Northwest Custom Apparel is dedicated to providing the utmost satisfaction to customers through caring service, assured quality, innovation, and reliable delivery of distinct customized garments and products.
Outfitting the Puget Sound and Beyond Since 1977
We started as Northwest Embroidery back in 1977 by Jim Mickelson almost by accident. At the time, Jim was traveling from Washington to Alaska every other week to work as an administration manager for the Alaska Pipeline when came up with the idea to sell embroidered caps to fellow pipeline employees. Originally he sewed all the patches onto the caps himself while back home in Washington. When his trial run of 300 sold out in three days, he knew he was on to something." he says. "I had all this room on the plane, so I filled it with hats. I just kept hauling hats up there and selling them until I started making more money selling hats than working for Atlantic Richfield."
We originally occupied a rented location in downtown Tacoma with just a single 11 head embroidery machine. Within just a few years, we moved to our current facility in Milton, with two buildings and almost ten times the manufacturing capability. Today, we even manage a branch office in China to handle large specialty orders. Jim is now joined by his two sons Erik and Scott, bringing the company into its second generation.
Technology in our industry has changed dramatically since the early days, and Northwest Custom Apparel has kept on the cutting edge with every improvement. In the old days, the artwork was digitized all by hand, stitch by stitch, into files that could be read my the embroidery machines. The files were saved on large paper rolls with holes punched in them, taking up a large section of our warehouse just to store them. Now designs are digitized directly on our computer screens and are sent immediately through our network to our factory's embroidery machines. Our entire library which used to take up shelves of space now can fit on a memory chip smaller than your fingernail.
Three decades in the business have given us a greater appreciation for the art that goes into creating an embroidered garment. Technology may have helped make things faster, but every item we produce is still manufactured with the same strict attention to detail as it was three decades ago. Throughout the years, technology has changed and trends have come and gone. Through it all, we continue to pride ourselves on the same principles on which the company was founded - top-notch customer service and high-quality products.
We are continually thinking outside of the box to provide new services, products and ideas to our customers. We believe direct-to-garment printing will be the future of t-shirt decorating and is already replacing traditional screen printing. We invested in Kornit printers, which print unlimited ink colors, using water-based inks that are environmentally friendly. Embroidery will always be our staple and we are continually investing in newer and faster embroidery machines. Owner, Jim Mickelson, always reminds us as we grow in technology, we can't forget our "Old Fashion" customer service of 40 years.
-Jim and Erik Mickelson
Northwest Custom Apparel is staffed by experienced embroidery operators and management that will guarantee your order is completed to your satisfaction. You can rest assure with our years of experience and training that your order be delivered on time and correct.
Name: Jim Mickelson
Summary: Jim, 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.
Name: Erik Mickelson
Position: Operations Manager
Summary: Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since his graduation from Washington State University in 1996. He recently graduated with his MBA from Western Governors University. He is married to his lovely wife Wendy who works as a System Educator at Multi-Care. He also enjoys lifting weights, traveling, working in his yard and a good micro brew.
Name: Taylar Hanson
Summary: Taylar Hanson is a recent graduate from Washington State University, with a degree in Apparel Merchandising and a minor in Communication. She has worked in retail since she was 16 years old and has been with Northwest Custom Apparel for 1 year. Her hobbies include; Traveling (Recent travels include; Brazil and New York), spending time with her family and spoiling her Yorkie-Poo Cotton.
Name: Ruthie Nhoung
Position: Production Manager
Summary: Ruthie has no favorite movies and enjoys ALL food!
Name: Sarann Thin
Summary: Sarann loves Cambodian food and action movies. You'll often find her outside on adventures!
Name: Savy Som
Summary: Savy has been with Northwest Custom Apparel for 9 years. She loves sewing and all things Cambodian!
Name: Elke Morgan
Summary: Elka's favorite movie is Rock and Roll high school. She love pizza and is a part of the Ramones fan club!
Name: Zeny Bautista
Summary: Zeny has been with North West Custom Apparel for over 30 years! She loves action, comedy and romantic movies. Most days you'll find her singing, reading, and watching movies. Her favorite food is Filipino.
Name: Obdulia Sandoval
Summary: Obdulia has been with Northwest Custom Apparel for 10 years! She loves cooking, watching T.V and movies. Her favorite movie is Latin Lover.
Name: Salena Riem
Summary: Salena loves comedy movies and Cambodian food. Among her favorite things to do is anything outside!
Name: Bert Dumlao
Summary: Our production team is by far one of the BEST in the Northwest! Energetic, motivated, and committed into turning your custom apparel or promotional items into what makes your brand shine. You may not talk to all of our staff, but remember you have an entire team that is here to inspire you.
Name: Bradley Wright
Summary: Bradley is currently an accounting student at the University of Washington and plans on graduating in Spring 2018. Bradley studied 3 years at WSU and transferred to UW in 2017. Bradley has been here since August 2017. Bradley enjoys underwater basket weaving, driving his Pinto around Puyallup and an ice cold Busch Light.