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2024: Innovative Expansion for Schools and Teams

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As we enter 2024, it’s time to share some thrilling updates and ventures at Northwest Custom Apparel that promise to bring innovative expansion and unmatched service to all our loyal customers. After 26 years in the custom apparel industry, I’ve witnessed the transformative power of forward-thinking and customer-centric approaches. I’m thrilled to unveil what we have in store for you in 2024.

Expanding into the School and Team Market with our “Creative Division”

To begin with, our bold vision drives this year’s journey. “Strategically expand our horizons while continuing to excel in our primary B2B market.” This statement is more than just a simple declaration. Instead, it serves as a roadmap that leads us into exhilarating new markets, especially the school and team market. Furthermore, in enhancing our strong tradition in business-to-business services, we are excited to announce the formation of our new Creative Division. It is important to note that this division is not merely an expansion; it represents our dedication to seizing new opportunities and offering a diverse range of high-quality apparel options to meet various needs and preferences. 

Fife Football, Endeavour Intermediate School
Local schools in Tacoma, Fife, and Milton are part of our Innovative Expansion.

Leading the charge for innovative expansion is the Creative Division; we are thrilled to welcome Ali Wada, previously our skilled shipping clerk and social media expert, due to her keen understanding of our company’s ethos and dynamic approach to customer engagement. Ali will significantly impact this new venture as the Creative Division sales representative, focusing on schools and teams.

Steve and Erik To Guide Ali to Success

Moreover, overseeing the entire Creative Division, I will be closely involved, lending my expertise in marketing and managing the internal operations of this new and promising segment. I commit to ensuring that the Creative Division meets and exceeds our customers’ expectations and sets new standards in the custom apparel industry

Lastly, together with this formidable team, the Creative Division is set to redefine what’s possible in custom apparel for schools and teams while upholding the quality and service that our B2B customers have always valued. Join us as we embark on this exciting new chapter at Northwest Custom Apparel!

Ali Wada Northwest Custom Apparel School and Team Sales for Innovative Expansion
Ali Wada is our new school and team sales rep for 2024

Innovative Expansion with the new Creative Division

The Creative Division will be a game-changer, supported by our robust DTG transfers, graphic design, and personalization capabilities. We understand that each client has unique requirements, and this division is our answer to those specific, varied needs. Whether it’s a school sports team or a corporate event, our Creative Division is poised to deliver with precision and creativity.

Embracing Innovation Expansion: Production and Artwork

Innovative expansion is at the heart of our operations. We’re introducing production logs to monitor job times, encouraging our machine operators to enhance efficiency. This step ensures that every apparel we craft meets and exceeds quality expectations. Additionally, our Art Department, now a vital part of the Creative Division, will operate with more financial autonomy, ensuring that every creative effort is accurately billed and valued.

Building Stronger Customer Relationships: Loyalty and Rewards

Our customers are our greatest asset; in 2024, we’re taking our relationship with you to the next level. We’re rolling out a new customer loyalty program that functions like a points system. The more you engage with us, the more rewards you reap. This program actively thanks you for your continued trust in us and enhances your experience, making it even more rewarding.

A Future of Progressive Growth: Our Promise

Erik Mickelson

As we embark on these new ventures, our promise for innovative expansion is steadfast – to deliver happiness and create wow moments with every order. Our vision and every step we actively aim to enhance your experience with us. From schools and teams to our loyal B2B clients, we focus on providing apparel that meets and celebrates your unique identity and spirit.

Join Us on This Exciting Journey

As we unveil these new chapters at Northwest Custom Apparel, we invite you to participate in this exciting journey. Your support and feedback have been instrumental in shaping our path, and we look forward to continuing this journey together. Here’s to a year of growth, innovation, and unparalleled custom apparel experiences!

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Antonio-Massey

Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.

Alicia-Wada

Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.

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Erik Mickelson

Manager

Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.

 

Ruth-Nhoung

Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.

Steve-Deland

Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.

 

Taylar-Hanson

Taylar Hanson

Sales

Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

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Nika Lao

Sales

Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.

Bradley-Wright

Bradley Wright

Accountant

Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.

Dominic-Nguyen

Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.

Sothea-Tann

Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.

Brian-Beardsly

Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.

UT-Tri-Tran

UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.

Bunsereytheavy-Hoeu

BunsereytheavyHoeu

Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.

Sreynai-Meang

Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

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Kanha-Chhorn

Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.

Savy-Sorm

Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.

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SorphornSorm

Embroidery Machine Operator

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Jim-Mickelson

Jim Mickelson

CEO

Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.