My Dad, Jim, started Northwest Embroidery back in 1977 with some customers, employees, vendors and raw determination. Finding customers was easy back then when you were one of the first and only embroidery shops in the Northwest. Hiring employees was also easy with the unemployment rate in Tacoma at 9%. The most difficult task was locating loyal and reliable vendors since the decorated apparel industry was in its infancy.
Having loyal vendors is a huge reason why we are still in business after 40 years. Earnie Allen (CH Holderby) sold us our first multi-head embroidery machine. Marty Lott (Sanmar) supplied us with t-shirts, caps, and jackets. We sold thousands of Daniel Tsai’s Mountaineer Jackets (Tri-Mt). We purchased containers worth of caps from Kelly Richardson (Richardson Caps) and Jeff Hock (Century 21). Our Tajima embroidery machines are from Kris Janowski (Hirsch).
As the apparel legends pass their baton to their kids, I get the pleasure to work with them. Jeremy Lott (Sanmar) and Danny Tsai (Tri-Mt) are steering their father’s companies to great (or greater) success.
I would like to recognize our newer vendors. (less than 20 years and don’t still use their fax machines). Jay Malanga (Shopworks), JP Hunt (Inksoft), Steve Freeman (Qdigitizing), Richard Narine (Kornit), Rob Headlee (Cutter & Buck), Randy Snyder (Outdoor Cap), Ed Lacey (L &P Printing), Ken Krick (Hi-tech Screen).
Special Shout Out to our industry consultants: Mark Coudray, Marshall Atkinson, Tom Rauen (Envision Tees) and Mike Chong (Screenprint Marketing FB Group).
Erik Mickelson (Northwest Custom Apparel)