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The Story of EnMart Part 4: Merrily We Roll Along

25th June 2013

The Story of EnMart Part 4: Merrily We Roll Along

2012-03-01_17-13-55_66Creating a company is one thing,  making that company grow is something else entirely.   Once EnMart had a name and a logo and a product list and a website,  the next job was to let everyone know we existed and that we had items they needed to buy.  At first those products were machine embroidery related,  centering mostly around Iris Thread and JSI backing.    In 2009,  we added sublimation and ChromaBlast inks and printers to our product offerings.     EnMart primarily sells products for decorating techniques with which we have experience.   Our theory has always been that we can best help you get the most from the products you buy if we use them as well.

Education has always been a big part of the EnMart mission,  and we love sharing our experiences and knowledge with those who are just starting out.   One way we do that is through trade shows.   Our first forays into the trade show world were small,  a pop up banner and a table were all we needed.   As time went on our booths got bigger,  as did our ambitions.   The simple pop up banner and table was replaced by what eventually became a mini store,  stocked with product and information.    These days, visiting EnMart at a trade show means finding product you can buy at reasonable prices and take home on the spot along with meeting knowledgeable people who are happy to answer your questions and help with problems.

EnMart has also proudly been a supplier member of the National Network of Employee Professionals practically since the company was formed.  Back in the early days,  I was investigating machine embroidery related associations with the view of joining to help publicize EnMart.   There were two that continually popped up,  the NNEP being one of the two.    The NNEP ended up being the organization I chose,  and I’ve never regretted that choice.   NNEP members are supportive and loyal,  and NNEP trade shows are great fun.   I’m pleased that EnMart has been a supplier member for so many years.

As for what the future holds,  we do have some plans.   One thing we’d like to do is more videos and educational webinars.   We have a lot of knowledge to share,  and we’d like to build a library of content that will allow us to do that.    EnMart is always on the look-out for new products which we might offer,  and there’s also the possibility of expanding into further areas with which we have experience.   We are also always open to forming strategic partnerships which can benefit both the company and our customers.    Whatever changes do come about,  we’re sure one thing that will never change is our commitment to helping our customers prosper and our desire to provide the best products and service possible.

posted in About EnMart | Comments Off

14th June 2013

The Friday Blog Round-Up 6/14/13

roundupFirst up,  a great idea from Designs in Machine Embroidery ,  an embroidered care package for cancer patients undergoing chemotherapy.  My mother died of liver cancer,  and I remember how she tried to make the chemo appointments less tedious and more bearable for herself and those around her.  A care package like this one would have helped,  and it’s also a great way to show support and love for those who are battling cancer.   It’s a great idea!

Second on the list,  Stahl’s is having a Summer of Bling design contest.  If you use Stahl’s Glitter Flake product,  you might want to consider entering.   The prize is a rhinestone covered heat press.  While I’m not entirely sure about the rhinestones,  the heat press would definitely come in handy.

Third at bat,  SnapRetail is offering 12 webinars this summer,  all of which are aimed at brick and mortar retailers, but many of which might be helpful to people who sell online as well.    The buy local webinar may be of interest to those of you who do have a brick and mortar shop.   The webinars on e-mail design and working with bloggers could apply to anyone who sells whether they make those sales online or offline.   I betting most of these webinars wouldn’t be longer than an hour,  and isn’t a hour a wise investment if it helps you build your business?

Fourth on the docket is a wonderful quilt project from Urban Threads.  It’s no secret I’m a big fan of the designs from Urban Threads and really their whole attitude toward embroidery.   This quilt is yet another example of them taking a subject,  in this case insects,  and turning it on its ear.  Best of all,  they offer a free pattern for the quilt at the end of the blog post in which it’s discussed.   Hmm, wonder who I can talk into making this quilt for me?

Fifth in line is a post about content marketing that I wanted to share simply because I agree so much with what it says.  A lot of times businesses who market focus on creating awesome Facebook pages or fascinating Twitter feeds but don’t carry that energy and commitment through to things like customer service or their website.   This post makes the point that good content is only a small portion of the battle,  it’s what you do day in and day out in every aspect of your business that really matters.

Finally,  I wanted to share two pieces of EnMart related information this week.   First,  EnMart is having a webinar on June 25, and you’re all invited.   If you embroider and are considering adding sublimation to your business,  this webinar will be very helpful.    Second,  it’s time to rate the Stitches Power 75 list again.    EnMart is on this list, as our some of our other industry favorites (Urban Threads, NNEP, Erich Campbell).   Please take a minute and go vote all of us as more influential.   We’d certainly appreciate your support.

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7th June 2013

The Friday Blog Round-Up 6/7/13

roundupThe main problem with these round ups is I see stuff that I want to share and then forget where I saw it.   I know,  I need a better system.  In the meantime though,  here are the posts I liked and wanted to share with all of you.

First up, we have some hard, but honest truths from All Things Embroidery about starting an embroidery business.   It isn’t simply plug and play.   There’s a lot to learn and understand if you’re going to be successful at creating and selling embroidered goods.   I like posts like this one,  because it tells the truth but also provides you with guidance.   Everyone needs that,  whether they’ve owned a business for years,  or are just starting out.

Second at bat,  we have the Designs for Machine Embroidery blog,  which offers 7 steps to improve your embroidery.   Some of these ideas are fairly simple,   but it’s possible they’re so simple they may not have occurred to those running embroidery businesses.  It’s often the small, simple things that make the difference,  so check out this post and see if any of these tips could help you.

Third on the list today is a great piece from the Fashion Incubator blog about the tragedies at garment factories in poorer countries.    As this post points out,  improving the situation isn’t as simple as American consumers pledging to buy only from companies that treat their workers well.   There are cultural factors to this problem as well,  and those won’t be changed easily.   This is a terrific analysis of the situation from a perspective other than that of blaming the consumer.

Fourth on the docket is a post from Retail Minded which deals with the psychology of pricing.    I’m always interested in this topic,  both because I’m part of the team that determines our prices here at EnMart,  and because I know a lot of our customers and readers of this blog struggle with setting pricing for their own businesses.   This post has some good information about how customers view prices,  and how increasing the item price by a dollar or so can help generate more income for your business than you would think.

Fifth in the line – up is a common sense post from Scott Stratten,  which is even more common sense if you own your own business.   You may think that you can separate personal and business and you may think a disclaimer may protect you if you say something you shouldn’t,  but you can’t and it won’t.   Everything you say online builds your personal brand,  even if you think you’re only saying it to a chosen few,  and you must always be aware of that.    This is a good reminder to all of us.

Finally,  we have a post about something simple you can do to build an audience that is loyal to your business.   The recommendation is one of those “well duh”  ideas,  because once you read it,  you’ll think “well that’s obvious”.  The problem is that what’s obvious isn’t always what’s done.   This is another great suggestion that seems very simple,  but really isn’t so simple.    That’s my favorite kind.

And last but not least,  I’m plugging one of my posts from the SubliStuff blog.  EnMart is having a webinar and you’re invited.    If you own an embroidery business and are thinking of adding sublimation,  or have already added sublimation and are looking for some guidance,  join us on June 25.   It will be worth your time.

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4th June 2013

The Story of EnMart Part 3: EnMart Gets a Name

new_designsIt all began for EnMart late in 2006.  Obviously,  Ensign Emblem had some experience with purchasing embroidery supplies.   All that was needed was to take the knowledge that already existed and apply it to the other end of the equation,  not how to purchase machine embroidery supplies,  but how to sell them.    The product line of the as yet unnamed company also had to be fleshed out.  Should we just sell thread?  Thread and backing?  Hoops?  Accessories?   What did we need and want to sell?

Thread was easy,  since we knew we’d be bringing Iris Thread to the United States as the official distributor for the commercial embroidery market.    Stabilizer was a bit more challenging but we eventually discovered a terrific supplier that we still work with today.   The accessory category was simply the stuff that Ensign employees used every day,  stuff that we knew worked and was reasonably priced.  After a bit of discussion,  blank and sublimated patches also became part of the new company’s inventory.

The next challenge,  and maybe the biggest challenge we faced was coming up with a name.   There are a lot of factors to consider when naming a company.   The name has to make sense to you.   It has to be something that’s easily understood.   Your company name has to be something you can say a million times a day and not get tired of it.    You have to find a name that doesn’t infringe on the names of other companies in your market, or violate any trademarks.   It has to be a name that lends itself to a fairly simply domain,  and preferably a dot com domain.    We debated and debated and threw a lot of names and concepts back and forth.  Color Warehouse?  Colour Warehouse?  Too many variations to list of something and the word embroidery?    Finally,  after days of batting ideas back and forth we  settled on the Ensign Marketplace,  which became, simply,  EnMart.

Now the company had products,  a name and,  after several dozen tries,  a logo.   The next step was to tell the world about EnMart and Iris Thread and watch the company grow.

posted in About EnMart | Comments Off

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