Top 6 Strategies for Outstanding Custom Embroidery in Fairbanks Alaska

A collage of embroidered items and logos representing various Fairbanks businesses, with a central wooden sign reading 'Welcome to Fairbanks - the Golden Heart of Alaska', surrounded by snowy trees

The Art of Custom Embroidery in Fairbanks Alaska

Suppose you’re curious about what makes Fairbanks, Alaska, a great place to purchase custom embroidery. Look no further. Business owners in the area love Fairbanks and its outstanding advantages. From its diverse population to its natural beauty, there’s no shortage of reasons for making embroidery popular.

Dennis Hay, on the left, and Jim Mickelson, CEO of Northwest Custom Apparel, stand in an office. Dennis holds a cap with "GLACIER BAY'S BEAR TRACK INN" embroidered on it. They both wear plaid shirts and smile at the camera. A graphic of a colorful fish with the text 'Alaska Fishing Lodges' is superimposed on the right side of the image, suggesting the local themes of their embroidery business.
Dennis Hay (left) and Jim Mickelson (right), CEO of Northwest Custom Apparel, showcasing their embroidery work, embodying the spirit of Alaskan fishing lodges.

Fairbank’s Businesses Choose Custom Embroidery

Learn about the lasting impact of Custom Embroidery in Fairbanks Alaska on your business’s brand identity. Do you want to add a special touch to your clothing items for your Fairbanks business? You may need a unique logo or design for your company. Custom embroidery in Fairbanks offers the perfect solution. Northwest Custom Apparel’s high-quality service and attention to detail can provide the best logo for any project.

At Northwest Custom Embroidery, customers can expect friendly and knowledgeable staff who specialize in custom embroidery. We only use the highest quality materials, ensuring their work is durable and long-lasting. Their extensive selection of threads and fabrics means that customers will get what they’re looking for from their embroidered designs. In addition, the team will work with customers one-on-one to create a logo that meets their exact specifications.

 1. What Is Custom Embroidery?

Custom embroidery is a creative and eye-catching way to add a personalized touch to apparel, textiles, and more. It involves stitching designs into fabrics with thread or yarn using an embroidery machine. Northwest Custom Apparel stitches many items, ranging from monograms, logos, and letters to intricate patterns and shapes.

For those looking for custom embroidery near them in Fairbanks, there are plenty of options available. You can find various local businesses specializing in custom embroidery services that can help you create the perfect design for your project. 

These services provide an excellent way to ensure your product looks just how you want it to. So if you’re looking for a great way to customize apparel or other items with custom embroidery near Fairbanks, consider looking into the options available in your area. With all the possibilities, you’re sure to find something that perfectly meets your needs and tastes!

A row of industrial embroidery machines with multiple needles, branded SWF, lined up in a workshop. White caps are hooped and ready for embroidery, demonstrating a mass customization process
Precision and productivity in action at Northwest Custom Apparel with a fleet of SWF embroidery machines primed for custom designs

2. Benefits Of Custom Embroidery

Custom embroidery is an incredibly versatile and powerful way of expressing yourself or advertising your company. It allows you to create something unique and lasting and make sure it stands out from the rest. But what are some of the benefits of custom embroidery?

Custom embroidery adds a professional touch to any apparel or product. If you’re looking to promote your business, custom embroidered items can make those promotional items look much more professional. Additionally, custom embroidery is highly durable, meaning that whatever design you put on a product can last for years without fading or wearing out.

Finally, getting custom embroidery done in Fairbanks ensures that your item won’t just look great but will also enjoy stitching by professionals. With local artisans at your disposal, you can be sure that the result will be something unique that will last for years.

Three baseball caps with the embroidered logo 'ALASKA TEMSCO HELICOPTERS' displayed on a shelf. The caps are in black, white, and navy colors, each featuring the number '50' prominently. Behind them, spools of thread in various colors are organized neatly on wooden shelves.
Celebrating half a century of flight with ‘ALASKA TEMSCO HELICOPTERS’ commemorative caps, intricately embroidered by Northwest Custom Apparel

Custom embroidery is a great way to add an extra level of design and detail to any item. T-shirts, hats, jackets, and bags are some of the most common items Fairbanks business owners purchase. These items can be customized with various images or text designs, giving them a unique look that stands out from the crowd. Additionally, you can personalize these items with initials or names for gift-giving purposes.

Promotional flyer for Northwest Custom Apparel showcasing their printed apparel services. The top of the flyer features the company logo with snowy mountains and the words 'Printed Apparel'. Below, two images demonstrate their services: 'Original', a photo of the 'KINGFISHER LODGE' boat on water, and 'Option 1 Illustration', a graphic design version of the same boat. 'Option 2' shows a stylized vector illustration of the boat with added graphic elements like waves. The flyer states they can vectorize pictures to create graphic illustrations and invites to call their number for services
Transform your memories into lasting impressions with Northwest Custom Apparel’s expert printing and illustration services – from authentic photos to custom vector designs

4. How To Design A Custom Embroidery Project in Fairbanks

Designing a custom embroidery project can be an exciting and rewarding experience. After all, you get to bring your unique style to life! But it’s also essential to have the right resources and knowledge before starting. To help you out, here are some tips for designing a custom embroidery project near Fairbanks.

Consider how Custom Embroidery in Fairbanks Alaska can transform your apparel into works of art. The size will determine how much material is needed and how much time it will take to complete. When placing the design, think of the fabric or material you want to use – this will also affect the cost of materials and labor.

Now it’s time to start thinking about the actual design. You can either create your design or work with an experienced designer who can help bring your vision to life. They should be able to guide you in creating a logo that matches your desired style and advise you on working with different fabric and thread colors.

5. Advantages Of Embroidery In Fairbanks

Fairbanks is an ideal location for purchasing embroidery. Its strategic location allows owners to serve customers from all over Alaska and beyond. It’s just a short distance from Anchorage, the state’s largest city, making it easy for businesses to take advantage of its resources and services. 

Another benefit of having your custom embroidery done in Fairbanks is that you can find a local shop or professional who specializes in this type of work. By working with someone who knows the area, you can ensure a higher quality product at a lower price than if you had it done elsewhere. They’ll also be more familiar with local trends, so they can help create something unique to the area if desired.

A collection of various caps and hats are piled together, with a dark gray knitted beanie in the foreground. The beanie features an embroidered logo of 'FOUNTAINHEAD ANTIQUE AUTO MUSEUM FAIRBANKS ALASKA' with a red vintage car image. The background is filled with an assortment of caps in different colors and patterns.
A cozy gray beanie stands out amidst a colorful assortment of headwear, proudly embroidered with Fairbanks’ own Fountainhead Antique Auto Museum logo

6. Finding A Quality Embroidery Shop In Fairbanks

Finding a quality embroidery shop can be daunting, especially when you need help knowing where to begin. Fortunately, in Fairbanks, there are plenty of options. Whether you’re looking for custom designs or machine-embroidered pieces, there’s sure to be an embroidery shop that meets your needs.

A collage of custom embroidered designs featuring Alaskan themes. On the top left, a detailed embroidery of a bear and a fish with 'BROOKS LODGE KATMAI NATIONAL PARK'. To the right, a vibrant, psychedelic fish design against a blue background. Below, a camouflaged hunting jacket with the 'BRANSON OUTFITTERS' logo and a black T-shirt showcasing a boat named 'F/V WATCHMAN' in white embroidery
From the rugged wilderness to the deep blue sea, these custom embroidered designs capture the essence of Alaska’s adventure and marine life.

How To Start An Embroidery Shop in Fairbanks Alaska

The business sector in Fairbanks is quite bustling, consisting of small, mid-sized, and large companies. To better understand the small business landscape in Fairbanks, I have put together a list of the small business sizes according to their number of employees.

In Fairbanks, Alaska, the commercial sector is rich with diversity, ranging from small startups to large enterprises. The city is home to 3,308 businesses employing between 1-4 individuals, 1,260 businesses with 5-9 employees, 825 enterprises with 10-19 staff members, 560 companies with 20-49 employees, 123 organizations with 50-99 employees, 72 businesses with 100-249 workers, 9 businesses employing 250-499 people, another 9 businesses with 500-999 employees, and 3 large businesses with over 1000 employees, summing up to a vibrant community of 6,169 businesses (

As an embroidery entrepreneur in Fairbanks, the paragraph below may be of interest. It details the number of businesses in each category in the Fairbanks area, providing an overview of your potential client list for the business niche in which you are aiming to offer embroidery services.

There is a variety of businesses in the area using promotional products. Advertising Agencies come in at 3, Ambulance Services 1, Amusement and Theme Parks 1, Appliance Repair and Maintenance 2, Apprenticeship Training 3, Architectural Services 9, Armored Car Services 1, Art Dealers 4, Automotive Exhaust System Repair 1, Automotive Glass Replacement Shops 4, Automotive Parts and Accessories Stores 18, Automotive Transmission Repair 1, Beauty Salons 25, Bed-and-Breakfast Inns 6, Beer and Ale Merchant Wholesalers 2, Beer, Wine, and Liquor Stores 4, and Boat Dealers 2.

List of Potential Ambulance Services That Use Promotional Products

  • Fairbanks Memorial Hospital Ambulance
  • North Star Borough Ambulance
  • Tanana Chiefs Conference Ambulance
  • Alaska Regional Hospital Ambulance Alaska Regional Hospital LifeMed Ambulance
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks Ambulance
  • Alaska Regional Hospital Transfer Ambulance
  • Fairbanks Community Hospital Ambulance
  • Fairbanks Rescue Mission Ambulance

Automotive Glass Shop Recommendations and Google Reviews

If you’re beginning an embroidery business, reach out to companies that have good Google reviews. This is a sign that they are reliable and you can trust them with your embroidery work. For example, I suggest you contact Auto Glass Services for your embroidery services.

  • Superior Auto Glass: “I recently took my car to Superior Auto Glass for a windshield replacement and I am so happy I did! The work was completed quickly, the staff was friendly, and the price was very reasonable. Highly recommend!”
  • Alaska Glass & Mirror: “I recently used Alaska Glass & Mirror for a windshield replacement and I was very impressed. The service was top-notch, the staff was helpful and professional, and the price was fair. Highly recommended!”
  • Fairbanks Glass Co.: “I recently had my windshield replaced by Fairbanks Glass Co. and it was a great experience. The staff was friendly, the work was done quickly, and the price was reasonable. Highly recommended!”

A popular choice for small businesses in Alaska is the Limited Liability Company (LLC) due to its flexibility and protection. An LLC in Alaska offers the liability protection of a corporation, meaning personal assets are typically protected from business debts and claims—a concept known as the “corporate veil”​1​. It’s also important to comply with all federal, state, and local government regulations when operating your LLC, which may include various licenses and permits depending on the nature of your business​2​.

Tax implications are also a significant factor to consider when choosing your business structure. Alaska is unique in that it does not impose a statewide sales tax, but local sales taxes may still apply, which could affect your business operations​3​. Upon obtaining your Employer Identification Number (EIN), you’ll be informed about the different tax classifications available, with most LLCs electing the default tax status​4​.

Before making a final decision, it is recommended to consult with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or an attorney to help determine the best fit for your embroidery business. For further guidance, the Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing provides resources on registering your business and the necessary steps to remain compliant


Erik Mickelson, author and MBA graduate, dressed in a Northwest Custom Apparel t-shirt, smiling against a backdrop featuring local Washington state themes
Meet Erik Mickelson, the creative mind behind Northwest Custom Apparel and MBA holder from WGU

In conclusion, embrace the uniqueness of Custom Embroidery in Fairbanks Alaska to make your mark with high-quality, personalized apparel. Fairbanks custom embroidery is a unique and creative way to make a lasting impression on your clothing or other items. Adding personality and flair to any object can be attractive and cost-effective when done correctly. Finding a quality embroidery shop in Fairbanks can be challenging, but many excellent options are available if you research. 

Furthermore, understanding the different types of custom embroidery techniques and considering the cost when designing a project is essential. Working closely with an experienced embroiderer will help ensure that you get the desired results, so get all the details before beginning your project. With some patience and planning, you’ll find that custom embroidery near me in Fairbanks can bring a unique touch to your clothing or other items that will last for years.

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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

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.


Erik Mickelson


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

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

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 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.


Nika Lao


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 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

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

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 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

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.



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

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


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 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.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Jim Mickelson


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.

Northwest Custom Apparel
Northwest Custom Apparel
152 Google reviews
Janice Herron
Janice Herron
Love their amazing customer service! From ordering over the phone, through email, or in person at Northwest Custom Apparel, everyone is very helpful, and very nice! Always! We have been ordering our apparel for our local small business through them for many years! Thank you Thank you!
Morgan Pero
Morgan Pero
Excellent people, products and customer service!
Drew Halverson
Drew Halverson
Great product offerings/results, swift communication, and helpful staff. Highly recommend!
Tim s
Tim s
Northwest Custom apparel always does great work! We have been a customer for over 25 years and are always satisfied with the products we get!!
NW Custom Apparel treats us like we’re their only customer! Everyone is always so friendly and helpful. They’re great!
Randy Birch
Randy Birch
We us Northwest Custom Apparel for our work shirts and they are incredible. The staff is super friendly, the quality of workmanship is outstanding and they stand by the work they do. I love this place.
Heidi Christiansen
Heidi Christiansen
The company I work for has been buying custom apparel for the team members for years now. We love working with NW Custom Apparel because the process is easy, delivery is timely, and materials are high quality. Anytime I’ve ever had an issue, they’re quick to resolve it. We’ve purchased both embroidered items and DTG graphic tees. We’ve purchased blankets, shirts, jackets, hoodies, etc. Everything ends up looking super professional, and our team members always have positive things to say. Ally is always there at the warehouse with a smile and a friendly greeting when I pick up materials. She is so helpful and respectful. Taylar is a wonderful customer service rep. I’ve sent her some complicated orders—like 20 different items with all different colorways and styles or 150 items with three different styles—and she is so good at getting everything just right. I plan to continue purchasing from NW Custom for high-quality custom apparel.
Hoa DeBusk
Hoa DeBusk
Have used them for years. Knowledgeable team that is always so helpful in recommending options or creating designs. Great quality too for embroidery or digital prints. Very happy with them as a vendor.
Stacey Perez
Stacey Perez
We use Northwest Custom Apparel for all of our professional embroidery needs for the orthodontic office I work at. They do great work, are quick and have never missed a deadline. Highly recommend if you need any custom apparel needs.