May '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 25 of 68

2 0 2 0 M A Y P R I N T W E A R 2 3 utility, make the experience of ordering, explore options, and wear the garment better. All of these things can be enhanced with attentive listening, careful consultation, and the work of a skilled digitizer. With the confidence to create unique treatments, to call out potential problems and address them, to make more of the art through interpretation into embroidery, it's hard to argue that any digitizer who commits to the creative pursuit of the medium isn't an asset to any deco- rator. Push your limits, look for that next-level execution, and make your embroidery the luxu- ry item it has historically been. You'll be able to charge accordingly. Both you and your customer deserve the best. PW Erich Campbell has more than 18 years experience as an award-winning digitizer, e-commerce manager, and industry educator. He empowers decorators to do their best work and achieve a greater success. A current educator and long-time columnist, Erich takes every opportunity to provide value to the industry. and trusts and a new addition to the paradigm that sets it apart. Show their logo, but add an element in metallic thread or special effects thread like glow-in-the-dark. Take a loud logo and render it tone-on-tone, or vice versa. Change stitch types, angles, and contrast in surface qualities to create something textural, dimensional, and unlike anything they've seen in standard logo embroidery. Use a new material, technique, or multimedia combination in the samples you show. Exhibiting your ability to keep a finger on the pulse of your industry and showing versatility creates products that seem special without necessarily changing anything about labor or cost. Create coordinat- ing looks, not just replications of the same logo on any number of products. If you can make your customer's apparel feel like a retail offering, like an artistic adventure, and make it catch the eye of their intended audience, it will stand apart from the stan- dard fare offered by most businesses and your customer will pay more, particularly when you seem to be the only one able to make it happen. THE BALANCE While it's true that you can damage your profit by dallying in endless creative explora- tion, careful creators can reach a balance that respects a client's budget and expecta- tions. Go beyond the average lackluster left-chest logo execution of their competition, and create an opportunity to charge for the premium. Remember, quality alone won't drive up profit margins; it is to be expected that a professional embroiderer has well- registered borders, complete coverage, and hoops garments at the correct angle. To increase the perception of value, one must delight the customer, provide additional For more creative embroidery ideas, turn to page 36.

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