Blog, Corporate Apparel, Embroidery

Practical Tips to get Customers into your Embroidery Shop


Create a showroom

It doesn’t matter if you are a big or small embroidery company. You need to have a way to display your product easily and professionally. The days of hanging dish rags onto a rack and getting orders is over. Customers want the Nordstrom of embroidery with great customer service and product. A first impres

Showroom Cutter and Buck

Popular brand names such as Nike, Cutter and Buck, Clique and Outdoor Cap

sion of your embroidery shop is worth a 1,000 words. When a customer walks into a professionally laid out showroom with samples on hangers. (yes most embroidery shops have samples stuffed into a box) and staff dressed with apparel you sell sets a great first impression.

What to display in your showroom

You want to display your garments and caps in a logical and orderly fashion. I suggest separating the garments by vendors. This will make it easier for the sales rep to find the garment in the catalog. Have a rack of Cutter and Buck, Port Authority and Tri-Mountain.  The caps should be on the wall using slat wall and cap shelves, which you can purchase at a local retail display shop.

Catalogs should be easily accessible as you help your customer in the showroom. It is embarrassing when you have to run to the backroom in search of catalogs. I suggest using the smaller sized catalogs instead of handing out the big Sanmar Catalog. Sanmar makes a smaller catalogs for different niches: Essentials Catalog, Sports and Teams and Corporate.

Try to only hand out one vendor catalog. Don’t hand out 2-3 catalogs from different vendors. It confuses the customer and becomes a nightmare when you have to purchase the goods. You will have goods coming from different vendors and all around the country.

Tagging Garments is one way to keep your showroom organized and professional.

Tagging Garments is one way to keep your showroom organized and professional.

Tag Your Garments with Prices

Tag your garments with their prices with the quantity discounts. Include the embroidery cost up to 8,000 stitches. This makes it easier for the customer to get a bottom line price. You don’t want to be that person who runs into their office with a calculator trying to figure out a selling price while the customer waits. Selling embroidery is not a negotiation every sale. Trust me, when you have your prices printed and tagged, the customer negotiation on price stops.

QL-710 Brother Label Printer

The Brother QL-710W Label Printer prints the hang tags using the Shipping label size

What you need to Tag Garments

It is pretty easy to tag the garments. The tricky part is setting up an Excel Data Base to calculate the selling prices. Sanmar alone has over 1,000 SKU’s . I use a formula in Excel that determines the MARGIN on the garment and embroidery. Remember to use MARGIN and not MARK UP.  If you don’t know how to calculate margin, just do a Google search and there are many sites that show you the formula.  The quantity breaks should be 6-11, 12-23, 24-47, 48-71, 72+

Keep your minimum order size at 12 pieces. We put an asterisk next to the *6-11 prices, just in case we need to negotiate a smaller quantity. Notice the price increase when doing smaller orders.

The P-Touch Software comes when you purchase the QL-710W label printer

The P-Touch Software comes when you purchase the QL-710W label printer

The Excel spreadsheet to calculate MARGINS can be tricky for a person not familiar with Excel. I suggest taking some online Excel courses or feel free to contact me and I can walk you through it. Once you learn Excel it will open your mind to more solutions to be  productive in your  business.

Tagging Gun

We have a bunch of tagging guns in our showroom and factory. We always attach our Northwest Custom Apparel hang tag to everything going out the door.  Here is the style and model we use as a tagging gun. These can be purchased on Amazon or your local retail fixture supplier.

Tagging guns are a necessity for showroom organization. This is the TG Tacher 2.

Tagging guns are a necessity for showroom organization. This is the TG Tacher 2.

The model we use the TG TACHER II. It holds about 30 tags per clip and is easy to reload.

Do you need Embroidery Consulting?

My name is Erik Mickelson and our family embroidery shop is Northwest Custom Apparel. We have been in business since 1977 and we are celebrating our 40th this year (2017).  I am the Operations Manager and have been involved with the company on a daily basis since 1997.  My dad is Jim Mickelson and he started the company in 1977 and still plays an active roll.  We want to help other embroidery shops grow and we do offer consulting services for $80.00 per hour. Jim is selective and only works with a handful of clients each year. If you are interested in our consulting services please contact Erik or Jim Mickelson. 1-800-851-3671


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!