How to start a home embroidery business

Many people enjoy the freedom of becoming their own boss – especially if it enables them to get paid for following their passions.

But, while the dream of working for yourself can be attractive, the practicalities of setting up your own business can be daunting for many people.

Sadly, this can prevent them from exploring a potentially lucrative and fulfilling idea. However, starting a home embroidery business might not be as challenging as you first thought, if that’s your passion, especially if you have the best embroidery machine.

Let’s look at some of the things you will need to run a successful startup. 

Build up your experience with embroidery

Whatever business you decide to start, there will be many skills that you need to master. In embroidery, for example, you will need to know how key machinery and design programs work. So having experience in embroidery will obviously put you at a major advantage.

It can take several projects before you have the skills to confidently run an embroidery business. This is why many people work on smaller jobs for friends and family, often using amateur equipment, before making the leap to their own business. Only once they can consistently produce a high-quality design do they usually turn pro.

Getting plenty of professional experience will also give you constructive criticism which will help you improve your embroidery skills even faster. It will also ensure that you can consistently deliver work that people will enjoy. 

Write a business plan

Before you start any new business you need to make sure you’re considered all angles and possibilities. So, to ensure that everything is on-track and on-budget you should create a business plan. This will detail how your embroidery business will run and, importantly, make money.

Business plans contain any approvals that you need to obtain, and budgetary considerations. This can help to give you a realistic forecast of how much money you might make, and how much you may need to invest in creating the business.

A business plan will prevent you from overspending on unnecessary expenses, and give you an essential document to help secure any funding you may need.

Get the right machinery

Commercial embroidery machines will often be very different from personal machines. And, while it can be expensive to buy them, there are several benefits to making the investment.

Professional machines will work a lot faster than a personal machine, allowing you to fill larger orders much faster. They also tend to have a more flexible hoop size. This hoop determines the kind of design you can perform. So, for example, if you want to have a design that stretches across the back of a shirt, you will need a large hoop size.

Also, consider the capabilities of any machine you purchase. For example, will you buy a machine that has pre-set hat loops, or buy a separate embroidery machine for hats

Setting up your business

Once you have chosen the embroidery machine(s) for your needs, you can start setting up your business. And one of the first things you’ll need to consider is where you’ll work.

You’ll need to find a space large enough to cater for your machines, and store any equipment. Next, you will need to set-up your computer. Many people use software when creating embroidery designs. They use the computer to create the design, then they transfer them to the embroidery machine which stitches it into the fabric.

Before you launch the business, you should make sure that you are comfortable using commercial machines and professional software.

You might also make sure that other aspects of the business are set up properly. For example, you might need to make a reception area for clients, and you will probably need a website. You also need to consider marketing to help find clients.

Launching your embroidery business

Once your planning and setting up is complete, you’re ready to launch your new embroidery business.

Reach out to potential clients, and let your family and friends know what you’re doing – your personal network can sometimes be a good starting point for landing your first clients.

To encourage your first few clients and start building word-of-mouth you may decide to offer an introductory price. But make it clear this is a one-off price and highlight the real cost of your services. You don’t want to build a business with clients who will always want cut-price work.

It’s good to start out with a clear niche and a limited number of services. This can make your business easier to manage as you’re finding your feet, and gives you a clearly defined offering. As you get more experience and clients you can easily expand your range.

Ready to start your own embroidery business?

Starting your own business can be a hugely rewarding experience. You can pursue your passion on your terms – and get paid for it.

We hope you’ve found this quick guide to getting started with an embroidery business helpful. All that remains now is for you to start!

Photo by Karly Santiago