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The Embroidery Doctor: From corporate wear to underwear
by Dan Eckles
Mar 14, 2013 | 3267 views | 2 2 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - The Embroidery Doctor handles screen printing, seen here, as well as a variety of other services in its southeast Sparks location.
Tribune photo by Garrett Valenzuela - The Embroidery Doctor handles screen printing, seen here, as well as a variety of other services in its southeast Sparks location.
Brett Edmunds and Mark Bader had been looking for a new business opportunity over the past year. When 2013 rolled around, they dove head first into a pool of new opportunity.

In fact, the friends and business partners may not have known just how much they had gotten themselves into. The duo bought 'The Embroidery Doctor' a full-service embroidery, screen print and uniform business located on Greg Street in the southeast industrial section of Sparks.

"I know the first 45 days were like 'Oh my gosh. What have we done,'" Edmunds said. "We really had zero experience, especially with the computer stuff. That learning curve was tough. But 'the game' is really slowing down as far as our understanding the business. We're getting more comfortable. Mark runs the back, working with our people and machines. I run the front with our salespeople and feel like I'm on the phone all day. I feel much better about the way I talk to people and what I'm telling them. And it's only been two months. We're going to be just fine."

Edmunds had been in the landscaping business for the past 20 years, even owning his own company in Yerington, High Desert Turf. It's been quite the change, moving his focus from plants to clothing.

So why the move?

"My partner Mark Bader and I are both from the sporting world," said Edmunds, who has coached both club and high school basketball and wrestling. "We've always had something to do with clothing from our different clubs and sports. We felt pretty good that this was a good fit for us financially and it was a chance to do something completely different than we'd been doing for the past 30 years of our lives."

When it came to looking for a new challenge, Edmunds and Bader definitely got that. Now they're in the process of tweaking The Embroidery Doctor's focus to better fit what they see as the best way to improve business. Part of that change comes from giving the business model a new direction.

Edmunds believes the best way to maximize productivity, efficiency and profits is for the company to focus on the production end and less on the sales end.

"We really are looking to change the business model," he said. "We want to be the embroiderer and screen-printer for Reno-Sparks and the outlying areas. We don't want to be the sales person. We want the existing salespeople to come to us.

"That's where I see the business going. I think it's a good change. Our numbers are topped out without making a change in our labor force. The numbers won’t grow without making changes. Our goal is to triple our gross sales in the next 18 months and to do that we've got to be helping more people."

The Embroidery Doctor has 11 employees. It currently runs two shifts, an eight-hour morning/early afternoon shift and a six-hour late afternoon/evening shift. Edmunds said plans are in the works that could allow for more production and eliminate the second shift.

"We are in the process of making another financial purchase where we'd put more resources into equipment. To do that, we'd cut our second shift and work everybody during the day. Nobody wants to be here at nine o'clock at night, even owners. That should bring us better productivity."

Edmunds admits he's learned a lot in the past two months about the business. He said other local business people in the industry have also helped his learning curve.

But what kind of things has Edmunds added to his knowledge bank?

"I've learned how to run a sewing machine," he quipped. "I'd never delved into the computer world. It is a completely eye-opening experience. I'm learning about file types, stuff I knew nothing about. My partner couldn't even answer an email on Dec. 31. Now, that's practically all he does.

"And the other people around town in this business have been great. I've not had a person turn me down when I've asked a question or asked for help. There's good people in this industry and that's been helpful."

While The Embroidery Doctor is definitely different from High Desert Turf, Edmunds said there are still similarities in business and his past experiences can do nothing but help him in the new venture.

"Any business is all about the people," Edmunds said. "The more you take care of people and give them good service, the more successful you'll be. Business has always been about people, how you treat people; and it always will be."

Comments-icon Post a Comment
Smocking Punch
March 19, 2013
Well, Embroidery Doctor is a really nice and creative name :).
Ric Fehr
March 16, 2013
You go guys. Good article! great men.
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