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Tax I.D. Numbers and EnMart

27th December 2011

Tax I.D. Numbers and EnMart

If you’ve ever been to the EnMart site,  you probably are familiar with the disclaimer that appears at the bottom of every page.  It goes something like this:

“Iris brand threads and pricing contained on this site are available only to customers who have a tax ID number. Completing an order for Iris thread through the EnMart site certifies that you have a tax ID number and a company name and can submit those items upon request. An EnMart customer service representative may be calling to confirm your status. All other products on the EnMart site are available to everyone regardless.”

This has apparently caused confusion for some people, so I thought I’d explain in more detail.  Essentially, what this disclaimer means is that we cannot sell Iris thread to anyone who is not a commercial business,  something which is generally denoted by having a tax i.d. number.    EnMart is the exclusive commercial distributor for Iris threads in the United States and, as such,  is licensed to sell Iris thread to commercial embroiderers.  Other companies are licensed to sell Iris thread to other segments of the market, and the agreements help to ensure that each segment of the market is purchasing from the proper company.

Please note,  the agreement regarding tax i.d. numbers relates only the Iris thread.   Any non thread related products,  such as backingsublimation blanks,  or blank patches may be purchased by anyone, regardless of business status.

posted in About EnMart | 2 Comments

23rd December 2011

Merry Christmas

EnMart will be closed on Monday, December 26, 2011 for the Christmas holiday.   We wish you all a happy and safe Christmas.

We will reopen on Tuesday, December 27, 2011.

All orders placed on Saturday, Sunday or Monday will ship on Tuesday when we resume normal operations.

Happy Holidays!

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23rd December 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 12/23/11

First up on the list today, is a cute idea from Stahl’s.  They’re counting down the twelve days of Christmas, and spotlighting a product on each day.  This is day three.  I would read the whole series though.  It’s a fun way to spotlight and highlight your products with a Christmas theme.

Second on deck is a great post from Bonnie Landsberger at My Two Stitches about what she really wants for Christmas.   Her ideal version of Christmas is very much like mine,  give to others,  not get for yourself,  and dial down the hype surrounding presents.    It’s a beautiful post and a great idea for how to celebrate Christmas.

Third up,  Erich Campbell offers a Yuletide review,  recapping and spotlighting the lessons he’s learned and taught in 2011 through his blog for Stitches Magazine.  There is a lot of wisdom distilled in this post,  just as there is a lot of wisdom on Erich’s blog.   Take a moment to read this post and absorb all the knowledge and helpful information Erich shared this year.

Fourth at bat, I’m pimping something of my own,  a parody of T’was the Night Before Christmas that I wrote with a sublimation theme.   I think it’s fun and funny and also holiday appropriate.   I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it.

Finally, I wanted to wish everyone the happiest of holidays.  I hope you all get what you want and need this year.   I also wanted to say thank you to everyone who has supported EnMart in 2011.  We appreciate each and every one of you and are grateful for your support.


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21st December 2011

Commercial vs. Home Delivery

Every once in a while we’ll get an e-mail from someone who is questioning why their order was sent home delivery when they’re clearly a commercial business.   If you’re in a strip mall or a commercial building,  it may seem obvious that you’re a business,  but it isn’t always obvious for shipping purposes.  Commercial or residential designations are made by our package carriers.  For those who don’t know,  EnMart ships primarily via Fed Ex,  and the determination of whether an address is considered business or residential is made by them,  not us.

Fed Ex Ground is the traditional business delivery service.  Ground packages are typically not delivered on Saturday or after normal business hours.   Fed Ex Ground is generally a bit less expensive than a residential delivery since business deliveries are generally considered easier to make.   Most businesses have to be easily accessible and there is generally someone there during traditional business hours, and businesses generally tend to be clustered together making it simpler to make multiple deliveries in a shorter amount of time.

Fed Ex Home Delivery is the residential version of Fed Ex Ground.   Home Delivery is available on Saturday, for no extra charge, and also has delivery hours that extend beyond normal business hours.    Home Delivery is slightly more expensive than standard Fed Ex Ground,  because residential deliveries are considered a bit more difficult.   The Home Delivery option, however,  does offer more flexibility in delivery times than Fed Ex Ground.

The thing to remember is that designating who is eligible for Ground delivery and who is eligible for Home Delivery is not done by us,  but by Fed Ex.  They make the determination as to which designation a particular address receives and we simply follow the designation given.   We understand that the designation your company is given may not appear to be the right one,  but we have no control over how those decisions are made.

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9th December 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 12/9/11

First up today,  because I want one and because I know a lot of other people are considering giving them as Christmas gifts,  is Bonnie Landsberger’s review of her new Kindle Fire.   I love this review because,  while it includes a lot of stats about the product,  it also includes little details,  like it shuts itself down if you fall asleep,  that people want to know,  but don’t often get from a review.    This is a very thorough description of the product and what it can do,  and it’s only made me more convinced I should probably buy a Kindle Fire.

Second on the list today is Erich Campbell’s list of ways to survive the December rush.  Anyone who sells items that can be gifted,  much less items that must be created when ordered,  knows the panic of the holiday rush.   Erich has provided some great tips on how to handle the rush without losing your sanity.

Third on deck is a post from Tim Andrews of ASI about a radio interview that was done with Randi Zuckerberg.  She talks about how mobile is blooming and how some companies are creating great experiences for users who access their content via a smartphone.  I think the piece of advice that I like best, however, is her advice about social media ” When you’re on social media, be sure to really respond to people and have a conversation – don’t make it a one-way communication.”   You can find a link to the entire interview in Tim’s post.

Fourth at bat is a list from Urban Threads of some great gifts for your crafty friends and family.    If you’re like me and often wait until almost the last minute before doing your Christmas shopping,  gift guides like this can be a great help.

Fifth on the schedule is a post about how the phrase “think outside the box” is really aiming people in the wrong direction.   To think outside the box,  this post posits,  you have to understand the box you’re in.   The trick isn’t to ignore the box,  it’s to understand its limitations and then expand beyond them.  To me,  this makes a lot of sense.

Sixth on the list is a post that made it into the Round-Up because I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the line between promoting yourself and over-promoting yourself.   For me,  self promotion has never been that easy,  but as this post reminds us,  when you’re in business, promoting yourself is part of the game.   It’s a good reminder.

Finally, just because this post combines the holidays,  helping people in need and a giant boars head named James Garfield,  we have the Second Annual Christmas and Hanukah Miracle from The Bloggess.    If you want a really good laugh click over and read the post about the First Annual Miracle,  and if you want to help some people,  check out the links to some organizations that could use your help during the holidays.

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8th December 2011

Blank Patch FAQ

One of the most popular items EnMart sells is blank patches,  which are manufactured by our parent company Ensign Emblem.    We offer our blank emblems in hundreds of color and size combinations,  and they are used for embroidery,  sublimation and screen printing.    A blank patch from EnMart is a versatile item,  but there are always questions to be asked about how to use them to the greatest benefit.  Today I thought I’d do a blank patch FAQ and answer some of the questions we get most often.

Q1.  How do I embroider a patch? – Instructions on how to embroider a single blank patch can be downloaded from our website.  If that is not enough information,  you can also give us a call and we’ll connect you to one of our embroidery experts who should be able to help.

Q2.  What are your patches made of? –  All patches sold by EnMart are made with 100% polyester fabric and 100% polyester merrow thread.   They are designed to withstand an industrial wash and dry.

Q3.  What can I do with your patches? – Blank patches can be used for embroidery and screen print.  Because they are 100% polyester,  they are also suitable for sublimation.

Q4.  How soon will my patch order ship? – As we’ve said in the past,  all blank patches from EnMart are made to order.   Most patch orders turn in two to three days.   Larger orders may take more time.    You also should take shipping time into account when planning your order.

Q5.  Where do your patches ship from? –  The majority of our blank patch orders ship from the Michigan facility.   On occasion, blank patches may ship from one of the other EnMart locations, but that is determined on a case by case basis.

Q6.  I need a specific size or shape and I can’t find it on your website,  what do I do? – The sizes and shapes of the blank patches on our website are the ones that are most popular.  If you need a size and can’t find it on the site,  give us a call.   We may have the size or shape you need.

Q7.  You offer two types of patch backing,  what’s the difference? –  Heat seal backing is designed to be sealed to a garment with a heat press.  It is high melt laminate,  and cannot be sealed successfully with an iron.   Sew on backing has no laminate and is designed to be sewn on the garment.   Heat seal patches can also be sewn on as well,  and the laminate will not melt if exposed to the temperatures of a standard wash and dry,  so if you’re unsure of whether or not you want to heat seal or sew on your patch,  heat seal backing is probably the better choice.

posted in Patches/Emblems | 1 Comment

2nd December 2011

The Friday Blog Round-up 12/2/11

First up today is an interesting piece from the Fashion Incubator blog about why getting publicity or getting your product noticed can be so hard in the fashion world.  It’s not for the reasons you’d think, competition,  too much noise in the marketplace,  lack of interest from consumers, but because there are few PR firms out there that understand design and fashion and how to publicize it properly.   It’s something we often don’t think about,  but the same would and does hold true for the embroidery world.  Someone who knows the industry will be more helpful in giving you advice about publicity and advertising and marketing than someone who does not know the industry.  Definitely something to keep in mind if you’re planning to hire a PR firm.

Second on deck is a post from Stahl’s which is, in part, about decorating with foil effects.  Everyone likes a little extra shine and sparkle this time of year,  and foil effects are one way to accomplish that.   The blog post also includes a video which demonstrates how to work with foil.

Third on the docket is a post from the NNEP blog with some sales strategies for year’s end.   This post contains some great advice about capturing business from customers who might be doing an annual award ceremony or presentation to sales personnel.  It is something on their to do list,  but not a major requirement.  If you can contact them with suggestions and make the process easier,  you’ll probably capture the order and please your customer.  It’s good advice.

Fourth at bat because OMG they’re SO AWESOME – is this cool new stuff from Urban Threads.    First we have two awesome design series,  one which is retro and fun (and would be adorable on baby clothes) and  one that is very elegant and based around snowflakes.  Then, as if that weren’t enough Christmas coolness,  Urban Threads is also offering printables based around those two design sets.   I love the snowflake printables especially, although I need someone to come and wrap my gifts like the ones in the pictures on the blog.

Fifth,  just because it made me laugh and snort is this blog post from The Bloggess.  Those of you who are not familiar with the Colbert Report may not find this funny,  but I think it’s hilarious.    I also admire the way this particular blogger takes a pretty small incident and runs with it, managing to generate a lot of publicity in the process.  She may be a bit nuts,  but she’s funny and she’s savvy.

Finally,  we have a post from Peter Shankman that asks an interesting question,  aren’t we all addicted to something,  and is it only the relative merits of that addiction,  exercise vs. alcohol for instance,  that makes the addiction good or bad?    It’s a different way of looking at addiction and it also points out how narrow the line between a “good” addiction and a “bad” one can be.

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28th November 2011

Handmade vs. Professionally Made?

Recently we had an interesting discussion on the EnMart Facebook page about whether or not gifts professional embroiderers or sublimators or direct to garment printers made were considered handmade gifts.    There are several movements encouraging handmade instead of store bought gifts,  and others which encourage recycled or upcycled gifts,  but it’s hard to know where to draw the line.   If you embroider for a living and you monogram a scarf as a Christmas gift,  is that gift considered handmade?  It wouldn’t necessarily, I don’t think, be considered handmade if a customer purchased it from you,  so where, exactly, is the line drawn?  Also,  does it really matter?

First of all, we need to examine the meaning of the word handmade, which means exactly what it says, made by hand.  If we go strictly by that definition, then nothing made on a machine is handmade, and so really there is no discussion.   If we switch from handmade to homemade,  we have a little more wiggle room.  Homemade is defined as made or prepared at home, locally, by the maker’s own efforts.   If we go by that definition,  then anything made by a professional embroider or printer could be said to be homemade,  as it was made by that person’s own efforts, if not in their home.

Second,  we need to consider how we think about embroidery and sublimation and direct to garment printing.  These are essentially creative endeavors.  Designs are created.   Something attractive and useful is created from a blank canvas of some kind.   Whether that creation is done on an embroidery machine,  with a printer and heat press or by someone in a chair with a needle and thread,  the end result is something that can be both useful and beautiful, a work of art if you will.   If we return to our examination of definitions for a moment,  art is defined as (1) the creation of works of beauty or other special significance and (2) the exercise of human skill.   Using those definitions,  the things that embroiders and printers create can be considered art.

In the end,  it probably doesn’t matter what it’s called or where the gift is purchased or where or who it’s made,  the meaning and intent behind the gift is what really matters.    Whether you embroidery or print professionally or as a hobby,  you’re still spending time and effort creating something special for someone else.   That’s what makes a gift special and personal and, to me,  that’s the issue,  not where the gift was made.

So, that’s my take on the subject.  What do you think?

posted in Embroidery Questions | 2 Comments

23rd November 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

EnMart wishes all our customers, fans, and friends a Happy Thanksgiving.

On the list of things for which we are thankful,  you all rank at the top!

We will be closed on Thursday, November 24 and Friday, November 25 in honor of the Thanksgiving holiday.

Normal business operations will resume Monday, November 28.

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18th November 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 11/18/11

First up today is a post from the Fashion Incubator blog about reasons to standardize basic sewing processes.  People argue against standardization because they feel it stifles creatively.  This post argues that standardizing the basics will allow us to get better at what we do and will help speed innovation and creativity.  It’s an interesting idea.

Second on the list this week is a post from Erich Campbell about creating and selling stock designs.  He offers some good suggestions, particularly the one about avoiding making designs that could infringe on established copyrights.  I see this sort of question asked about copyrights all the time on forums, and the answer is always that the best thing to do is avoid even giving the appearance of infringing on someone else’s copyrighted material.  If you’re thinking about selling some of your designs,  this blog post is a good place to start gathering information.

Third at bat is a post from the Retail Minded blog about building sales through social media.  While these tips are pretty basic,  they’re a good reminder that social media can be a useful way to publicize sales and new merchandise.   If you have a brick and mortar shop,  you should also remember to remind people to check in when they visit your store.

Fourth on the docket is a great post from Sadia Sews about how to create a trim you can recycle when the item that is being trimmed wears out.  This is perfect for towels, or pillowcases, and anything that might take a lot of wear and tear.    The design is a beautiful cutwork pattern.

Fifth on deck today is a post from Brains on Fire about how social media is changing how we sell and how our customers relate to us.   It used to be we went to a brick and mortar store and saw what the retailers had for sale and the signs they put out and that was it.  Today, using a smartphone,  you can check in,  get additional discounts,  read reviews,  ask your social network for recommendations and let people know where and when you’re shopping.  It’s a whole different world when it comes to retail and the smart companies are learning to master that world.

Finally, I’m going to mention my latest post for my blog for Stitches Magazine.    It’s about doing the math and why that can benefit your business.



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