|Team Mates, Inc. was founded in 1992 as a small retail store with two single sewing heads in a local Burnsville, Minnesota mall. We didn't like doing retail. It was hard. The hours were long and during Christmas, we spent a lot of time telling people where the Sears was located.
We did, however, see the growing commercial embroidery market as a good one that required a lot less time on giving directions and allowed us to spend much more time actually doing the embroidery. A switch in direction resulted in the sale, in 1996, of the retail store and full time concentration on the commercial market.
Even though the experience at the retail level was difficult, we did learn one thing. A single piece really doesn't take all that long to sew! Oh, and neither do a thousand pieces. Probably came as a result of our being required to do logos on the spot for the retail customers.
Back to the long version.
We are not ashamed to admit that the sale of the retail store was nice. The rest of the equipment wound up in our house and we really enjoyed working from there. Imagine sewing in your jammies every day. Cocktails at 6 on the dot with no commute required, except a trek to the upstairs patio. In many ways, it was nice. We even saw the kids every day and, since the embroidery equipment was right next to their room, what better way to keep them employed and out of trouble, than to start them working after school. (Ed.Note: They were not pleased)
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