Business Profiles

by EmbroidMe

last updated 16/09/2021


A Great First Time Business

by EmbroidMe

last updated 16/09/2021


EmbroidMe is an ideal opportunity for middle managers seeking their own business

The EmbroidMe team’s annual conference

Dean Sokolich used to work in sales and management; Mandy Shoebridge had a background in freight logistics and operational management. Neither had ever owned their own business before but, with the help of EmbroidMe, they’ve both established highly successful franchises.

‘Dean and Mandy are typical of the sort of people who make great EmbroidMe business owners,’ says Sarah Archibald who, with husband Grant, operates the franchise system in New Zealand along with sister company Speedy Signs. ‘This is an ideal opportunity for people who have middle management or sales experience. It’s a Monday-to-Friday business that offers a good work-life balance and more family time than, say, retail or food.’

EmbroidMe supplies branded apparel, uniforms and promotional products from drink bottles to Bluetooth speakers for businesses, schools, sports teams and all sorts of other customers.

‘EmbroidMe franchisees carry minimal inventory as most goods are purchased or made to order, and there are low staffing requirements,’ says Sarah. ‘All that makes EmbroidMe a strong performer in any economic environment. With the market worth an estimated $2.5 billion across New Zealand and Australia, there’s plenty of business out there!’

Rapid growth with good structure

Having joined the franchise network in 2019, Dean and his wife Emma celebrated the first year as owners of their EmbroidMe business during lockdown – not quite what they’d planned.

‘We’d spent a year thinking about starting our own business, and joining an established group made a lot of sense,’ Dean recalls. ‘EmbroidMe appealed because I knew a bit about sports apparel, and with two children it was a great opportunity to build financial freedom while still having time for the family. In fact, Finn (11) and Eden (7) keep telling me how cool it is to drop in after school to help with design and production.’

Dean and Emma’s business grew rapidly but not uncontrollably in their first year. ‘There’s a lot of structure to keep you on track and if you focus on sales and follow the systems, you’ll find it’s a straightforward business that makes a six-figure income surprisingly easy.

‘The old line about franchising, Be in business for yourself, not by yourself, is taken very seriously by franchise support. They’ve been there for us from day one and gave us amazing support during Covid, from assistance with financial claims to action plans on keeping contact with customers so that we could hit the ground running as soon as the doors opened again. The mutual support among franchisees was equally amazing, and we soon bounced back pretty much to where we thought we’d be at this time.

‘80 percent of our cash flow is generated by repeat customers, and EmbroidMe is the preferred uniform supplier for a lot of national brands, so we get work through those contacts, too.’

Affordable, fun and profitable

Mandy Shoebridge and her partner Dan invested in their EmbroidMe business in early 2020. ‘I’d got fed up with corporate restrictions, so I started looking for other opportunities,’ explains Mandy. Once a successful motocross rider, she’s not afraid of a challenge. ‘When I found EmbroidMe, I felt I had the right skill set – it was affordable and had the potential to be both fun and profitable.

‘The franchise helped me source finance, and the training was very thorough, very helpful. We had six weeks of great sales before the initial lockdown, but the support and assistance from the franchisor team and fellow franchisees was fantastic. We were soon set up for contact-free service and, ironically, one of our most popular sellers since has been branded, reusable face masks.

‘Customer service is top of the list of reasons for our success. Whilst Dan isn’t hands-on in the business, I have two fantastic team members, retail shop assistant Nikita and machine operator Sieli, while I look after sales. This has allowed me to develop national customers including The Coffee Club and Pack & Send.

‘We’re committed to growing our business and are considering investing in another territory – I’d call that a pretty strong endorsement of what we feel about EmbroidMe as a business opportunity.’     

Proven systems

EmbroidMe has now grown to 13 locations, including a large contract embroidery hub. Capital requirement starts at $100,000 plus working capital. Assistance with securing finance is provided, and no industry experience is required.

‘Our proven systems, processes, resources and experience will help you build a valuable asset for the future,’ says Sarah. ‘The turn-key start-up package includes extensive training, administration systems, sales and marketing collateral, premises selection assistance, a fully kitted-out showroom, and an option for production equipment – everything you need to turn your experience into a high-performing, family-friendly operation.

‘This is a safe and easy way to get into your first business. Call me now to talk about opportunities in your chosen area.’   

See this advertorial on page 53 of Franchise New Zealand magazine Year 30 Issue 03

Contact details for EmbroidMe 

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