Nu Threadz isn't a new company, but this local embroidery and screen printing business is making a "nu" splash into downtown Chardon.Nu Threadz opened its…
Nu Threadz isn’t a new company, but this local embroidery and screen printing business is making a “nu” splash into downtown Chardon.
Nu Threadz opened its Cherry Ave. store on May 1, and business has only increased since, Nu Threadz founder Sara Neumore said.
The business had, up to this point, been running out of the garage and basement of Neumore’s Chardon home.
Neumore decided the separation from work and home was needed, plus the business growth and sales volume got to the point where she had to expand, she said.
Originally established in 2000, Nu Threadz got started when Neumore was laid off from her job working for a company that made embroidery machines.
With a master’s degree in Sports Medicine, Neumore had worked in that field for 15 years, until a patient commented that her personality would be suitable for sales and later came back suggesting a job offer.
Equipped with the knowledge and training on how to operate the machines, Neumore thought she would at least give the business a try part time.
Part time for Neumore only lasted for about six months before she was working full time out of the house.
Neumore, recent head girls soccer coach at Chardon High School, said the connections from coaching and sports helped her gain business in the beginning.
“I was fortunate because I knew a lot of coaches and whatnot in the area, so in the beginning, that was how I was tapping into people, was just through sports and gaining accounts that way,” she said. “At this point, I don’t really think that my involvement in sports matters in the business world, but definitely in the beginning, it made a lot of connections for me.”
With the motto, “Let us outfit you for success,” Nu Threadz has expanded from just mostly sports accounts to a variety of cliental, both in and out of state — from schools to corporate accounts to little mom-and-pop businesses.
Products range from clothing — T-shirts, sweatshirts, golf shirts, etc. — to promotional products of any kind — bags, key chains, water mugs, etc.
“Anything that you can put your logo on, we do,” Neumore said. “Basically, from clothing to any marketing needs, we can help get your name on things, and I believe that visibility with names is what really helps businesses grow.”
Most of the business has been built on word-of-mouth due to their customers often referring them to others. Though now the downtown store provides more visibility, she said.
Neumore said the most difficult thing she’s dealt with in the transition is adjusting to having a store front, adding they’ll be putting more focus on the actual store due to all the walk-in traffic.
“It seems like a lot of people, when they come in here now, they’re saying ‘Oh, you’re a new company.’ No, we’ve been around 14 years,” she said. “A lot of people didn’t know we existed because we didn’t advertise and, if you weren’t on social media or you weren’t referred to us by a customer we didn’t have a sign out at the house, so now people are coming in and they’re going ‘Oh wow, you’ve been here 14 years.'”
The new store is not the only expansion Nu Threadz has dealt with recently. Just earlier this month, the Nu Threadz brand officially got trademarked to protect the brand due to all of the growth they’d been seeing, Neumore said.
Nu Threadz also sponsors a professional fisherman, Nick Prvonozac, from Warren, who is involved with the Fishing League Worldwide Elite series.
Neumore said her family has a passion for bass fishing and her husband, David Neumore, does some local tournament fishing. The fishing has expanded to sponsoring another fisherman and a college team.
Nu Threadz is all about family. All three of her children –Tanner, Kendall and Peyton — work either full time, with part time during college, or during the school breaks.
Neumore said she uses a lot of social media through Twitter, Facebook and Instagram to expand the business.
It allows Nu Threadz to go outside of Chardon, she said, adding people recognize the brand and the social media presence, but they don’t know they are sitting in small-town America.
“I think that companies really need to make themselves (be) seen on social media, no matter how you’re making yourself seen,” Neumore said. “I think that for the younger crowd, anything from 14- to 35-year-olds, that’s the main avenue for marketing.”
She added, “I think it’s a lot of fun, we use it obviously to get our name out there, but I like to use it for the local kids and stuff and we do so many giveaways.”
Nu Threadz uses the Twitter hashtag #WearitWednesday so that on Wednesdays, customers can post a picture of themselves with Nu Threadz products on and put #WearitWednesday in the caption to possibly win more Nu Threadz apparel.
“Hashtags are so important in today’s world, for some reason,” Neumore said, adding people now associate Wednesday with that hashtag.
“It’s a fun, extra little media push it’s just another way to get people to remember you,” she said.
Nu Threadz will often have product contests and giveaways on a regular basis because Neumore likes to give in general, she said.
“Giving to me is more gratifying than any money you can make, just knowing you are helping someone else,” she added.
She also finds entertainment in seeing people have fun with the contests because the kids get really excited about them and it helps to promote her products while having fun.
Neumore said the best part of her business is imagining where the product will end up and how it will be used.
“I just remember as a little kid, how exciting it was to get your little jersey with your name on it or your favorite number,” she said. “So honestly, I think that’s my favorite part of the job, is just knowing that on the other end of this product, there is some kind of excitement.
“Even with corporate apparel, people like to get new clothing and wear their brand, and they get excited when they pick up and get to wear it, so I just like to see that excitement. People are always excited to get new stuff, so it’s fun to be a part of that.”
Neumore advised others wanting to start their own business that there is a huge learning curve, and it’s not something that just happens overnight.
“You have to have a large sales volume to make a living out of it,” she said. “You can’t really just go in halfway because it’s not a very big profit margin.”
It’s really a long-term investment, she added.
Neumore said there is a lot of costs in not only equipment, but in mistake items.
“There’s a lot of money spend and lost, and I think that’s why a lot of companies end up closing, because if you don’t have the volume to cover those mistakes, then you really won’t make that much money,” she said. “Educate yourself — there is so many ways to educate yourself on graphics and the actual art of screenprinting or embroidery. The internet is so easy now to learn and find things out. You just have to educate yourself a lot before you make the investment.”
Neumore recommends starting this kind of business part time at first and build from there.
“I think that’s a good way to start, take it slow, don’t quit your day job type of thing,” Neumore said. “Go into it thinking you’re going to start part time and then maybe once you get the volume, then you can quit your day job and start your business.”
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