July '20

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Page 87 of 102

G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 J U L Y G R A P H I C S P R O 8 3 UNUSUAL AND UNIQUE PRODUCTS What do you do when customers want something that does not exist? If your name is Debbie Van Atta, you start mak- ing and customizing the products yourself and fill the need. She has had an Etsy shop for six years now, selling her handmade and monogrammed gun cases and shot- gun cases under her brand Southern Lady Gun Cases. If your name is Kathy Krisher of Dream- Weaver Fiber, and you have a great design from Helen Beere of Crafty Hound De- signs, you create an awesome burlap tote that really speaks to who you are. Teresa Giltner of MT Needleworks cre- ates unique products from photographs. She turns an ultrasound image into an adorable custom door hanger and creates pillows using images of family pets. GO BEYOND ORDINARY Nearly every embroidery professional can and does create and sell left chest logos and designs all day long. Many usually also create full front and jacket backs as well as headwear. If you can make some- thing that others don't, you have an ad- vantage. By offering something unique, special, or different, you are able to serve custom- ers that are looking for that something extra. If you are willing to say, "Yes, I can do that," even when you have no idea how to do it, and then you go figure it out, you have what it takes to be success- ful in the embroidery business. You never know where that one experiment will lead you—it could turn into a full-blown product line or business in its own right if there is enough demand for it. GP JENNIFER COX is one of the founders and serves as president of the National Network of Embroidery Professionals (NNEP), an organization that supports embroidery and apparel decoration professionals with programs and services designed to increase profit- ability and production. thing that looks like a quarter of a pie. Trim away the middle two thirds of the pie slice. When you unfold the pie piece, you now have what looks like a donut made out of backing. Place this on top of the fabric to be em- broidered before you seat the upper hoop. This piece of backing holds the fabric in place and does not allow it to slide against the plastic hoop. The open area gives you plenty of room to sew your design without catching any of this donut. This approach also works well on textured fabrics such as piqué to prevent hoop burn. SHADED DESIGNS Many embroidery professionals say, "It can't be done," when a customer shows them a logo that is full-color and has shading, parts that blend from one color into another within that design element. This is rather straightforward to create with ink, but not so easy to create with threads since they do not blend together to create a range of colors. When you mix red and yellow inks in a well-executed screen-printed image, you can create a range of colors that end up looking like awesome flames. Yet when you attempt to create that same image with red and yellow thread, for example, you end up with red and yellow thread. Or do you? See the image on page 82 for an example of a specialty embroidery job on a heavy canvas coat that took over four hours to stitch. Adriane Cropley of Rocking My SewJo LLC had the design digitized using a blending technique with different colored threads to replicate the look of the shaded ink in the logo. It was digitized by Luiz Vi- tor Mendes Neto, the owner of Vitor Digi- tizing. Debbie Van Atta sells her handmade and mono- grammed gun cases and shotgun cases on Etsy under her brand Southern Lady Gun Cases. (Image courtesy Southern Lady Gun Cases) These unique totes really speak to who the user is. (Image courtesy DreamWeaver Fiber) Teresa Giltner turned an ultrasound image into an adorable custom door hanger. (Image courtesy MT Needleworks)

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