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Embroidery Markets for the Summer Months

Alice Wolf is the manager of publications and education for Madeira USA. Her marketing expertise developed through accomplishments in publishing, public relations and sales within the fields of art, home decor, film and television production. Email her at awolf@madeirausa.com.

It may not be a homework assignment any longer, but it could be a challenge to accept for the summer months! Where can you find new sources of customers for your embroidery, even if they do end up being seasonal? Here are six ideas based on summer; one or two may work for you.

If you’re lucky enough to live near a beach, you’re lucky enough! If you are anywhere near the entrance to a beach, lake, or body of water that attracts tourists and local visitors, see if you can find a spot to set up samples of a few simple items (T-shirt, beach blanket, etc.) and beach-oriented designs (flip flops, umbrella, starfish, etc.). Catch these folks in the early morning as they are on their way into the beach, place their order, close up at noon to accomplish the embroidery, and be able to deliver late afternoon or the next morning. Keep choices simple and to a minimum. You may need to hire a friendly order taker but will find it well worth the expense.

Do you live near a golf course or country club? If so, there is most likely a pro shop on location. If the manager of the shop doesn’t already offer branded goods or personalization, why not bring over some samples? Or, see if you can get a few samples of the apparel they sell, in order to mock-up samples for the manager to gauge interest among members.
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Many golf pro shops already offer branded goods, but maybe not personalization. Perhaps a local club isn’t aware that work could be handled nearby at your shop! (Image courtesy Madeira USA)

If you have access to a van or a vehicle with considerable trunk space, consider packing up and taking your shop on the road. Horse shows, boat shows, car shows, craft shows: these are all venues where a single-head embroidery machine and a display board of potential designs and fonts for monograms can prove to be very lucrative.

Do you live near a summer camp? While camp shirts are notoriously screen printed, why not see if you would be able to offer sweatshirts, caps, or other personalized higher quality items for sale when there is a “parents weekend” or leading up to the last day of camp. The camp may want a share of your profits, but the exposure to the parents may turn out to be contacts well worth the need to share.

Local businesses may be sponsoring an outing or holding a special gathering for employees. Logo-branded apparel is a popular go-to for building morale and showing appreciation. Try visiting some of your local companies and showing them samples of quality embroidered jackets, vests, sweatshirts, or throws. Represent a range of price points with your samples.

Do you have a storefront in your shop, access to a public display, or an affordable display ad in a local newspaper? Try appealing to families who are planning a family reunion. The nice weather brings families together across the country. It wouldn’t take too many good-sized families in need of a sweatshirt, vest, or jacket to commemorate the event to boost your summer revenue.

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 By limiting the number of designs, types of apparel and color choices, fulfillment will be manageable if you choose to market to beachgoers. (Images courtesy Madeira USA)