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NNEP Embroidery Mart South – Day 2

30th July 2011

NNEP Embroidery Mart South – Day 2

1:16 p.m.  Late first entry but the show started with a bang and we’ve been pretty steady ever since.  Great variety of stuff leaving the booth, thread, sublimation systems, backing, you name it, we’ve sold it.

1:30 p.m. So fun to meet people at the show that I’ve known through Twitter or Facebook.  Jane Swanzy from Swan Threads stopped by the booth this morning.  It was great to see her in person.

2:21 p.m. This booth is really like a little store.  We have so much on display it overwhelms some people.  More than one person has asked me,  “this is all the same booth?”  It’s fun watching their faces when I say yes.

3:06 p.m.  Iris Thread is a hit again at yet another show.  “You have so many colors!” is the most common comment.  People get lost in a thread trance trying to decide what colors to buy.

4:34 p.m.  The show is starting to wind down.  We had a great show.  Thank you NNEP and thank you Houston.

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29th July 2011

NNEP Embroidery Mart South – Day 1

10:01 a.m.  The doors have opened.  We’ve already seen our first attendees.  Here’s to a great show!

10:37 a.m.  First three sales happened within seconds of each other.  How cool is that?  We’re off to a great start in Houston.

11:53 a.m.  I will say this – the booth design means you get your exercise.  You can, and we have, had people on all for sides at once.

1:20 p.m.  So fun having Nancy from Encore Embroidery and her Melco machine here in the booth.  It’s great watching her talk about thread and the machine.

3:24 p.m. A ChromaBlast and a Sublimation system out the door within minutes of each other.  Love seeing those systems go.

4:47 p.m. First day of the show is almost over.  Great first day.  Thanks to everyone who stopped by the show.

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15th July 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 7/15/11

First on the list today is a post from Fashion Incubator about how we determine whether a product is a quality product.  It’s an interesting discussion because a lot of people tend to link quality with price and make the assumption that higher priced items are better quality.   In reality,  quality really has nothing to do with price it has to do with how well the product serves its intended function.   We tend to get quality which is an objective standard,  with value,  which is the opinion the customer has about how useful and worthwhile the product is.  Quality is not a subjective judgment,  value is exactly that.  This is a great post for anyone who creates and sells garments or garment decoration.

Second at bat today is a post from Erich Campbell from his On Links and Needles blog.   He has written a great post,  which actually made me get a little teary at the end,  about how embroiderers and garment decorators need to follow the needs of their customer and not the needs of the discipline.  In this case,  there were ways that the finished product could have been a little nicer and more in keeping with present standards,  but that wouldn’t have made it the item the customer treasured and wanted recreated.  It’s a great post,  a great story, and a great reminder that listening to your customers is important.

Third on the docket is something that pleases me greatly,  Sawgrass Ink has started a sublimation blog.   Like machine embroidery, sublimation suffers from a dearth of quality, helpful blogs.  I’m glad Sawgrass has decided to take the plunge and start their own blog.  I think it will prove very useful to those who sublimate.

Fourth up this Friday is a post from John Morgan about 6 things your customers find sexy.   What he’s talking about in the post are the things you can do to please your current customers and attract new ones.   After all the relationship between a customer and a business is really like any other relationship,  you have to work at it to make it successful.  I was particularly pleased when I read this post because EnMart does a lot of these things already.    Hopefully, when you read this post you’ll realize your business does a lot of this stuff already too.

Last on the list is a post that I love because of the enthusiasm that runs through it.   Bonnie Landsberger is judging the Stitches Golden Needle Awards and she wrote a post about receiving her box of entries to judge.   What’s fun about this post is how excited she is to receive her entries and look at all the work that people have done.  If I entered a contest,  Bonnie is the sort of judge I’d want,  prepared to be impressed and excited about the entries that have been created.



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12th July 2011

Rounding Out Your Color Palette

At EnMart,  we talk a lot about the core colors because those are the colors our customers use most often,  and the colors that will need to be converted first when someone switches from one thread brand to another.  Core colors are why we developed things like the Dynamic Dozen,  we know that making it easy to convert the colors you use most often will make it easier to make the switch to Iris thread.   The other side of the conversion coin,  however,  is the fact that we have a wide variety of fabulous colors of polyester and rayon machine embroidery thread and,  with all the color possibilities before you,  it can pay to round out your inventory by stocking some of the lesser known but very pretty and very useful colors we have available.

One thing to always consider is the variety of shades of a particular color that may be available.  Let’s take red for instance.   From brick red to foxy red to neon red the options for red thread vary widely.   Add red metallic thread or our sunset variegated thread and you can create tonal embroidery that has a wide spectrum of shades of red included.    We have an array of shades available in the primary colors,  red, green, blue and yellow,  as well as in secondary colors like pink, purple and brown.

Another thing to remember when considering your color palette is that our thread colors are matched to PMS color number.   Our thread conversion engine allows you to search for colors using a PMS number.   All the Iris thread colors are Pantone certified so you can be sure they will match with the Pantone color for which you’re searching.    This will definitely come in handy for companies that require their logos to be sewn out with specific colors,  or for times when a customer comes in with a Pantone swatch requesting a match to that color.

It also pays to remember that a unique shade can make your embroidery pop and stand out in the crowded marketplace.   Maybe you use a neon green or a neon orange to make your embroidery vibrant.      Perhaps you decide on a more unique, rarely used shade like Erin Green or Lt. Aquamarine Blue to catch the eye of passers by.    Colored metallic thread is also a terrific way to add visual interest to your embroidery designs.   A unique shade  or a touch of sparkle and glamor can help make an ordinary piece of embroidery into something extraordinary.

The biggest thing to remember when choosing thread colors and building your thread inventory is that there is much more available beyond the standard black, white,  red and green.    Adding some shades of color,  or some specialty thread like variegated or metallic thread can add a whole knew dimension to your embroidery.


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8th July 2011

The Friday Blog Round-Up 7/8/11

First up today,  two “we’re looking for assistance” posts.   One is from AK Designs,  which is looking for test stitchers.  If you embroider and want to help them test some new designs,  check out this post.   The other request is from Odd Guy Art.  Marie and Graham are looking for leads and information about stores that might be interested in selling their shirts.  If you have a favorite t-shirt store in your area,  send the info to Marie and Graham.  If they succeed in getting the store to carry their shirts,  you get a free t-shirt.  As someone who owns several Odd Guy Art t-shirts,  I can tell you these are great shirts!

Second on the list is a post that I identify with entirely.    I tend not to be so great at multitasking,  so Bonnie’s post really hits home for me.  She does make the great point that juggling compatible tasks is easier,  which I’ve found to be true.    I also have to laugh at the description of the grocery load she returned home with when she shopped while talking on her phone.  I’ve seen grocery hauls at my house like that once or twice.

I debated adding this third post to the list simply because I’m mentioned by name in it,  but I decided it needed to be on the list because of the point it makes.   Anyone who has interacted with me  knows I’m about community and about promoting those in the community who are doing good and useful work.   Erich’s post is about the value of helping to promote others even, at times,  the competition, and I think that’s something that should be encouraged.

Fourth on deck today is a post from Peter Shankman about people who make him mad,  in a good way.   He then gives a list of people he thinks we all should be following and tells us why he thinks they’re worth our time.   This is really another way to do a round-up,  and I like the idea a lot.   Plus, I think he has some great recommendations for people to follow.

Fifth up is a post that asks a lot of good questions,  questions about social media and blogging and whether it matters what your motivation is for doing something good.    The post starts out talking about a social media catfight between two bloggers  and has several good insights on the motives for blog and social media feuds like these.   There’s a lot of interesting ideas to chew over here, not in the least does the Internet really need a police force, particularly one that’s self appointed, to make sure bloggers are telling the truth?

Last on the list is a post I was about to say was just for women,  then I realized that everyone has body image issues so, although this post is written by a woman,  I think it really applies to everyone.   The post is about feeling beautiful no matter what your size or your state of health or what the scale says.   I especially like the reminder that whatever shape your body is in,  it does what you need it to do and you should be grateful for that if nothing else.  As someone who has dealt with some health issues in the last few years,  and started to feel a bit on the defective side when it comes to body parts that work properly,  this is a great reminder.

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6th July 2011

EnMart’s YouTube Channel

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time,  you probably know that I’ve been talking about adding videos to our educational and informational offerings for a while.   I think video is an extremely useful tool and we’ve made several videos in house,  mostly for use at trade shows.  I wanted a place where were could share those videos,  as well as point out videos from other companies that I thought were useful,  so we finally set up the EnMart YouTube Channel.   It is also known as EnMartian’s Channel since that is the screen name I use on Twitter and on several forums.

Now that we have the channel,  you may be wondering what’s there for you to view.  It really breaks down into two categories.   The first category is videos that we’ve made ourselves and want to share with you.   If you visit our channel you can learn why EnMart sells Iris thread,  and how Iris thread is made.  You can find out the many uses for the blank patches that we sell.   If you’re looking for a new profit center,  watch our video on how sublimation and ChromaBlast can bring more customers, and more income to your business.   We also offer instructional videos,  like the one that gives step by step instructions for how to apply our Ntrans screenprint transfers.

The second category of videos involves videos that were made by people or companies other than EnMart,  but which contain content that we think would be useful to the viewers of our channel.  Some of these videos come from our supplier partners,  like George Knight, or Sawgrass Ink.   Other videos are just useful material that we found and wanted to share.    We have a video about why you should join the NNEP,  a great organization of which EnMart is a supplier member.    There are several videos on our channel which deal with the different heat presses offered by Geo. Knight.   We also have how to videos from Sawgrass ink,  which detail the methods for sublimating various items.   The only criteria for videos we share is that they be useful to our customer base.

If you would like to keep up to date on the latest videos posted to our YouTube channel,  you can subscribe and be immediately notified when we upload something new.    If you have any suggestions for videos we should make or add,  or topics that should be covered in future videos,  please share those thoughts here in the comment section.

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5th July 2011

Color, Conversion and Consistency

I’ve written several posts about converting from another thread to Iris thread because I know it is a task that many embroidery business owners dread and want to avoid.  Although we try to make it as easy as it possibly could be,  the fact remains that, in switching from one manufacturer to another,  you could encounter color variations that might impact existing customers of your business.  This is, of course,  something we all want to avoid,  so I thought I’d take a minute to discuss how we make our conversions, how Iris thread is dyed and what variations might be seen.

When we first started working on conversion charts for Iris thread,  we started matching thread by hand.  We have  experts here who have many years of embroidery and color matching experience,  and they did our conversions by sitting around a table and comparing thread colors.   Matches were also examined under room light, OttLite and natural light.   The goal was to get an exact match,  or so close a match that it varied only slightly.   There were some thread colors from other manufacturers that we did not convert because we couldn’t find a match that was exact enough to meet our standards, and so we don’t offer a conversion for those colors.

Anyone who deals with thread knows that thread manufacturers have formulas for the colors they offer,  and that every effort is made to keep dye lots consistent with the formula and with each other.   We also know, however,  that slight variations can happen.  Most variations in shade will be so slight that they will probably be almost indistinguishable, but occasionally there is one that is more evident.  Bad dye lots are generally scrapped,  and Hilos Iris,  unlike a lot of thread manufacturers, does not re-dye bad dye lots to be sold as black thread.  To learn more about the dying process,  you can watch the video on our YouTube channel about how Iris thread is made.

Consistency of dye lots and color matches is as important to us as it is to you.   We know that switching from one thread manufacturer to another is a big step, particularly when your customers are accustomed to certain shades of thread.   There are also, as we well know,  customers for whom close enough will never be close enough.  When we created our conversion engine,  the goal was to give you the most precise conversion we could provide and,  if we couldn’t provide a conversion that we felt was a good match,  not to offer you anything at all.

EnMart is committed to making thread conversion as easy as possible for our customers.  Whether it’s the Dynamic Dozen program,  hand matching threads from a chart,  or providing an online thread conversion engine that offers matches for popular thread brands and PMS colors,  our goal is to make the conversion from the brand you’re using now to Iris Thread as smooth as possible.   If you have any questions about thread conversions or need assistance with making a conversion of your own,  please contact us.  We’d be happy to help.

posted in Thread | 16 Comments

1st July 2011

A Reminder

EnMart will be closed on Monday, July 4, 2011 in honor of Independence Day.

We will resume normal operations on Tuesday, July 5, 2011.  Any orders placed on Saturday, Sunday or Monday will be processed on Tuesday when we return to work.

We wish you all a safe and happy Fourth of July!

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