From Coaches Gifts to the Big Leagues
Owner: Kimberly Wohlgemuth
Company: Keap Impressing
Phone: 908-72-6600 (texts or emails are best since I’m always on the go)
Decorating Technique: Spangles, Embroidery, Sublimation, Vinyl
Kimberly is an all Jersey Girl apparel decorator with years of experience.
She’s gone from not offering ANY bling – only embroidery and sublimation – to being the go-to bling artist for several area ball teams and a local school in just FOUR months!
Tell us a little about who you are and what you do
I have been married for 17 years – together for 21 years, 2 daughters 15 & 13 – I have a full-time job in retail and my husband owns his own business.
We are both very involved with KEAP Impressing – I am the face and voice, and the sales, he is behind the scenes doing most of the work since my retail job has all different hours at any given day. Fun Fact – Our business name is the first initials of all our first names.
What was your biggest hurdle in getting started?
The biggest hurdle in getting started is getting established, getting your name/ product out there for people to see, finding your market and working to get into that market can be challenging.
My first event stemmed from me making my daughters first ever softball coach a gift (Happened to be the league president, which I didn’t know at the time)
Then he showed another coach the gift, then I was contacted by another town that saw the gift and wanted me to be a vendor at their tournament – going on 5 years now – that is STILL one of my best sellers.
How do you decide what Markets to go after?
My very first product sold was an embroidered softball – did LOTS of research for my area, one of the second items was an embroidered baseball – the Markets just pretty much showed themselves to me when I debuted the softballs at a tournament.
Now here it is 5 years later – and I’m mainly just in sports markets.
What technologies do you Use?
I use Embroidery Machines, Sublimation, Vinyl and Spangle Elite (I offer screen print – but sub that out as of now)
What did you get from ColDesi and why?
I purchased the Spangle Elite – I’ve always LOVED bling in sports, being a mom of two girls, I always had something sparkly on (my girls do NOT like anything sparkly lol) – whether it be a hair scrunchy or a blinged out sweatshirt I made myself,
I love sparkle – my motto is “Every girl needs a little sparkle in their day” – Naturally when I saw this machine and realized it wasn’t in stones, it was perfect. Sports moms/kids LOVE bling, but not scratches LOL
How do you set your pricing?
Typically I do A LOT of research before presenting something to people, or I will market to a small group of “testers” in different areas/locations etc. for feedback (I value feedback and often am known to tweak things here or there based on feedback)
If I offer something blind to the public, I set the price on the top end of the price scale to see how it is received – some have needed to come down, others have needed to go up.
What products do you sell that other businesses might need?
This is a tough question – I don’t work with a lot of companies as of yet – occasionally I will do embroidery for companies I.e hats, shirts, bags with their company logos.
I work mainly with Leagues to make sure they have their uniforms, jackets, bags, etc all ready to go for opening game day. I also just did my first school store – would def like to add more of that in the future – it was a LOT of behind the scenes work – but it paid off.
What’s next for your company?
I would really love it for the Spangle Elite to take off and function on its own like my embroidery/Sublimation business and trade up to a ProSpangle….
I would also love to really expand into apparel. I have been asked to take on screen printing by a few leagues – space/cost is the issue there – I had success is subbing out a large job, so I might keep that like that for a while. but a DTG printer would be an awesome addition.
I would need to get a well-established handle on apparel before offering that though.
What Advice would you give someone just starting out?
Learn your Nitch and get really good at it – Don’t just run and start a little of this or some of that…everyone has a market they are pretty much already sitting in during their normal life – mine was sports (daughter plays softball) do your research, step back and look at the big picture.
Go to local events as a regular person – see what is out there, competition-wise – study – focus on others customer service, learn as much as you can. Anyone can start a business, but if you don’t have customer service skills, you won’t go far.
Also, back your product, test it out, have faith in it, learn it, I cannot tell you how many people come to me with issues from other businesses they went with.
How long have I been in business?
5 years – purchased a small embroidery machine simply to earn some extra $ being a stay at home mom – eventually traded up with that one once I realized my limits in hoop size.
Then one night after practice, my friend Michelle and I were texting back and forth about embroidery and softball (both softball moms) and a softball came up – once that took off, I had to trade up again to a 6 needle, then shortly after that, I had enough cash to get another 6 needle machine.… The rest is History!!
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