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DAX Chicago – Day 2

30th April 2011

DAX Chicago – Day 2

10:15 a.m.  I love it when the day starts out strong. We had people making a beeline to our booth as soon as the show opened.  Our bobbins. backing and thread are a hit!

10:55 a.m.  First two systems of the day are out the door.  One Sublimation package and one ChromaBlast package, both based around the Ricoh 3300 printer.  We still have packages left, but they’re going fast!

12:00 p.m.  Badgemaster, tearaway, cutaway, poly mesh,  whatever sort of backing you need,  we have it all.  I love helping people figure out what sort of backing they want.  It’s always nice to see how happy people are when they find something they’ve been looking for and haven’t been able to find.

1:27 p.m.  Thread conversion is never something an embroiderer wants to do, but we make it easy.  We’ve converted thread colors for people on the show floor.

1:54 p.m.  Have to do my plug for Scott Ritter and the DAX Shows.  Not that I want to encourage other exhibitors,  but Scott does a great show and he takes great care of those who exhibit with him.

2:53 p.m.  Show is almost over.  It’s been a great one.  Thank you DAX and thank you Chicago!

 

 

posted in About EnMart, Trade Shows | Comments Off

29th April 2011

DAX Chicago – Day 1

9:57 a.m.  Waiting for the doors to open and our first influx of visitors.  Very excited about this show.  Should be a good one.

10:16 p.m.  It’s always cool to see the variety of companies that come to this show.  So many different methods of decorating are represented.   It’s interesting to see all the things that you can do.

2:17 p.m. So, as usual,  gaps in the posts mean we’ve been busy.  It’s been a fun show so far. Selling lots of backing and thread.

2:50 p.m.  Still loving watching the wall o’ thread pull people in.  It stops people in their tracks.  I suppose it’s kind of like a thread tractor beam,  catching people and pulling them in with the beauty of the colors.

3:07 p.m.  Encore Embroidery has been running our thread all throughout the show.  Love watching it run and how easy it sews.  No thread breaks and awesome color!  The proof is in the stitching!

3:49 p.m.  Love helping people who are new to embroidery. Their eyes light up when I tell them to call anytime and we’ll help them out.   It works to everyone’s advantage when the company doing the selling uses what they sell.

4:30 p.m.  Day is starting to wind down a bit.  Good first day I think.  Love being back in Chicago and being at DAX.  These shows are always fun.

posted in About EnMart, Trade Shows | Comments Off

22nd April 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 4/22/11

First on the list today is a post from Nicole at Retail Minded.  She’s giving some tips for PR phone etiquette, which I think are great.   One of the things I always tell new businesspeople when they’re looking for ways to publicize themselves is that they must not forget local media.  Nicole’s tips on how to speak to editors could work equally well for news program directors.   If you’re looking for more publicity for your business,  this piece is a must read.

Second at bat today is Robin Wilson at Robin’s Edge.  She’s continuing her series on fan pages.  This week she’s explaining why mundane posts can be useful and reminding all of us that customers don’t buy from companies they can’t find.    If you’re just starting to build your online presence,  or new to using Facebook for your business,  Robin can be a great help.  She knows her stuff.

Third up is an awesome project which was spotlighted on the Stitch Punk blog.  For those of you who may not remember,  Stitch Punk is the blog for Urban Threads,  and the project they’re spotlighting is certainly Urban Threads worthy.   A customer of theirs made a fabulous Steampunk children’s dress.  It’s a fabulous piece and the little girl who’s wearing it in the pictures has a great attitude.  I wish I’d had clothes like that when I was young.

Fourth on the docket today is a great post from Duct Tape Marketing that speaks to one of my personal issues.  I’m quite type A and often a perfectionist and I like to be good at things.   The problem with those qualities is that they sometimes keep me from trying new things because I don’t want to do anything I can’t do well.   John at Duct Tape Marketing argues the opposite mindset – give yourself permission to be bad at something so you can learn to be better.  It’s an interesting theory and one I’m going to try and incorporate in my attitude toward new things.

Fifth on the list today is a post I just had to include because it’s true and it made me laugh.  John Morgan offers 10 tips for ensuring your personal brand fails.   As someone who has been thinking about my personal brand a good bit lately, and as a person who has a lot of friends who are entrepreneurs,  this post really hit home.

Finally,  if you follow @urbanthreads@blackduckinc, @MrXStitch,  or EnMart on Twitter, you may have noticed that we’ve been plotting something lately.     I’m told I’m not allowed to talk about our plotting,  but I may blog about it.  Truth is, I’m not exactly sure what we’re plotting,  but there are cupcakes,  megalomaniacs, custom embroidered jackets and space stations involved,  so I’m sure it’s going to be good.  If you want in on the silliness,  follow any or all of us on Twitter. **UPDATE** If you want additional details on what we’re up to – check out Urban Threads Blog.

Finally,  I wanted to say Happy Easter, Passover and Earth Day to everyone.    Whatever you’re celebrating,  may it be a joyous day.

posted in Around the Blogosphere | 1 Comment

21st April 2011

Designs for Thread Palettes

One of the really fun things about working in this industry is the opportunities for collaboration that sometimes occur.   EnMart was lucky enough to connect with Erich Campbell from Black Duck Inc when he was a recipient of a prize we were offering as part of the Stitches Golden Needle Awards a few years ago.  Subsequently, Erich and I both became bloggers for Stitches and then columnists as well.  Erich has always been very supportive of EnMart.  Some of you may remember the fabulous jacket back he designed and embroidered to help us introduce our colored metallic thread.   He has also done some wonderful embroidery designs for us to use with our thread palettes, one of which you can see on his Facebook page now.

For those who don’t know,  EnMart thread palettes which all, of course, feature Iris Thread,  were designed as a way to offer thread colors with a common theme at a reduced price.    The theory was that it would be easier and less expensive to purchase a palette designed for baby gifts or the Fourth of July,  then it would be to assemble the colors one by one and purchase them separately.    The intent was to also, in time,  combine the palettes with a design or series of designs that could be used with the palette and would be a good fit with the palette’s theme.

We still have the intention of creating thread palette/design packages,  but before we invested a lot of time and effort into creating them,  I thought it would be prudent to ask our customers and potential customers whether or not this is something that interests them.  Would you guys be interested in purchasing thread palette packages that also contained designs created for that palette?  Please let us know in the comments.

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18th April 2011

Spring Cleaning at EnMart

As many people have been doing over the past month or so,  EnMart has been doing a little Spring Cleaning lately.  Like most people,  we always find a few things that are still good, usable merchandise, but not something we’re going to use or need in the future.    Homeowners in this situation might think of having a garage sale.   We’re looking on it as more of a blog sale.

All the items that were found during Spring Cleaning are excess inventory.  They are all in good condition.  A few items are suitable for sublimation,  others would be good for embroidery only.  We haven’t sat down and counted every item yet,  so some counts are estimates.    When it’s known,  we’ve noted fabric type and size of garments.  When the garments are mixed sizes,  we’ll note that too.   Here is the list of items currently available:

Tote Bags

All tote bags or poly or polypropylene.   As far as we know they would be suitable for heat pressing, but we would recommend a test press first.

  • Black Poly Nissan Tote Bags – No Zipper
  • Red and Black Tote Bags, Zipper Top, Strap, Front Velcro Pocket – approximately 25 – 30
  • Grey and Black Tote Bags, Zipper Top, Strap, Front Velcro Pocket – approximately 25 – 30
  • Blue and Black Tote Bags, Zipper Top, Strap, no front pocket – approximately 25

Aprons

  • White bartender aprons, waist tie, front pocket, 100% poly – approximately 300
  • Black over the head aprons – adjustable strap over head – waist tie – approximately 100

Polo Shirts

Advent polo shirts – 50% poly/50% cotton

  • Medium Black Polo – approximately 32
  • XL Black Polo – approximately 27
  • XL Red Polo – approximately 36
  • 2XL Red Polo –  approximately 24
  • 3XL Red Polo – approximately 36

Dress Shirts

  • Edward buttondown – grey – long sleeve – multiple sizes

If you are interested in any of these items and would like more information or to make an offer to purchase,  please contact us via e-mail or phone,  or leave a comment on this blog post and we’ll contact you.    All items are sold as is.

 

posted in About EnMart | 1 Comment

15th April 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 4/15/11

First up today, simply because it’s so very cool,  Urban Threads got a brand spankin new blog.   It’s called Stitch Punk and it’s seriously awesome.   I’ve been a fan of Urban Threads for a long time,  and it’s great to see them expand into this new blog.   If you’re interested in unique embroidery designs,  and in the craft of embroidery and decorating,  this blog is a must visit.

Second on the agenda this week,  because who doesn’t like the shiny, we have a tip from the Stahl’s ID Blog about decorating with foil.  Apparently they also have a webinar about printing with foil.    I think the number of things that can be done to add sizzle  to an item,  from embroidering with  metallic thread to decorating with foil are awesome and it’s great to see decorators take these items and put their own spin on adding some shine and sparkle to a design.

Third on the list is a question from the NNEP blog,  where should NNEP 2012 be?  For the past couple years,  since EnMart has been exhibiting anyway, it’s been in Dublin, Ohio,  but it appears the show is moving for 2012.  Apparently, the choices are Little Rock, AR,  Fayetteville, AR and St Charles, MO.    Personally, I’d vote for having the show here in Northern Michigan,  but I don’t see that happening.  Anyway,  if you have an opinion on where this show should be,  let the folks at the NNEP know.

Fourth on the docket,  the ASI is looking for speakers to present at their trade shows and educational conferences.   They’ve had some pretty dynamic speakers in the past, and are currently looking for people who can give interesting and informative presentations on sales, marketing and business related topics.    If you’re interested in helping to educate the advertising specialty industry,   give some thought to applying to be a speaker.   It could be a great way to advance your career and build buzz in the marketplace.

Finally, I wanted to end this post with a couple of requests.   The first is about a post I did on this blog earlier in the week.   In that post I outlined a few ideas that we’re kicking around,  including perhaps working with our industry partners to develop a trade show.  I’d love some feed back on those ideas.     We also have a question on our Facebook page about what factors can impact whether or not people attend a show, and I’d love some feedback there too.

The second request has to do with this blog’s blogroll and these Friday Round-Up posts.   I know the blogroll needs updating, and I’d like to add some great new stuff to it.   If you have a blog,  or have suggestions for blogs I should add,  please let me know.  I can’t promise I’ll add everything,  but I can promise I’ll at least take a look at all your suggestions.

 

posted in Around the Blogosphere | Comments Off

13th April 2011

A Few Ideas

As often happens around the EnMart offices,  lately we’ve been discussing some ideas for new products or services that we think it would be a great thing to offer to our customers.   We know,  of course,  that the people who ultimately determine if our ideas are great or not is you,  the people who purchase our products and use our services.    Given that,  I wanted to share a few of our ideas with you, and see what you all think.

Idea #1:  Chenille thread – We’ve been asked about this type of thread enough that we decided it was worth investigating further.   There is a possibility that we will be adding chenille thread, along with athletic felt and scrim felt to our product lines.   What I want to know is how many of you out there already use chenille thread,  and how many of you would be interested in using it if we sold it.

Idea #2: A new trade show – We exhibit at a lot of trade shows every year,  and it always seems there’s one spot in the U.S. where we’d like to exhibit but which doesn’t have a show.  Rather than wait for someone to set up a show, we’re thinking of helping to create a show ourselves with some of our industry partners.   This would be a show on the order of a DAX or NNEP type show,  and we’re currently looking at a spot in the NorthEast,  maybe Foxwoods Casino in CT,  as a venue.   My question to you is would you be interested in attending a show in that location?  Are there other spots in the U.S. that you feel would be ripe for an embroidery and sublimation trade show?

Idea #3:  FR Supplies – EnMart has talked about FR supplies in the past and we do currently offer FR backing for children’s clothes, as well as Proban.   There are, however,  addtional FR supplies we could be offering.   We could, for instance,  offer FR blank patches.   EnMart is also looking into adding FR thread to our thread offerings.   FR fabric sheets would also be a possibility.    If we were to offer an expanded line of FR supplies,  how many of you would be interested in that line?

As with everything we discuss and every product we add to our store,  the motivating force behind our actions is you, our customers.   We’d love to know what you think of the ideas that I mentioned above.  Please leave us a comment here, or you can contact us on Facebook or Twitter.

posted in About EnMart | 2 Comments

8th April 2011

Friday Blog Round-Up 4/8/11

First up today, we have a post from the Stahl’s ID Blog about that all important topic,  how to save a shirt when you make a mistake.    We’ve all had that moment when the lid of the heat press closes and we realize things are about to go very wrong.    Luckily,  Stahl’s has a few tips that can help make that moment less painful.

Second on the ticket today is a post from Nicole at Retail Minded.  This week she’s discussing how to stand out in a retail environment.   She has some good suggestions for making your business stand out from the crowd.

Third on deck today is a series of posts from Robin Wilson of Robin’s Edge.   This week she’s been handing out fan page tips.  You can learn about connecting,  about why you need to be present and responsive,  and about why giveaways need to be targeted to be effective.   If you have a fan page,  these posts are definitely worth reading.

Fourth on the list today is a terrific post by Seth Godin on accepting false limits.  There are limits that everyone encounters that can’t be avoided,  but there are also limits that we place on ourselves.    Everyone probably has a few things they tell themselves they can’t do because they’re too old, too poor,  too fat,  too something  that is a barrier to achieving a  goal.  Seth’s post posits a different theory,  and I like it.

Fifth on the list is a great post from Duct Tape Marketing called “Facebook is not the House“.  This post makes the point that Facebook and Twitter and Linkedin are great tools, but they’re not the meat and potatoes.  The main event should be your products and your website,  where you can totally control the experience and the message.  Facebook and the rest are ways of sending invitations to your party,  but your website should be where the party happens.

Finally, I wanted to point out that there’s a new post on my blog for Stitches Magazine.  This time I’m talking about taking your business online and what I think you need to have to do that successfully.   I’d love to know if you agree or disagree with my thoughts, so please pop over there and leave me a comment.

 

posted in Around the Blogosphere | 1 Comment

6th April 2011

About Iris Thread

Every day, when I sit down to write a post,  I spend a few minutes thinking about my topic.   Today I was thinking about doing a post on Iris thread,  when I realized that I wasn’t sure there was anything I hadn’t already said.    I talked in a post last week about a nice compliment that was made about our metallic thread.  I wrote about our awesome merrow floss in February.   EnMart’s lovely accent threads were discussed back in December.

Those posts are just about our accent threads.   When it comes to Iris Rayon and Polyester,  the list of thread related subjects I’ve covered is pretty long.    I’ve discussed 5 reasons why we use Iris Thread.    I’ve talked about making thread conversion easier with EnMart’s Dynamic Dozen.   One blog post covered the fact that Iris Thread has 300 colors from which to choose,  all the colors of the rainbow and then some.   I also wrote a post about the fact that the thread colors are just plain pretty.   I’ve even gotten goofy and suggested 5  reasons not to switch to Iris thread.

If you lined up all the words I’ve written about Iris Thread over the last few years,  you could probably stretch a good way across the country by now.    There may be very few people who have read all those words,  but if you have,  you’ll notice that a few common themes keep popping up.   Iris Polyester Thread is durable.   Iris Rayon Thread is rayon like they used to make it.   Iris Thread, both rayon and poly, is colorful and offers a great shine.  Iris Thread is a thread priced to fit your budget,  and its ability to run smoothly in your machine will save you production time.

Clearly,  I written a lot about Iris Thread,  which stands to reason as it is one of the premiere products EnMart sells,  but words are only half the story.   The proof is in the test run.  If you’ve been considering Iris Thread,  but haven’t given it a try yet,  contact us and we’ll be glad to send you a sample to test.

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4th April 2011

Updating our Accessories

Every once in a while we take a look at our store and wonder what we should add to it.  Sometimes that question is prompted by a product going out of stock or being discontinued.  Other times,  the question is simply prompted by the desire to make the store and the products offer in it more useful to our customers.

Currently, the section we’re pondering is our Accessories, Tools and Maintenance section.  We’ve had a few types of scissors that we were carrying go out of stock recently, and one of the things we’re considering is adding some different types of scissors.  The question is, what type?  Should we add big dressmaker shears.  Should we add small scissors for trimming work?  What sort of scissors would you like to see us carry in our online store?

Another thing we’re looking at is adding more items for machine maintenance.  Because our parent company owns so many machines,  we know how important regular maintenance and keeping your machine clean and lint free can be.   We already offer screwdrivers and lint brushes,  but I’m wondering if there are more maintenance tools and supplies we should be offering.  I have the same query when it comes to oil.  Are zoom spout oilers and quarts and gallons of sewing machine oil enough options for the average machine embroidery shop?

Finally, I shouldn’t forget to mention the Sprayway products.   We have two types of adhesive sprays,  anti-static spray,  silicone spray,  spot remover and more,  but there are Sprayway products we don’t currently carry.    Is there something in the Sprayway inventory you’d like us to add to the EnMart inventory?   We do take suggestions from customers as to what we should include in our inventory all the time,  and we’d certainly like to hear and consider yours.  If you have a suggestion for something we should add to the site,  please leave it in the comments.

 

posted in Machine Embroidery Supplies | Comments Off

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