Create-A-Stitch: A Decorative Apparel Success Story

By Beacon Funding| Feb 16, 2015| 3703 Views
Create-A-Stitch: A Decorative Apparel Success Story

Create-A-Stitch was founded in 1997 and is a family-owned and operated decorated apparel business, focusing on embroidery and screen printing. The owners, Lisa and Mark Null, know a great deal about decorated apparel equipment having been in the industry for close to thirty years. When they began Create-A-Stitch, they were starting over in a sense, after having worked at various other decorated apparel businesses. The goal was always to grow their business, and they’ve accomplished this by continually adding equipment to their inventory to take on client work. Almost every machine they’ve leased has been with Beacon Funding.

A worker inspects his print on a printing press machine.

Create-A-Stitch snapshot

  • Established in 1997 in Pompano Beach, FL
  • After their first embroidery machine, they bought 1-2 machines per year for the first 3 years, further expanding their operations
  • The owners learned to use the equipment themselves instead of relying on employees
  • Committed to high quality work and openness to expand for their clients’ orders

A Means to Grow

Create-A-Stitch has always focused on equipment as a means to grow. The first piece of equipment was the hardest to acquire as they were a start-up with little cash on hand. They decided to get a used, eight-head, 15-needle embroidery machine so it’d be more cost-efficient. Beacon Funding turned out to be a perfect financing and leasing fit for the company, because we’re comfortable with decorated apparel machines, which makes leasing used equipment more feasible. Plus, due to Beacon’s wide credit window and the varying factors Beacon considers in a credit evaluation, newer businesses like Create-A-Stitch aren’t turned away. This first piece of equipment was pivotal to the eventual success for Mark and Lisa since it paved the way to adding more machines.

“We added a machine or two every year or so for the first three years we were in business. We eventually had to buy a separate property for the business. We’ve now maxed out on equipment since all our space is utilized.”

After the first equipment lease, Create-A-Stitch was able to fulfill orders. The resulting cash flow enabled additional machine purchases. A few months after leasing the eight-head, Mrs. Null leased a single-head with 15 needles. The next year came an electric dryer. Since those first three machines, Create-A-Stitch has added six more pieces of equipment ranging from rhinestone and applique equipment, to more traditional embroidery machines.

Although Mrs. Null partially credits the equipment acquisitions for contributing to the growth of the company, she knows that client orders and having the capabilities to fulfill them go hand-in-hand. "The right equipment helps us provide quicker delivery to our clients," said Lisa. "I can vary the orders across machines to complete multiple orders at the same time. I could do six different jobs on six different machines or the same job across all the machines."

Equipment Acquisitions Mirrored by Customer Growth

Equipment has given Create-A-Stitch flexibility and improved the ease of fulfilling customer needs. However, the equipment doesn’t make up for hard work, perseverance, or an understanding of the equipment utilized. “My husband and I always positioned ourselves to produce. At times we worked all night to get something done in the morning…. many people may not know how to run their own equipment. They may be reliant on employees. If every one of our employees were to quit, we’d still be able to produce,” said Mrs. Null.

While Create-A-Stitch doesn’t have to run overnight orders any longer, the owners could if it was needed. Equipment inventory has pushed the company into producing large quantity orders within business hours, but the knowledge and skill of Mark and Lisa made it possible. A strong financing partner like Beacon Funding took their skill and gave it access to valuable resources.
A collection of t-shirt with different designs lays on a table.

There’s a reason Create-a-Stitch has leased nine machines with Beacon over the past ten years, and it’s because of its flexible leasing and financing options. Mrs. Null was partial to the dollar buy-out option rather than leaving the buy-out up to what the lender determines is the fair-value price of the equipment at the end of the lease. Beacon strives to meet a variety of customer preferences with flexible financing options. "If we purchase more equipment, we would only use Beacon," said Lisa. "Great track record. Lease done within a week. No fuss, no muss. I have zero reason to look anywhere else. I hope my customers say the same about Create-a-Stitch.”

With Create-A-Stitch’s commitment to producing high-quality garments for its clients as well as its openness to grow with client orders, there’s no guessing as to why the company has grown from one machine to nine in just ten years. It’s safe to wager that Mrs. Null’s customers do prefer her work and have no reason to go anywhere else.

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Thank you to Create-A-Stitch for participating in Beacon Funding's Success Spotlight program. The Success Spotlight program gives Beacon customers and partners a chance to shine with recognition of their equipment financing success. This is achieved through enhanced exposure and free nationwide publicity through Beacon's online channels. To learn more about the program click here.

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