What started as a small screen printing side business in my parents basement has grown a lot in the last 3 years. Embroidery was never even on my radar when starting out, I just assumed it was a completely different industry. As more clients reached out and I became more established as a screen printing shop, more and more people started inquiring about embroidery. At first I just told them "no sorry we don't do that" and didn't think much of it. However as those kinds of inquiries kept coming in I started to look at it differently, is embroidery something I should consider implementing? I guess it makes sense, it's another apparel decoration method.
Throughout my networking process and connecting with other screen print shops I realized just how many also offered embroidery - and these were the top dog shops that were doing both. I decided to do a little test phase with offering embroidery. Instead of investing in the equipment and supplies for embroidery, I partnered up with a small business up in New York that specialized in embroidery. Whenever I got an order for embroidery I would just send everything up to that shop and let them do the work. After a few embroidery jobs I was kind of turned off by the whole situation, I found it way too difficult to act as a middleman between my client and the shop in New York, which wasn't fair for my clients either. And in most cases I would end up losing money on those jobs. I had to take the fall for another shops mistakes and pay for them too. This is when I kinda decided to take a serious look at bringing embroidery in house, this way I would have full control of the process and Blackout would be a true one stop shop for screen printing and embroidery. Another screen print shop owner that I connected with pointed out the fact that a lot of screen print shops will "offer" embroidery but only about 20% of those shops will actually do it, the rest farm it out to another business. When you put it that way it sounds pretty scummy, and that's not how I wanted to conduct my business. I take serious pride in the work that comes out of my shop and I didn't want to take credit on another businesses work going out to my clients.
In late 2018, I purchased my embroidery machine and now Blackout offers in house embroidery! We can do any of your designs stitched on hats, polos, jackets, bags, and so much more - all with the amazing quality and customer care that Blackout promises. I've really enjoyed all the embroidery projects that have come my way so far, and look forward to everything coming in the future. I'm excited to grow that branch of the business more in the upcoming months.
Expansion has been a big theme in the past few months, it's really exciting as a new business. Everything happens so fast, once in a while I take a step back and realize just how far Blackout has come. The best part is I know it's just getting started, there is still so much more to come. So what's next? I am already preparing to bring vinyl into the business as well, this will included vinyl cut stickers as well as heat transfer vinyl. That means goodbye to that pesky 12 piece minimum, I feel terrible turning down low quantity work just because it doesn't turn a profit when screen printing just a few shirts, but vinyl solves that problem. Not to mention the vinyl stickers, how is that not exciting??
Stay tuned for more exciting announcements about the shop, thanks for reading!