your own mind.

posted in Marketing Monday | 1 Comment

17th July 2015

EnMart Extras – New Products

new product coming soonOne of the things that any company that wishes to grow needs to do is to add new products and enter new markets.   EnMart is always working to expand our product offerings,  but 2015 has been/will be a banner year when it comes to adding new products and entering new markets.   We’re very excited about what’s coming and what will be added to our website.   We hope you will be too.    Here are some things that are coming soon.

Screen Print Supplies – EnMart’s parent company, Ensign Emblem,  has a screenprint department,  so we’re familiar with screenprint.   It made sense to use that knowledge and expertise and add some screenprint items to our existing inventory.   We’re starting out with screen print test sheets in 14″ x 16″ and 16″ x 18″ in blank and white.    We’re also planning to add spray adhesives and screen openers and other screenprint related products as well.   We’re currently in negotiations with well known suppliers and hope to have additional products in the screenprint area to offer to you soon.

Craft thread and hand embroidery supplies – Hilos Iris,  the company that manufactures the machine embroidery thread we carry,   also makes craft thread, perle cotton and floss for hand embroidery.   We’re excited to be able to offer these products to our customers as well.    This is another area in which we’re also connecting with other suppliers to bring in tools and accessories that will be useful when crafting or doing hand embroidery.

Additional quilt thread colors – Hilos Iris is planning to bring out 12 new solid color quilt threads in 2015.   We’ve been working on putting color choices together and finding swatches of the right colors to send for dye testing.   We’re excited to be expanding our quilting thread palette with these additional solid colors.  And yes,  for those who have been asking,  we are working on seeing if it is possible to get some additional variegated colors as well.

Embroiderable stuffed animals – Cubbies and Embroider Buddies are well known names in the industry.   EnMart is excited to announce we now will be carrying both lines.   We will also be working with some friends of EnMart to create some new designs and potential new uses for these adorable embroiderable animals.   The animals will also be available in our trade show booths at the 2016 shows.

New products, or products we’re considering adding to our store will always be announced on social media and here on this blog.   If you have a suggestion for something you think we should carry,   you can leave it on our Facebook pageTwitter feed,  or in the comments on any post from this blog.


posted in About EnMart | 0 Comments

10th July 2015

Friday Blog Round-Up 7/10/15

Happy-Friday-Carnival-FIHappy Friday everyone!   Since I promised you two Friday Blog Round- Up posts a month,  I figured it was time I got one done.   Luckily,  I can always find good content to share in these posts.

First up is a post from the Designs in Machine Embroidery blog about how to stay relevant in the marketplace.   It discusses some resources for finding new customers,  and some ideas for what you can sell those customers.    Staying relevant and thinking about events that are coming up  – back to school,  off to college,  for which your customers might need or want the goods you can make is key.    This is a good reminder that we always need to be aware of what’s happening around us.

Second on the list is a post from Joyce Jagger which details 9 ways to sink your decorated apparel business  and gives you tips on avoiding these hazards.   One of my favorite pieces of advice from this post is when she talks about not depending on a small pool of customers.   One of the reason EnMart is constantly adding new products and reaching out to new markets is because we want the broadest customer base possible.   It’s good advice for any business – don’t put all your eggs in one basket,  because if that basket fails,  it’s your bacon that’s in the fire.

Third at bat is a post from Erich Campbell about why smaller customers and smaller orders matter.    I was just having a conversation with an EnMart customer this morning on this very topic,  so this post is very applicable.     Erich makes several good points in this article,  but the one that really struck home with me is the point that you never know who,  or what,  is behind a small order.    Yes,  small orders might be annoying or a pain at times,  but they can also be the path to big orders.    This is a terrific post,  and a great way to think about what some companies might consider an imposition.

Fourth on the docket is a post from Sadia Sews about multi-hooping.   Since I would probably have trouble lining up one design,   I’m in awe of people who can stitch out multiple designs and have their line up properly.    This is a nice tutorial on one way to make that happen.

Fifth in the queue is a post from the Stitchworks blog listing some dos and don’ts when it comes to press releases.   In my opinion,  press releases are a publicity tool that many small businesses overlook.     This post offers a lot of good tips for a businessowner who may be writing their first press release.    My two favorite tips are the one about not sending your release to everyone – having worked at television stations and newspapers in the past I can tell you from personal experience how annoying that is,   and the one about making sure the photos you include with your release are high quality and suitable for print.    There are several great tips here so you should check this post out.

Finally,  we have a post from John Morgan about six things on which business owners should stop focusing.   While some of what he says seems counter-intuitive to most business advice that’s out there,  his advice really does make sense.    I especially like the advice about being a trendsetter,  not focusing on staying up with current trends,  and the reminder that we all need to stop focusing on our fears.


posted in Around the Blogosphere | 0 Comments

9th July 2015

Generating Word of Mouth Advertising

telling secretsEvery once in a while,  during an otherwise ordinary conversation,   something that really makes you think will be said.   That’s what happened to me this morning during a conversation with one of our West Coast customers.   We were chatting a bit after he placed his order and he told me he was amazingly busy,  pretty much running to capacity.   Then he told me that the only advertising he has or does is word of mouth.   Satisfied customers tell other potential customers about him,  and when those that have received recommendations come to him,  he provides such great service and product that they don’t want to go anywhere else.  The new customers become satisfied customers and,  in their turn,  tell other people about him and his business.   The cycle just keeps rolling on and on.

What got me thinking is the fact that most business owners would probably kill to have achieved that sort of customer recognition.  For many business owners, word of mouth is the holy grail of ways to bring in business.    On the surface,  it doesn’t cost anything.    There are no magazine ads to design,  no flyers to print,   no product displays to create and hang on the wall.   Word of mouth does not require worrying about hits on a website,  or landing pages for banner ads  or maintaining social media accounts.   All you have to do to generate word of mouth advertising is to provide a product and service that is so inspiring that your customers are compelled to talk about your business.   It’s that simple.   Really,  what could be easier?

Sadly, pretty much anything.

Like the marketing and social media “gurus” who say they can make your video “go viral”,   there are those out there who will sell you a lot of tips and tricks for generating “buzz” or taking your company “viral”.   It’s tempting to think there is an easy way to generate positive word of mouth,   but that isn’t really the case.   If you want people to talk about your company for the right reasons,   you have to do a lot of things right.     Generating positive word of mouth is an ongoing process,  one that may take years to provide full benefit,  and it can easily be destroyed by the surly counter person who provides a customer with a bad experience,  or the production employee who doesn’t pay attention one day when creating embroidered polos.

If you’re looking to generate word of mouth for your business,  the first fact with which you need to make peace is the fact that you can’t force anyone to talk about you.   People generally talk about something for one of two reasons,   either they’re amazed and astonished by the experience they just had or something about the experience has made them annoyed and angry.    Obviously,  most business owners are shooting for amazed and astonished,  but many often miss and score a bullseye in angry and annoyed.  You don’t want people talking about you for the wrong reasons,  so one of the first things you need to do if you want to generate positive word of mouth is to make sure your customer service and production processes are as good as they can possibly be.

Another thing to keep in mind when working to generate word of mouth for your business is the fact that you can’t force people to talk about you positively,  but you can ask them to do so.   It might be as simple as a sentence on the end of an invoice “If you like our work,  please tell your friends”.    You could simply ask current customers for referrals to new customers,  which can be as easy as saying “Do you know anyone who could use our services?”.  You might also consider offering a discount or a rebate to those who recommend you to others.   If you are already providing an experience that amazes and delights,  there’s nothing wrong with asking people to talk about it.   Just be very sure that they are amazed and delighted before making your request.

Finally,   you need to remember that generating positive word of mouth is a marathon,  not a sprint.   It isn’t about providing great product and a stellar experience one time,  it’s about providing great product and a stellar experience time and time again.   Yes,  one good experience may make a customer talk about your positively,   but a consistent string of positive experiences will generate the kind of recommendations and buzz that will keep your shop humming for years.

posted in Making Your Business Grow, Marketing Monday | 0 Comments

7th July 2015

How Do I: Provide Good Customer Service

customer service blocksSome people might think this post should be presented on a Monday,  as customer service generally is thought to fall under the Marketing umbrella,  and they wouldn’t be wrong,  just a bit incomplete.   When done correctly,   customer service is about marketing your business,   but it’s also about a lot more than that.   Providing good customer service requires being part swami,  part teacher,  part disciplinarian,   and part butler.    Your goal is to provide not what your customer wants,  but what they really need which requires the swami to read minds,   the teacher to educate,  the disciplinarian to steer them away from things that won’t do what they need,   and to be firm about why they don’t need them,   and the butler to provide that little extra touch of luxury that allows your customer to walk away feeling pampered and appreciated.   Providing good customer service is a lot about being aware and alert,  and much less about mouthing some tired platitudes about “how your business matters to us”.  Good customer service doesn’t tell your customers they matter to your business,  it shows them they matter.

Peter Shankman,  who gets a lot of things right when he talks about customer service,  says that these days,  great customer service doesn’t require being stunningly awesome every second.   Being better than the rest just requires elevating your game a little bit.   Sadly,  most people are so accustomed to being treated like an inconvenience and enduring terrible customer service that they’ll react to even a modest effort like you’ve offered them a Godiva chocolate in a solid gold box strapped to the cutest puppy in the universe.   Even being seen to make an effort while being unable to deliver can win you points.   We’re all so beaten down these days by companies that basically treat us like ATMs that simply being treated like a human is a refreshing change of pace.

So,  given that we know most companies are providing rock bottom customer service,  and realizing that it only takes a little to be a lot better than average,   the next step is to harness your inner swami,  teacher,  disciplinarian and butler and take your customer service to the next level.   Here’s how that works:

The Swami – You don’t have to read minds,  you just have to listen and be observant.   Customers aren’t always the best at expressing what they need, so you’ll need to read between the lines on occasion.   Being a swami also requires thinking about the orders that come to you and paying attention to what’s being ordered.   If you have a customer who orders consistently,  and their orders are generally the same type of thing,  and then they order something completely different,  it’s worth checking to make sure the order was placed correctly.   Even if they did order properly,  they’ll still appreciate that you knew them well enough to know this wasn’t their usual order.

The Teacher – Teachers educate,  and many of us in the industry talk often about what customers don’t know and how it’s our responsibility to teach them.   Your customers don’t expect and probably don’t want a college level seminar,  but explaining a few basic details can help them better understand what you can and can’t do and why.   Educating customers about the value of what you do,  both in creativity and in dollars and cents is also worthwhile.     You don’t have to lecture,  but taking advantage of a teaching moment is always a good thing.

The Disciplinarian – Anyone who has ever been around a child has probably had the experience of telling them no,  or stopping the kid from doing something they really wanted to do but which was dangerous or not good for them.    I’m not saying customers are children,  or should be treated as such,  but there are times when you,  as the expert,  will know better than they do.   At those times,  it’s your job to provide information that will allow them to make the correct choice,  and to steer them away from the wrong choices.   Sometimes that requires being firm.   The traditional rule is that the customer is always right,  but that doesn’t mean they always make the right choices.   Your job is to help them see where they’ve made an error and to provide them with good choices that will help achieve their final goal.

The Butler –  We can’t all be Jeeves,  but we can provide that little extra touch that makes our customers feel spoiled and pampered.  Whether it’s a handwritten note to say thank you for an order,  or a little extra something thrown in with finished garments,  letting your customer know you appreciate their business doesn’t have to be fancy,  it just needs to be sincere.

Sincerity is probably,  in the end,  what matters most.   If you genuinely appreciate your customers, truly want to provide them with the best products and service you can,   and are willing to put some effort into doing so,  it’s likely that your customer service will be way above average.   It’s also likely that your customers will recognize that,  and continue to be customers for years to come.

posted in Making Your Business Grow, Marketing Monday | 2 Comments

29th June 2015

Marketing Monday: Big Events and Social Media

marketing monday 1Whenever a disaster or a major event happens,  every company that participates in social media has to make a decision about two things.   The first is whether or not they comment at all.   The second,  if they decide to comment,  is in what form they will comment.   They also need to do try and make some predictions about what the potential fallout from their posts might be.   The potential for negative consequences does,  of course,  rise if the event is controversial in some way.    A comment on Mother’s Day reminding everyone to celebrate mothers is probably not going to generate any negative consequences at all,   as the majority of people would agree that celebrating motherhood is a good thing to do.   A comment on something like the historic Supreme Court decision  last Friday can lead into much murkier waters.

Posting about something controversial is always more of a minefield than posting about something on which everyone agrees.   That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t comment,  it just means there might need to be a little more calculation before the comment is made.   Here are some things to consider before posting about a controversial issue on social media.

How passionate are you about this issue or event?  Does it impact you personally in some way?   Does it impact a large portion of your customer base?  Does this issue or event have relevance to you or your company or are you just chiming in because everyone is mentioning it?

What negative consequences could result from posting about this event?   As I explained in the seminar I did at the DAX Show last year,  it only takes a moment to shoot yourself in the foot on social media.   Whether it’s trivializing a storm that caused billions of dollars in damage,   or using a day when thousands died to sell yoga classes or holes of golf,  saying the wrong thing at the wrong time can cause a huge wave of bad publicity.     If you’re going to post about controversial or sensitive events,  you need to be prepared to experience backlash,  and have a plan to deal with that backlash should it happen.

Do you care if people disapprove of what you post?  This circles back somewhat to how passionate you are about the issue –  if it impacts you personally,  or impacts your customer base,  you may feel that the disapproval of some is worth supporting a cause about which you feel strongly.   In some cases you may feel that voicing your support is so important that it doesn’t matter if you lose customers as a result.

The main thing to remember is that the decision to post or not to post should be arrived at in a thoughtful manner,  after you’ve considered all the consequences.   Yes,  in the first heat of happiness or disgust or whatever emotion you’re feeling,  the urge might be to throw something on your company pages,  but don’t give in to that urge.    Take the time to rationally examine your choices,   looking at both the positives and the negatives and then decide whether or not you will comment.   Running through a decision process like this may only take a couple of minutes,   but those few minutes could save you hours of grief.

posted in Marketing Monday | 2 Comments

25th June 2015

Actual Advice: Best Backing for Towels and More

Advice-2One of the things we do often here at EnMart is answer questions.    The questions cover a variety of topics,   from what sort of product to use for a particular job,   to what we use or recommend,   to questions about running a business or using social media.    In the course of a day,   an awful lot of questions can be asked and answered,  but the answers only benefit the one person who asked,  and that didn’t seem quite fair.   To address that problem I’ve created another sporadic series that will appear semi-regularly on the EmbroideryTalk blog called “Actual Advice”.   In this series,  we will detail an actual question or questions asked by a customer  and than share the answer here so everyone can benefit from reading it.

We’ll be covering two questions today.

The first is about what backing to use on towels and fleece blankets.   The customer in question had been using tearaway,  but was finding it tough to weed out all the stabilizer, and didn’t really like the finished appearance after the backing had been torn away.    She was looking for another option and had thought maybe a washaway would do the trick.  She was looking at Badgemaster,  which was,  as they say,  in the right church,  but in the wrong pew.   Badgemaster would dissolve in water,  but really isn’t designed to be a stabilizer with fabric.    What was needed was a cutaway washaway like our Q-102.     EnMart’s Q-102 stabilizes the design,  and then the excess backing can be dissolved with water,  leaving a smooth surface.   It is ideal for towels or blankets or anywhere that might allow the back of the embroidery to be visible.

The second question has to do with color matching of thread.   We do have a conversion engine on our website where we have conversions from several popular thread brands to Iris,   which is useful,   but we tend to recommend another way if you want a true color match.    The best way to color match a thread,  in our opinion is to compare actual color to actual color.    In other words,  get a swatch of the two colors you want to compare,  and put them side by side in natural light.    This will give you the truest representation of the colors and the match in question.   Trying to match an actual color against a color on a computer monitor or a printed sample won’t work well because monitors and printers can skew colors.    Your best best is always to match actual to actual.    If you do need actual Iris UltraBrite Polyester color swatches,  you can always get a thread chart for use when converting colors.

So,  that’s our actual advice for today.   If you have a question you’d like us to answer,  please leave it in the comments,   or ask us on our Facebook page or Twitter feed.

posted in About EnMart, Embroidery Questions | 1 Comment

23rd June 2015

How Do I: Choose a Backing

8The type of backing used on an embroidered piece can have a big impact on the quality of the finished item,   but knowing which backing to use and when to use it can be difficult.   Add to that fact the problem of beginning embroiderers who may not even be aware there is more than one type of cutaway or tearaway available,  or even that cutaway and tearaway exist,  and the confusion only deepens.   Choosing a backing can be confusing and intimidating,   but it can also make a real difference in the speed, ease and quality of your embroidery,  so it is important.    Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a backing.

Backing comes in different typesCutaway and tearaway are the two main types of backing,   and are basically what their names imply they would be.   Cutaway stabilizers must be cut with scissors.   Tearaway stabilizers are designed to allow for any excess to be torn away after the embroidery is finished.   There are also a variety of specialty backings and toppings which also fit under the wider categories of cutaway or tearaway,  but have unique uses.   Poly mesh,  adhesive backing  and water soluble would be in this category.

Backing comes in different weights – Lighter weight backings are generally best for light weight fabrics.    Heavier weight tearaways can be very useful when embroidering caps.    Generally,  backing weight ranges from 1 oz to 3+ ounces.    Backing weight is determined by weighing a square yard of the backing in question.   Heavier weight backings,  3 ounces for instance,  will generally be sturdier and stiffer.   Lighter weight backings,  a 1.5 ounce perhaps,  will be more flexible,  may be softer,   and generally are more sheer.    To learn more about backing weight and why it matters you can read this post I wrote in 2010.

Backing comes in different colors – We’re not talking a wide variety of colors here,  backing is generally available in white,  black and beige.     Even a small variety of colors does matter however,  particularly when there is some possibility of the backing being visible through the garment.

Specialty backing can make a huge difference – Specialty backings were all designed to meet a need in the machine embroidery marketplace.   Poly mesh backing was designed for use with lightweight and sheer fabrics.     Adhesive backing is perfect for use with hard to hoop items,  allowing embroidery on patches and socks and things that would be too small to hoop on their own.    Water soluble topping allows the embroidering of names and monograms on towels and fleece,  keeping the lettering from sinking into the material.    For many jobs,  using a simple cutaway or tearaway will serve you well,  but specialty backings are always a good thing to have in your arsenal.

That’s a quick overview of how to choose a backing.    To learn more,  you can also read these additional posts I’ve written on the subject.

Backing Basics:  Types of Backing

Backing Basics:  Specialty Backing

posted in Backing/Stabilizers, Embroidery Questions, Machine Embroidery Tips | 1 Comment

19th June 2015

And the Crickets Chirp

crickets chirpingI’ve never been sure why crickets chirping is supposed to be a sound that signifies silence and nothing happening.   There’s a cricket that lives in my garage on occasion and having him around is anything but quiet.    In any case,  crickets chirping is an accepted symbol for places where a long silence has settled,  so it seems appropriate for this blog,  which has been silent most of this year so far.   For that I apologize.    I do see some light at the end of this tunnel though.  Even though we’re now halfway through the year  I figure we can still salvage 2015.     I just need a plan.   And,  possibly,  the help of those who read this blog.

First,  the plan.

When I started this blog,  I tried to write a post several times a week.    I was building a blog and an audience,  so it made sense to do it that way back then.   Plus,  when we started,  there was an entire new company and a lot of new products to introduce,  so I had blog post fodder for years.  Now,  8 years into this blog journey,   my responsibilities have expanded,  my available time has shortened,  and producing a post several times a week isn’t really feasible.   So the schedule needs to be more reasonable and achievable.    I’m thinking two posts a week is reasonable,   with an optional Friday Blog Round-Up twice a month.   That’s a total of 10 posts in an average month,  and I think that’s a reasonable and attainable goal to set.

Now,  the question is what those 8 posts a month should be.   Sometimes, of course,  I’ll talk about what we’re doing here,  new products were introducing,  changes we’re making,  whatever we’re doing to make EnMart a more attractive company from which to buy and with which to work.   I’m going to call those posts – EnMart Extras,  since they’ll be little extra glimpses into what we’re doing.   I also know that posts about how to use our products or how to approach a particular job are always useful,  so I think I’ll start another series of posts called “How Do I?”  – which will deal with exactly that,  how to do or use something applicable to the garment decoration business.   I’d also like to,  when possible,  open this blog to the voices of other people in our industry,  and I think we’ll call those Wisdom Wednesday posts,  which will appear,  naturally, on Wednesday.  Finally,  since it is my particular bailiwick,   I’d like to resurrect Marketing Mondays,  which is when we’ll talk about social media,  marketing and selling.   Obviously,  every category won’t appear every week,  but I’ll try to post something new at least twice a week,  with an optional third post,  a Friday Blog Round-Up,  every other week.

So, that’s the plan,  EnMart Extras,  Wisdom Wednesday,  Marketing Mondays,  and How Do I posts,  two a week,  every week.   In order to meet this goal,  however,  I will need help from the readers of this blog.    The first bit of help I need is suggestions.   What would you like to read about on Marketing Monday?   What burning How do I question has been churning through your brain?   What person in the industry would you like to see writing a Wisdom Wednesday post?  Share you suggestions here or with me on Facebook or Twitter.

The second bit of help I need is reading and commenting.   One of the drawbacks of writing a blog post or an article that people rarely talk about is how lonely it can be.   You craft your work,  and try to create something worthy of someone else’s attention,  and then all you hear is silence.   So,  I’m asking you to take a few moments to read and comment when you see something new on this blog.   I promise to do my best to make it worth spending time here.   I hope you’re willing to allow a bit of your time to be spent.


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