EnMart Embroidery Talk

Educating the Machine Embroidery Community

Payday Loans Online
10th April 2014

Why We Don’t Offer Free Shipping

free shippingAs it does several times a year,  the question of free shipping has come up again.   It’s a perennial question,  and one that we’ve generally replied to with a resounding no,  except in the case of an occasional special offer.   It’s also a question that has been debated in the halls of EnMart several times.   Our conclusion has always been that offering free shipping wasn’t that much of an incentive.   Here’s why we think that’s the case:

  • Free shipping doesn’t increase orders, in our experience. When we’ve offered free shipping in the past,  we haven’t seen a substantial increase in orders.   What seems to increase orders much more is when we offer discounts on buying multiple items or offer special packages from a particular product category.
  • Free shipping at an order cost threshold doesn’t increase orders, in our experience. When we’ve offered free shipping if the order meets a certain price level,  we haven’t seen more orders occurring on that level.   From what we can gather,  the free shipping offer doesn’t necessarily entice people to buy more than they would have purchased anyway.
  • When we’ve offered a free shipping special,  many people neglect to use the code or meet the threshold to get free shipping.   We have tried free shipping specials in the past in an effort to see if this type of offer spurs a greater percentage of orders.  We often find that people either do not use the free shipping code,  or neglect to purchase at a level that will get them free shipping.   Other types of specials that we’ve offered seem to have much better response rates.
  • We work hard to keep our shipping rates low.   We have deep discounts from Fed Ex (our primary carrier) and have introduced USPS Priority Mail as a shipping option as well.   Our shipping rates are, so far as we can determine,  reasonable,  and we do adjust the rates if shipping estimates are higher than what we consider reasonable.
  • We offer our customers the option to ship on their own accounts.  Customers can select the “Use my account” shipping option and ask us to ship on a corporate or personal account.

All that said,  the free shipping question does pop up pretty regularly,  which leaves me wondering if it’s worth examining the whole idea of free shipping again.    So,  I wanted to ask all of you who are EnMart customers,  what do you think about EnMart having some sort of free shipping program?  Would it motivate you to buy more or buy more often?   If we did have such a program,  how do you think it should be structured?

EnMart always is willing to listen when our customers speak,  so we’d really like your feedback on this.   Please share your thoughts in the comments.

 

 

 

posted in About EnMart | 0 Comments

12th February 2014

How EnMart Handles Weather Related Delays and Closings

It isn’t often that EnMart closeclosed due to weathers down due to weather.  In fact,  in the 8 years I’ve been with the company,  I can remember very few weather related closings,  and most that have happened have occurred in 2013 and 2014.   This winter has been a tough and atypical one for a lot of areas,  and it has caused plant closings and shipping delays.   Since these sorts of events have happened more than once over the course of this winter,  I thought I would discuss how EnMart handles these sorts of situations.

The first thing to know is that our goal is always timely shipment and delivery.    When the weather cooperates and we’re in control,  we will do all we can to make sure your orders ship quickly.   We will not, however, sacrifice the safety of our employees to do so.  When the weather is inclement and the streets are impassable,  we will close our plants in order to ensure the safety of those who work for us.   In those cases,  we will reroute all shipments possible to other locations.     We have locations in Michigan, New Jersey,  Georgia and California,  and it is extremely unlikely that all four plants will be shut down at the same time.   If one plant is out of operation,  we will shift orders to the other plants to compensate.

That’s the bit we can control.   The bit we can’t control is what our shippers do.   Fed Ex, UPS and the USPS make their own decisions as to what they will and won’t do.     While we sometimes get advance notice when pick-up times are moved ahead or service is discontinued entirely,  we often don’t get notified.  In cases when we can see the weather is not good,  we will try and anticipate an early pick-up and have orders picked and shipped on a different schedule than normal.   Sometimes, though,  despite all our efforts,  shipments will not leave our facility as scheduled.

Obviously,  once a shipment does leave our facility,  we are at the mercy of our shippers and their decisions.   We have no control of how long a selected shipper takes to get a package to its destination.  Weather delays may stop flights from leaving or landing,  or trucks from traveling from one destination to another.    All we can do is trust that our shippers will do their best to get all packages delivered in a timely manner.

Announcements of closings will always be posted on the EnMart Facebook page,  the EnMart Twitter feed and the EnMart Google+ page. You can always check these pages for the latest updates and details.     If you have any questions,  you may always contact us for the latest information.

 

 

posted in About EnMart | 0 Comments

21st January 2014

Need Something Special – Call Us!

contact usOne of the hardest things for any company to do,  I think,  is find a balance between what they can do or offer and what they put on their website.   It’s a rather delicate balance.   Include too much and customers are made to wade through a labyrinth of pages before they find what they need.   Include too little, and customers may bounce off the page because they think you don’t have the item for which they are searching.    Too many categories and menu items can get confusing.  Too few menu items or categories that are too broad will not highlight all the options your company can provide.   Finding the tipping point is a matter of trial and error and that point will be different for every company.   Today I want to discuss EnMart’s tipping point.

When we were first constructing the website it became apparent that we couldn’t include every possible thing we might sell.   The list was far too long and would have resulted in pages and pages of products.   While we wanted to give a good representation of our product lines,  we didn’t want to overwhelm anyone or make it too hard to find what was needed.   So we settled on the idea of including,  in some sections at least,  only the most popular  or best selling products.   Our theory was that these products were items we knew people would buy so it made sense to make them easily available.

While this idea has worked well,  it still has left us with a list of products we could sell,  but which aren’t generally available on our website.   We can get special types and cuts of stabilzer.    We have access to a wide variety of sublimation blanks.   Our blank patch repertoire is far wider than what appears on our website.    Some of these items may not be stock items,  but we can order them and get them to you in a fairly small amount of time.

If you’re searching for something and don’t see it on our website,  please contact us.    In many cases we will have a option that will meet your needs.    We also are willing to send out samples of threads and backings  or a sample blank patch so you can test them before you buy.   All you have to do is ask.

posted in About EnMart | 0 Comments

15th January 2014

Bring Iris Quilting Thread to Your Town

iris-ultra-cotton-quilting-thread-LOne of the questions I’ve been answering a lot lately is the question about where Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread can be purchased.   It’s kind of a complicated question as there’s more than one factor to be considered when answering.    If you’re a retail store,  or run a long arm quilting business with a tax i.d. number,  you may purchase the Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread from us on our website.    Anyone who is not connected to a retail store,  or running a quilting business may not purchase from us directly.   This keeps us from trespassing on our retail customers’ territories,  and allows us to keep our agreements with the thread manufacturer.

So, then,  what do you do if you’re not a retail store or a quilting business with a tax i.d. and you still want to purchase the thread?   Your best option at that point would be to go to a quilt store in your area that carries the thread and purchase it there.    We are always expanding our quilt store customer base, and we’ll always be happy to let you know of any quilt stores in your area that carry Iris thread.

If there is a quilt store in your area that carries Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread,  then your problem is solved.  If not,  you can help bring the thread to your location.    If you have a favorite local quilt store that you think should carry Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread,  let us know.  Give us a call,  leave us a message on the EnMart Facebook page,  send us a Tweet,  leave a comment on this blog post,  or send us an e-mail.   When you contact us,  let us know who you are,  and give us the store information,  including location,  telephone number,  website and contact name.   When we contact the store,  we’ll let them know that you recommended they carry the thread.  Once they’ve sampled the thread,  we’re sure they’ll want to add it to their inventory,  and you’ll have a ready source of Iris Ultra Cotton Quilting Thread nearby.  Everyone wins!

posted in About EnMart, Shop EnMart, Thread | 0 Comments

3rd January 2014

Friday Blog Round-Up 1/3/14

Cowboy Twirling LassoWow,  the first post of the New Year!  I want to wish everyone a happy, prosperous and productive 2014!    Here are some things,  both some old favorites and some new items, that will hopefully help you achieve those goals.

First up,  we have 10 Tips to Increase your Productivity from Joyce Jagger.    Joyce knows her stuff and these tips will help make you more productive as an embroiderer.   I especially like the tips about maintenance.    A well maintained machine is a productive one,  and allotting time each morning and on Friday afternoons to make sure your machines are well maintained will pay off in increased productivity with less down time.

Second on the list,  we have a post from Fashion Incubator “One Way Or Another, It’s Going to Hurt“.   I think I like this post because it’s on the same theme as a post I did for the DecQuorum blog about the downsides of working for yourself.    Neither my post,  nor this post,  say that working for yourself and running your own business is a bad idea,  both posts just point out the fact that there are costs to be paid if you’re an entrepreneur,  just as there are if you work for someone else.   I think we all need a reminder about this every once in a while.  It’s easier to think the grass is always greener wherever you aren’t,  and a bit of realism always helps.

Third at bat,  we have a replay of a post from Erich Campbell outlining some basic digitizing skills for non digitizers.  Since I see requests on Facebook all the time for designs to be digitized or altered so they can be stitched out more smoothly,  I thought this post was a good one to include.    Every embroiderer is not,  nor do all of them want to be digitizers,  but knowing some basic skills can save you time and effort when you run into a problem design.

Fourth on the docket is a post from Retail Minded about how to deal with upset customers.   This task is something no one likes to do,  but handling an upset customer the right way can help save a situation that might otherwise be unpleasant for you and your company.   What I like about this post is the emphasis on listening to the customer.   It isn’t enough to put a bandage on the situation,  you have to know why the customer is angry and what they want before you can resolve the situation satisfactorily.

Fifth in line is a post from John Morgan about why you should share your success and your knowledge.    One of the things I like best about the decorating community is how willing most people are to share what they know and to help others.   Hoarding your nuggets of knowledge doesn’t protect you from competition and it doesn’t keep your business safe.  Sharing and forming relationships and helping others is the way to true success.   This post illustrates that beautifully.

Finally,  we have a post from Peter Shankman about a simple thing that could totally capsize your whole marketing and promotional programs.     We all like reviews,  and people who sign up for our mailing lists and those who leave recommendations,  but how often are we checking to make sure the mechanisms by which people can do those things work?  It’s a small thing,  but it could mean the difference between a great review and no review at all.    If you want people to review you and help spread the word about your company on social media,  make sure you’ve given them the tools to do so.

posted in Around the Blogosphere | 0 Comments

30th December 2013

Happy New Year!

happy new year 3EnMart will be closed Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday January 1 in honor of the New Year’s Holiday.

We will return to work on Thursday, January 2, 2014. 

All orders placed on Tuesday, December 31 and Wednesday, January 1 will be shipped when we return on Thursday, January 2.

Happy New Year and here’s to a prosperous and creative 2014!

posted in About EnMart | 0 Comments

27th December 2013

The Friday Blog Round-Up 12/27/13

roundupIt seemed only right to end this year of blogging with a Friday Blog Round-Up.  Sometimes I get tired of the sound of my own voice, and it’s fun to share what other people have to say.

First up is a post from Eileen’s Blog from the Designs in Machine Embroidery website.  This post details how to stitch lettering on fur.  Judging by the number of embroidered Christmas stocking pictures I’ve seen this year,  a lot of people have been doing this sort of thing.   It’s definitely a post to bookmark and pull out for next year.

Second on the docket is a discussion of the skills every retail team member must have.   These skills also apply to those working your checkout station at a trade show,  or really anyone who deals with customers.  A lot of these skills also apply if you’re doing customer service over the phone.  I especially like the advice about not getting flustered when you have multiple people needing assistance.   That’s a tough one,  but if you can stay calm,  your customers will be calmer too.

Third on the list  is a post I really like,  probably because it dispenses some tough love.   When you’re a creative,  however you choose to express that,   the road to success can be winding and there can be a lot of obstacles.   John Morgan’s post points out some self created obstacles to avoid if you want to be successful.   I definitely agree with what he says,  particularly the advice about negative environment.  Nothing can sap your creativity and ambition faster than people who tell you that you can’t do something and why you’ll never succeed.

Fourth at bat is the best discussion I’ve seen so far about Facebook’s new algorithm and what it will mean to company pages and marketers.   There’s been a lot of ranting lately about the changes Facebook has made and how it hurts company pages but,  as this post points out,  Facebook wasn’t conceived as an advertising venue,  it was conceived as a way to connect with friends.  Facebook is doing what they need to do to keep their core users happy and that makes sense.

Finally,  if you have plans to up your game and your profits in 2014,  you need to read this post from Peter Shankman.   Personal power is becoming more an more important in today’s world,  since we all have a platform now and we all can influence others.    This is another post I really like, and I’m going to start practicing some of these techniques in my own life.  I thought it might interest some of the rest of you as well.

Here’s to a happy, healthy and truly amazing 2014!

 

posted in Around the Blogosphere | 0 Comments

23rd December 2013

Merry Christmas!

christmasWe wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.

EnMart will be closed on Tuesday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 25, 2013 for the Christmas holiday.   We will reopen on Thursday, December 26, 2013.

All orders placed on 12/24 – 12/25 will ship on Thursday, 12/26 when we resume normal operations.

posted in Uncategorized | 0 Comments

17th December 2013

Glow In the Dark Thread is Back!

We know that many of you like our UltraGlow glow in the dark thread,  so we were not happy when the thread had to be put on Sold Out status due to a backorder situation.   We are pleased to report that problem has been resolved.   Not only do we have the original 6 colors back in stock,  but we have 4 new colors added to the mix.   The new colors are quite exciting.

glow-in-the-dark-chartreuse-M

 

The first new color is Chartreuse,  which is a kind of lime green.  This color would look great with any type of embroidery with neon thread colors.

glow-in-the-dark-pink-M

 

 

The second new color is pink.  It’s more of a hot pink than the picture indicates.  This is another color that would work well with any neon embroidery.   This is an attention getting color,  and the pink will really stand out when it glows.

glow-in-the-dark-green-M

 

Our next color selection is a darker green, more of a lime green.  This is the perfect Halloween color,  great for spooky aliens and the glowing eyes of a black cat.   I think, of all our glow in the dark colors,  this is probably the one color people think of when they think of glow in the dark thread.

 

glow-in-the-dark-beige-M

 

Finally,  we have beige.  Now I have to admit,  beige isn’t a color your mind immediately goes to when thinking of a color that should glow in the dark,  but it’s a nice neutral.   Sometimes a good basic neutral is what you need and in those times,  our beige glow in the dark thread would fill the bill.

posted in Thread | 0 Comments

3rd December 2013

Introducing ThermoSeal

iStock_000010053914XSmallIt’s the time of year,  for many of us,  when snow starts coming down and winter weather gear comes out.   Anyone who’s spent a day sledding or snowmobiling,  having a snowball fight or simply building a snowman knows that snow can get everywhere.   Much as we’d like to have embroidery on our winter clothing,  it never seemed like a good idea.   Snow is cold and also melts,  and any punctures or holes in your cold weather gear could leave you soaked and shivering.   Until now,  that is.

EnMart is proud to introduce ThermoSeal,  an embroidery backing that allows you to waterproof your embroidery.    Using this backing,  you can embroider on waterproof or water repellent fabrics without compromising their waterproof properties.   ThermoSeal flows into the needle holes,  sealing them and preventing moisture from penetrating.

To use ThermoSeal,  sew out your embroidery as normal.    Once your sew out is completed make sure to remove any excess stabilizer and that you have a clean field around the embroidered design.   Cut a piece of ThermoSeal that is just a 3/4 of an inch to an inch larger than your design on each side.   Place the piece of ThermoSeal on the back side of your embroidery with the adhesive side down.    The adhesive side is the side that would be face up when you’re looking at a roll of ThermoSeal and is slightly glossy.

Once you have your ThermoSeal placed,  the next step is to apply heat to seal the embroidery and make it waterproof.   Using a heat press, set to 265 to 300 degrees Fahrenheit,  press with medium pressure for 10 – 15 seconds.   This will melt the ThermoSeal and allow it to fill the holes created by the embroidery needles.    Once the embroidery is sealed,  it is recommended that you let the garment set for at least 48 hours before attempting to wash it.

ThermoSeal is an ideal product for use with winter weather gear,  wet weather gear and any kind of outdoor gear.    It would be perfect for monogramming rain boots or rain hats,  or for putting logos on gear for companies with employees who work outdoors.    ThermoSeal is available in 3 different sized rolls.

posted in Backing/Stabilizers | 0 Comments