I interviewed Gita Ramsay, aged 40. Based in Miami, Florida USA, Gita owns her own business, Gifts By Gita.
Gifts By Gita is an embroidery business. Gita owns a commercial machine that allows her to embroider anything from shirts and towels to duffle bags, luggage tags and more.
Here is my interview with Gita.
When did you start your business?
I started my business in 2011 but I did not really begin to focus on it till 2014.
What made you decide to set up your business?
When I got pregnant with my first child, my crafty genes really turned on. I dabbled in the jewellery market but realised I wanted to focus on kids and baby items. When I tried an embroidery machine in 2011 I knew that this was the medium for me. I spent a few years learning how to do embroidery and applique well, after which I began selling on Etsy.
What do you do and what products do you sell?
I sell kids birthday shirts, and also sell monogrammed or embroidered tote bags, and embroidered towels (usually with something humorous about wine, coffee, or cooking). I also make monogrammed luggage tags, which are pretty popular. Basically, anything that can be embroidered I will attempt.
What products seem to be your best sellers?
My kid’s birthday shirts are my #1 seller, but my monogrammed bags and luggage tags are gaining popularity and increased sales.
Who are your biggest competitors?
China-made or other mass-produced cheap products, as their low-cost makes people devalue the time/labor/expertise needed to create handmade products. I don’t really feel like I am in competition with other embroiderers as we each have our own unique styles.
How do you advertise your business?
Etsy, Facebook and Instagram
How would you recommend your business to potential customers?
My focus is on customer service; I especially love custom orders. I work with my customers to ensure they receive the perfect product. I think I have a great eye for color and fabric combos, which makes my products stand out.
Did you have any problems when starting your business? If so, how did you overcome them?
It has taken me time to find quality blanks. I have benefited from asking other embroiders about their suppliers and I have also taken the time to try out different brands to see which one has the best quality.
Do you recruit? If so, what are the benefits?
No, I don’t recruit
How do you decide on your designs?
I am very particular about the digitizers who’s designs I use. I also modify most designs by adding a new element, to make them unique. This year, I will also be learning how to digitise myself so I can offer even more unique products.
What has been your favourite piece to work on?
I am answering these questions just 3 days after the shooting at the Orlando Pulse nightclub. On Sunday night (same day news of the massacre broke) I was able to test a beautiful rainbow peace sign for a digitizer I do test stitches for. (Digitizers have testers to make sure there are no issues with the design, and to provide photos for the website). It was an honor to test this design, which is offered free by the digitizer, and to list a tote bag for sale with this design in my shop, all proceeds which go to the victims of the shooting.
Are there any offers on your products running at the moment?
15% off $10 or more purchase with coupon GBG15. For free domestic USA shipping, please use the coupon code SHIPONME.
What has the experience of owning a business been like for you?
Exhilarating, stressful, challenging, rewarding. My biggest challenge is budgeting time for advertising and stitching new designs, not just keeping up with orders.
Where do you see your business in the future? What dreams do you have for your business?
My goal is to grow my business so that I no longer have to juggle several part-time jobs (this one included) and can focus on my embroidery business exclusively. I would like it to be able to support my household and provide funds for my kid’s activities.
Listed below are the store and social media links for Gifts By Gita.
Thank you for answering my questions, Gita. It has been a pleasure interviewing and getting to know you. I wish you well in your business venture.