The Dancing Needle
Embroidery | Digitizing | Applique | Decals

Chronicles of Starting From Nothing

This Blog is going to be awesome and that's a fact.  So let's get started.  We will talk about our business, our craft and our experiences that we've had along the way.  Blog posts are open to comments so feel free to stick around and chat.

The Dancing Needle Blog #3: April 21, 2017

Hey you - Look for the easter eggs in this blog entry.


Those YouTube videos by those motivational speakers made starting our own business sound as simple as an afternoon's walk in the park.  Sure, they mentioned upfront costs and time and effort and strife and confusion and quitting but somehow I missed all of that and went straight to "quitting".  Recovering from that $10,000 sticker shock, we decided to drink some wine, drop back and punt - but not give up.  So what happened next?

We were determined to not spend $10,000 so we kept looking, researching and pounding the streets looking for a machine that fit our budget and our business expectation.  If you're reading this in hopes of some advice on choosing your own machine...here's my advice...Walk away from the laser guided, Wifi enabled, fully automatic cadillac dream machines and start with the more basic machine because even that one will do more than you can learn in the first year of use.  Thankfully, we realized this but it was only after much research and realizing that our grannies were doing embroidery by hand for generations before machines were available.  So we made the purchase through a local shop and managed to stay under budget.  I won't bore you with the details but let's just all agree that we bought a machine and got it home.

July 29, 2016 - We unboxed our first machine.  The Dancing Needle is open for business!

No.  Not quite.  Not even - almost open.  We didn't even have a name chosen for our business. There was no "The Dancing Needle" yet.  There's was only this huge machine sitting on our dining room table where we used to eat as a family but now we can't because of this thing but this thing wasn't alone.  There were all the peripheral support stuff like hoops, thread, scissors, material, bobbins, glue, and stabilizer each of which had found a certain area of the table to consume unless the table was too crowded then that item was in the chair.  Our table looked like crap.  Our house went unattended for days so our house looked like crap too.  We ate frozen pizza and spent so much time at this table trying to get this machine to work that we lost track of when and if we had even showered.  Admittingly, this machine consumed my engineering mind as something to conquer - a new device that I could learn.  To me, it was a portable CNC machine with a floating bed and extreme precision.  I saw the science, the math, the gears and all the software that made up the brains of this machine and became totally hooked on understanding how it all worked.  It consumed me.  It consumed us.  And no - I did not have to turn in my man card.


Confusion - The state of being bewildered or unclear in one’s mind about something.
— Wiki

I soon found myself Googling for terms that I had never used before:

How to thread an embroidery machine.

How to put material in a hoop.

What is a hoop?

What is bobbin thread?

Why is my bobbin thread wadding up in a big ball every time I turn my machine on?

What is a satin stitch?

Lost.  Confused.  Frustrated.  Defeated and feeling a bit of buyer's remorse - we went to bed at 2 AM.  I'll never forget that feeling I had when I put my head down on the pillow...a feeling of, "what have I done???".   Those motivational speakers on YouTube warned of hills and valleys along the way but they did not say that we would be starting out in a valley from the onset of this business.  The next morning was better.  We got the machine to run, made a few patterns, tried a few different sizes and we felt less defeated than we had felt the evening before.  This sentence you are reading now is the Easter egg that I mentioned beforehand so if you're here - you can win free stuff so keep reading.  Go to our Facebook Page now and Like the page then send us a private message with this phrase, "I found the Blog #3 Easter Egg" and you will be entitled to one of our decals from our decals page for free with free shipping.  This offer is valid until the day Blog #4 is published or five people respond (whichever comes first) so hurry along and claim your prize.   This ends the stuff about the Easter Egg.  Back to the blog.

So there we were with this huge machine sitting on our dining room table where we used to eat as a family but now we can't because of this thing but this thing wasn't alone.  There were all the peripheral support stuff like hoops, thread, scissors, material, bobbins, glue, and stabilizer each of which had found a certain area of the table to consume unless the table was too crowded then that item was in the chair.  Our table looked like crap.  Our house went unattended for days so our house looked like crap too.  We ate frozen pizza and spent so much time at this table trying to get this machine to work that we lost track of when and if we had even showered.  Admittingly, this machine consumed my engineering mind as something to conquer - a new device that I could learn.  To me, it was a portable CNC machine with a floating bed and extreme precision.  I saw the science, the math, the gears and all the software that made up the brains of this machine and became totally hooked on understanding how it all worked.  It consumed me.  It consumed us.  And no - I did not have to turn in my man card.

 It truly was a daunting task but we soon made our first decent item which was the cap shown below.  It isn't much to look at and certainly nothing special as far as embroidery goes but it was our best effort to date and it felt like that "first dollar" that you earn and frame it.  It took us eight long days and nights to go from opening the box to embroidering this cap!

Our first decent embroidery - August 8, 2016

Our first decent embroidery - August 8, 2016

I'm going to end this week's blog right here because there is much more to tell and I like to keep all this in a easily digestible amount.  I also have some embroidery jobs to work on not to mention I need to mow the lawn, eat, and even take a shower which is something I've delayed until I've finished this blog entry.  Queue the hot water!  See you next week and thanks for stopping by.

Mike

www.thedancingneedle.com