The/Studio was founded on the principle of “yes”, and always doing our best to avoid saying the word “no”. The first service that The/Studio offered was embroidery digitizing. I met someone that owned a small studio with embroidery digitizers and he asked me if I was interested in partnering with him to help him find embroidery shops that were interested in their services. My answer was yes. As I started to develop this business, some of our customer’s would complain that our turnaround times were too slow. They complained that everyone that offered digitizing services were not meeting their needs. The average turnaround time at that time was around 48 hours for a design to be completed. We said yes, and started offering same day service, which later would become an industry standard.
Beginning Of Custom Patches
The/Studio started its foray into embroidered patches with the word yes. One of our digitizing customers needed patches and they asked me if we could make them. I knew what an embroidered patch was, but I had no idea how to manufacture one. However, I saw that this was an opportunity to expand our offerings to our customers, so I agreed to do the patch. Almost every other product that we now sell, from embroidered patches, to coins, to custom caps, woven labels, chenille patches and PVC patches, started with the customer asking us if we could produce a specific product, and us answering yes. Its become a part of our DNA.
When we first started manufacturing custom embroidered patches, the industry standard was that an embroidered patch would take 4 to 6 weeks to produce. We listened to our customers and we learned that sometimes our customers for whatever reason waited to the last minute to order their patches, and needed the patches in 4 to 5 days. I always remember that Mott’s Apple Juice was launching a new product. They called on a Thursday and needed over 30,000 pieces in hand by the following Tuesday. Instead of saying no, we said yes, and now all of our competitors are scurrying to try to compete with our incredibly fast turnaround times.
On our website we have a special section dedicated to special options for embroidered patches. When we first started in the industry the only special options that were offered were merrowed border, button loop, iron on backing, Velcro, and metallic thread. We now offer 23 different special options for embroidered patches, because we listened to our customers, and we did our best to accommodate them. Its part of our plan to expand our product offerings, special option offerings and delivery options by closely listening to our customers.
Recently we had a customer submit an inquiry for us to produce several hundred name patches for the US Navy. These type of orders are a nightmare, because each name is different, which means that each name needs to be carefully designed by our graphic designer, and then digitized one by one. So instead of doing the artwork and digitizing once, we are required to digitize this order several hundred times for each name. In addition to that it drastically reduces the production speed. Instead of sewing 20 patches at one time, we have to sew out each name one by one. It can slow the process down by up to 20 times.
However, at The/Studio its in our DNA to never say no to a customer, and definitely never to say no to the military. Of course we couldn’t offer our customer the same price or turnaround time, but we worked with the customer on a reasonable price and a reasonable turnaround time. We know that our future growth is going to come from the word yes. Finding out what the customer needs and requires and coming up with solutions for the customer.