Cheryl Griffin, owner of Griffin Graphics, has been working in the decorated apparel industry for more than 40 years. She has touched almost every aspect of the industry, from running an embroidery machine at 14 years old to working for a variety of print shops and embroidery stores for many years. Seven years ago, she decided she would put her knowledge and experience to use by starting her own embroidery business. She set up shop with one single-head embroidery machine in her garage and never looked back.
Griffin Graphics from Beacon Funding on Vimeo.
Griffin Graphics at a Glance
- 40 years of decorated apparel industry experience
- Started as one machine shop in a garage
- New equipment with greater capabilities attracted new clients, advanced expansion/growth
- “Stick to what you know” is key to growth of Griffin Graphics
- Equipment doesn’t only help it maintain its reputation with clients but lets the company take on new business and increase production volume, which ultimately increases revenue
- Lease-to-own program gave Griffin Graphics flexibility yet stability of equipment upgrades
Volume Generates Equipment Needs
It didn’t take long for Griffin Graphics to gain traction. With just one year in business, Cheryl was able to increase her business’ graphic design capabilities by leasing-to-own a new four-head embroidery machine. With this added capacity, Griffin Graphics attracted new clients and moved into a retail location. Since then, her company’s production volume has required her to continue to add equipment to her arsenal. “My volume has always dictated me getting and needing more equipment,” explains Griffin. “I started taking on [additional] contract jobs and [a machine with more capabilities] was a necessity [in order] to do the order sizes [the client] was requiring.” For Griffin Graphics, the equipment and more revenue has always come hand in hand.
Stick With What You Know
Fifty percent of the work Griffin Graphics does is contract and the remaining percentage is retail. However, it’s all embroidery work. The company’s success has stemmed from Cheryl’s philosophy of sticking to what she knows — being an expert in embroidery.
“I try to stick with what I know. That’s embroidery. Rather than branching out, I keep going back to do embroidery. That’s what I know best.”
Cheryl’s expertise in embroidery shows in the loyalty she receives from her customers. A loyalty that has aided her success. She’ll admit that she may not be the cheapest option in town but her clients continually come back to her for business. Cheryl believes it’s her turnaround time and the quality of her work that brings them back order-after-order. The work she does speaks for itself, and the foundation of her dependability and high-quality work are the machines that she leases. For Griffin Graphics, the embroidery equipment is critical to success.
“The difference in the output comes from the equipment. [For instance], I could only do hats at the quality I’d expect on my four-head machines. The older six-head I own doesn’t produce the same quality product,” explains Cheryl. “I was limited when I would get a big, thousand-piece hat order. To do it only on the four-heads limited the other projects I could take on. With new six-heads, I can be doing three different jobs at the same time.”
Maintaining Customer Expectations with Equipment Upgrades
For Griffin Graphics, equipment doesn’t only help it maintain its reputation with clients but lets the company take on new business and increase production volume, which ultimately increases revenue. When your business and livelihood depends on your equipment, you need a guarantee that you can trust your equipment vendor and your financing partner. “I’ve known from the very start that leasing equipment was the way to go. My many years in the business only supported that,” says Cheryl. “When I started on my own that was the business plan I had in mind. Lease-to-own and build from there.”
Leasing-to-Own Was Key
Griffin Graphics is a great example of why Beacon Funding created a lease-to-own program. For small businesses that rely on their equipment for a production quality and reliability their customers have grown to expect, they need to own the equipment well beyond the final lease payment. Much of the production equipment used in the decorated apparel market has a long useful life. Unlike an automobile lease, Beacon’s lease-to-own programs allow businesses to acquire new equipment with minimal upfront capital and focus on transferring the ownership of the equipment to the lessee at the end of the term. “All of my experience with Beacon Funding has been easy — straightforward and easy,” says Griffin. “All of my questions have been answered. The process is very clear.”
Thank you to Griffin Graphics 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.