Embroidery business is an exciting opportunity to work from home. It has always seemed like an extremely attractive prospect for crafters to build a great income. It's all of that and much more. Which is why we really can't explain why it has taken us this long to write about it.
Anyway, consider this your start-up guide to a successful and exciting home-based embroidery business. Almost all embroidery businesses big and small, start from home.
Even some of the biggest commercial names today started out as a one needle, single embroidery machine business.
“So that is just about where we are going to start as well, your very own small embroidery business from home.”
(A) Background and History
Some years back embroidery was exclusively for handicraft, that is made by hand. It involved a lot of work and took a lot of time to complete. Therefore, this handicraft also became very expensive. Also contributing to the high cost was the fact that the number of craftspeople doing hand and voluntary kept progressively becoming less over time.
This has changed with the advent of embroidery machines and more recently, computerised embroidery machines. They have made it possible to create intricate embroidery designs and patterns in the short amount of time.
And very importantly, these machines have made it possible for ANYONE to start doing embroidery with only for short and easy learning curve involved. We will get into more details about computerised embroidery shortly. You will learn all about it. First, we wanted to talk about why we feel that a home-based embroidery business is a great opportunity to get into for all those people who are interested in this kind of work.
(B) Reasons Why We Love This Work
Embroidery business in the US is a $50 billion industry and growing. So you can imagine that it is definitely a popular craft. But we love the nature of the work as do millions of other people. We compare embroidery with nothing short of the art of painting. You can take any piece of apparel or cloth and put your stamp of beautiful needle work on it. You can create Logos, emblems, running embroidery designs, The options are endless. You can transform any plain item of cloth into the work of art. The cloth is your canvas and the threads are your colours.
“A particularly great thing about working with embroidery is that you will be working with finished products.” For example, if you are monogramming T-shirts or putting emblems on caps you are probably not making these products from the scratch. That headache belongs to someone else where as you get to do the fun part.
If you are selling your own crafts you can outsource the products from another business and sell them for five times the amount, after you are done embroidering them.
Most embroiderers get plenty of projects from local schools, clubs, organisations and businesses to embroider apparel for them like caps, shirts, uniforms, blazers.
If you want to get into selling your own crafts, you can work with several high selling embroidered crafts. Examples include simple dresses, tops, cushion covers, table covers, baby things and basically a lot of things for personal use and for the home.
Embroidery enhances the value of the cross a great deal. In this post we will also show you a list of popular embroidery crafts and the price you can sell them for, at a great profit.
C) What Products Can You Sell
One of the most popular embroidery jobs in walls monogramming, which is basically making a single small logo or design, often consisting of only a few alphabets, acronyms or name initials. Monogramming work is done on all kinds of objects such as caps, T-shirts, bags and even socks and stockings!
Monogramming work is most commonly taken on the behalf of other businesses. We will explain who and how in the next section on “Where to Sell Your Embroidered Crafts”.
Apart from doing work for others there are some great ideas for crafts you can make yourself and sell for a great profit. These include:
- Cushion covers.
- Plans covers.
- Gadget and mobile cases.
- Simple dresses.
- Shoes and boots.
- Items of personal use like towels, socks and stockings.
- All kinds of apparel like tops, jackets, scarves etc.
- Items for the household like bedlinen, table linen and the list is endless, the possibilities are limitless.
You can outsource all these items from another business, embroider them and sell for a great profit.
Embroidery really transforms crafts and products. You can turn simple and clean items into glossy and high-end clots. That's why a little innovative effort from you can reap high rewards. A case in example is the sleeve for a tablet or small laptop. A plain sleeve or cover costs very little to buy. But once you embroidered, it becomes a high selling product at a much higher price. You can put it up on an e-commerce platform of your choice like Etsy, eBay or Amazon, and watch the orders role in.
(D) How to Choose the Right Kind of Embroidery Work
There are many sources of work for your home based android business. So the question is which one is the best way for you to start with. This is how you decide.
Step 1 – Consider Your Prospects Where You Live
A lot of business institutions require embroidery services. Do a little research and find out which ones are more prominent where you live and in need of your services. Some examples of businesses and institutions that can provide you with embroidery work are as follows:
- Local sports teams, including your Little League baseball, and football teams! Think sports apparel, such as Jerseys, jackets etc.. Your business is not limited to the team itself but extends to all the fans and followers like to wear clean clothes and accessories.
- Corporate Wear. A lot of formerly corporate where requires their employees to wear shirts or T-shirts with the company's logo embroidered on them. Many small businesses have our uniform for the employees which has the same design feature. Apart from regular wear, large businesses often place orders or a barrel for special occasions like a national meet, are golfing event. They also like to create memorabilia apparel like T-shirts and caps to give to their employees and their families. Embroidered laptop bags for the employees with the company logo on them is another example.
- Schools, colleges and educational institutions. Educational institutions of all kinds are usually a great source of work for an embroidery business. They offer opportunities very similar to operates. I remember my school had us wearing monogrammed shirts in summers and blazers in winters will stop apart from that we had different uniforms need for special days like sports day, and concert, for the school choir etc.
The advantage of working for schools over cooperates is that they are usually more easily approachable. And that makes them a good place to start. Do your children will to school? Do your friends children go to school? Do you know sets of parents whose children go to different schools? The odds are that you have probably already met or know a person of responsibility in some school.
The hierarchy in a school or college is not complicated. There are teachers and then there's the administration staff and often they are common! Which means that this is a very approachable business opportunity for you and should not take much effort or getting around on your part.
- Churches, synagogues etc. Occasions like weddings, baby showers, bar mitzvahs are all great occasions for embroidered gifts.
- Casual office wear. Many businesses have shared the formal attire for their employees for more casual and comfortable dressing cord. The employees where quality shirts and blouses and jackets will stop however, these businesses still like this casual dressing to be branded by the company's name and logo. And what better way to do this than to have them specially embroidered. Branding the clothes that an employee ways to office works in two ways. It helps with the branding of the company, while giving the employee right. Several of service-based businesses like salons and restaurants have a similar dress code. These also can be an extremely lucrative source of work for your home-based embroidery business.
- Clubs and other activity organisations. Lots of them like their members to have “club wear”, which is branded shirts, coats, and blazers. Members themselves feel proud to wear insignia as of their club as well as other organisations that they belong to. Moreover, they are umpteen special events that warrant the wearing of this special club branded apparel. See if you have community organisations like golf clubs, men's clubs, outdoor activities clubs and similar organisations in the area where you live.
- Personal Fashion. Instead of looking at other businesses to give you business, you can go into business for yourself by selling your own products independently. You will have a wide range of products you can choose to embroider and sell. It will be impossible to name all of such products but here are just a few examples. Belts, tops, dresses, boots, shoes,'s, dolls, the beatings, table linen, bed linen, plans covers and cases etc etc. To read more about where to sell your crafts, check out this post: Where and How to Sell Your Crafts.
So that covers some of the different places where you can look for work for your embroidery business. Depending on which ones you think are easily accessible, you can decide the kind of work you want you want to begin.
Step 2 – Your Interest
Your own personal interest is extremely important when it comes to deciding what you should embroider. What do you enjoy making? What are you good at? These are both important questions. Combine that with your market research and you have a winning formula in your hands.
Step 3 – Decide your niche.
There are many crafts you can make. Its good to have a specific category when starting out. That helps in keeping focus, keeping start up costs low, and unnecessary confusion at bay. So figure out what you're going to be doing. Are going to embroider caps? Monogram t-shirts? If you are going out looking for assignments from other places of business be very sure of your capabilities. Be sure of your own skills as well as what your machine can manage to accomplish.
Step 4 – Do your research.
You should be aware of the current embroidery businesses in your area. Check your yellow pages. Go online. Find out why what's happening. What products are popular? Who is selling thy email and for what price? Figure out how you are going to beat the competition or tap into an untapped niche. We have written much more about market research in this post. Please read it.
(E) Choosing the Right Embroidery Machine
Simple embroidery machines meant for domestic purposes have a single needle and can embroider only one product at a time. A more advanced machine has more needles and can load multiple spools of threat. This is the great advantage since with smaller domestic models you have to cut the jumps as well as change the thread manually.
Always choose an embroidery machine that has a fair amount of automation built into in and is fast. You also want your embroidery machine to be compatible with different important accessories that will allow you to embroider different kinds of crafts. For example, the circular cylinder accessory is needed to embroider cylindrical objects like boots, stockings and basically anything cylindrical in shape.
There is something you need to watch out for when buying an embroidery machine. In recent times are lot of fake products have started making their way in the market. This includes exact facsimiles of embroidery machines.
They may look the same, have the same functions, but will not deliver the same quality of work or be reliable enough to last for very long without springing up working problems. So do not get duped into buying a fake embroidery machine. The most reliable way to avoid that from happening is to buy from a reliable source.
Here are some great embroidery machines you can buy online. Do have a look.
- Brother BP1400E Embroidery Machine – $1,999.99
- Brother BP2100 Embroidery Machine – $4,499.00
- Brother BP3500D Sewing and Embroidery Machine – $3,999.99
- Brother BP2100 Embroidery Machine & I Want It All Bundle – $5,499.00
- Brother BP1400E Embroidery Machine & I Want It All Bundle – $2,999.00
(F) Why An Embroidery Business Is A Great Idea
As much as you love doing embroidery, you will want to question the veracity of the whole thing as a home based business. An embroidery business is a great idea for several reasons. Here are a few of them.
- POPULARITY AND CONVENIENCE
Embroidered products are really popular with people. You can set up an embroidery business by buying a single machine. You can easily operate from home. The machine can be portable enough to fit in any spare room in your house, as will as to carry to a craft show in a car, and yet have professional capabilities to deliver exacting results. We will mention a few machine models later on in this post.
- HIGH PROFITS
There is a great margin for profit in an embroidery business. Thats just the nature of the craft. You must be realizing that in an embroidery business you are not creating anything from the scratch. You take an existing product and enhance its value with your work. The difference in the value before and after you are done with it is quiet staggering. And therefore you stand to sell your products at a high profit margin, simply because people love embroidery and are ready to pay top dollar for it.
- EASE OF CREATION.
As we have already mentioned you are not creating any craft from then scratch. If you want to create an embroidered dress, then likely hood is that you are not making the dress itself. You will most probably source that from somewhere else. This leaves you free to get creative with your work.
Take a plain black dress and embroider it with a great pattern of your choice and you have a classy high end product to sell! Your main work is to either find, create of modify an embroidery pattern that will make your product a best seller. We will explain how pattern files can be bought, created or edited to work with computerized embroidery machines in a bit.
- FREEDOM OF CREATION
You can work as you see fit. There is a great degree of freedom in a home based embroidery business. You can choose your hours. Your can choose your days. Heck, you can even choose your season. Since the work is profitable you can actually work less and make more money. And the work is fast, which brings us to our next point. Automation and speed of your work.
The computerised nature of modern day embroidery work allows you to run a one-person business with ease, unlike other businesses where in order to expand business and increase business earnings you need to hire others, you can easily do more with your embroidery machine without anybody's help.
Your embroidery business can tackle orders for multiple products with ease. You can finish dozens of projects in a single day. So let's not talk about what computerised embroidery is all about.
Although you do not need other people to run your business, it is always an excellent idea to consult professionals for important information and help:
- Business Accountant. This individual can tell you how you can setup a business legally and the rules you need to follow. He can help you file the necessary paperwork, and very important, takes care of your taxation and other matters that concern the IRS.
- Business assistant. While you can do the embroidery work yourself, you may want to hire someone to help you with other things like paperwork, processing online orders, packing, taking calls, posting on your blog, Facebook page, help with marketing and sales efforts etc.
- Suppliers. All craft businesses need to have suppliers who can provide the business with raw materials. However, the need is more dire in an embroidery business. Reason being that you are not making the crafts from the scratch. For example, if you want to sell embroidered iPad covers, you need to find a manufacturer who makes them and can sell them to you, preferably on a wholesale rate.
(G) What Is Computerised Embroidery
Modern-day embroidery machines need you to feed the pattern and then they pretty much take care of the rest. Digital patterns are like computer files. You can buy them ready-made online, or you can create your all. You can edit the ready-mad embroidery patterns on your computer using an embroidery software. Certain kinds of pattern files that are specially meant for a particular machine and model cannot be edited too much.
In all other cases you can make changes to your designs such as move, scale, stretch, split, crop, duplicate, distort, add text, change colors as well as add or remove individual threads.
If you want, you can become experienced at creating designs of your own from the scratch. A lot of embroiderers only sell the product but also market their own patterns very successfully online.
Digital imported machines have a USB ports that connect to USB drives and computers. This is how you transfer the embroidery pattern to the embroidery machine.
If you buy a robust embroidery machine, it will have a console of its own which will include a screen, maybe a touch screen, as will as the ability to manipulate the embroidery pattern on the machine itself.
Once the design patter is loaded onto the embroidery machine, the ‘arm' moves the fabric under the needle to make the desired pattern. The fabric is held in place using various methods. Small crafts are help in place by a hoop. The process of holding the fabric in place is called stabilization. You will have to purchase different accessories to stabilize different kinds of products, depending on their shape and the work being done. Different stabilisation methods include: Cut away, tear away, water soluble, heat-n-gone, filmoplast, open mesh.
How Much Can You Earn
Here is just an idea of the kind of costs involved in making popular embroidered items and the profit you can make from them.
Collared T-Shirts: Your wholesale price $4.5, cost of material used $.5, retail selling price $25, your net profit $20.
Caps: Wholesale price of $2.5, cost of material used $.5, retail selling price $15, your net profit $12.
Team jackets and jerseys: Wholesale buying price of $25, cost of materials used $.9, retail selling price of $75, your net profit $49 per unit.
These are standard pricing, so you can see that you stand to make a good amount of profit from your embroidery work.
Making An Embroidery Business Plan
It’s the really good idea to plan things out a bit before starting an embroidery business from home. This is an important step because it enables you to get a lot of things right even before yo begin the actual work. We have written a lengthy post on making a business plan. But here are some of the tips that apply specifically to an embroidery business.
- Decide how you want to start and where you want to be. Most embroidery businesses start at a small scale at home. Even the ones that go on to become large commercial names. Your decision will also have a lot to do with the amount of capital you are willing to invest into the business to begin with. You can start with a domestic machine if you so desire, that's perfectly all right.
- Figure out the jobs you are going to do. Let's say you explore opportunities for work beforehand. For example, if you know that a local school is willing to hire your business, you can go ahead and buy a more robust machine that will do a better job.
- Visit related sites/trade shows and classes. Once you know the kind of work you are getting or want to do, you can go about collecting more information and resources. You can learn what you need to by researching online, attending craft and trade shows and taking classes online or through local community colleges and University.
- Marketing and promotion. Figure out how you are going to market your business. There are many inexpensive ways to do it.
- Research. Always know what you are getting into. Read this post on how you can research the odds and make the best decision.
Something to know is that the embroidery business can be a seasonal business. That's not saying that it is only popular at certain periods of the year. It means that it's in high demand all throughout the year. So if you can tap into the seasonal trend and demand, you stand to profit even more.
Here's a little insight into the popular embroidery crafts according to seasons.
- January – winter where like sweaters, turtlenecks, stockings etc.
- February – gifts for Valentine's Day.
- March – Saint Patrick's Day, Easter, baby items.
- April – luggage, bags, sportswear for local teams.
- May – gifts for Mother’s Day.
- June – graduation, weddings, Father's Day.
- July – beachwear, towels etc.
- August – back to school stuff like bags, backpacks, jackets, jerseys sweatshirts etc.
- September – school and charity fundraisers.
- October – Halloween.
- November – crafts for Thanksgiving and the holiday season.
- December – isn't it obvious? Christmas!
We have covered some important information in this post about starting your own small embroidery business. Let us summarise them all they quickly.
- Plan – Know what you are getting into, what you will do and how you will get started.
- Research – Learn all you need to know about the business including your competitors. No as best as you can about what's going on, what's working and what makes the business tick
- Learn more – Never stop learning. If you want to start and keep running a successful embroidery business, you may want to learn advanced techniques. If you do embroidery you will find it easy to learn from online courses and books. They are also courses to attend and learn from. These can be found in your local community colleges and universities. There might also be seasoned embroiderers in your area will take classes.
- Buy the machine. Buy the right embroidery machine that will allow you to get the job done. It should be quick, automated and robust enough to handle lots of work.
- Market and promote. There are many easy ways to market and promote your business. Look into them.
- Network. Get out there. You can sell your own stuff successfully, but believe us when we tell you that there are some great opportunities waiting out there. All it takes is one successful meeting with the school or a business or government agency to get reliable and well paying embroidery work for life!
- Grow and scale. Starting small is not a bad idea. In fact we recommend it. However, do not forget to grow and scale your business to obtain the desired level of success.
That's it for this post, we wish you all the best. Do right and if you have any comments or questions.