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Alabama EmbroidMe Emerges as Top Franchise Business

EmbroidMe, the largest promotional products franchise in the world, just saw record sales at its Decatur, Alabama, location thanks to franchisee Kerrie Hoffner.

Hoffner began her first embroidery company in her home in 2004. Known as DAP Designs, her business did well and soon had an extensive client list. She worked as a technician while her husband handled the bookkeeping. 

In 2011, her company started to outgrow the confines of her home, so she took a nine-week business course with the Decatur-Morgan County Entrepreneurial Center. That is where she met Bill Pensworth, part owner of four specialty retail franchises in the state. It was Pensworth who began to talk to Hoffner about the benefits of franchising—which include supplier access, training, support and brand recognition—and this conversation sparked Hoffner's interest in a franchise instead of growing her business alone.

Her research led her to contact EmbroidMe, part of industry leader United Franchise Group, and she opened her franchise business on Danville Road that same year. She has two commission-based sales staff members and two full-time employees, all of whom were trained by the embroidery franchiser. The company also provided Hoffner with market research, point-of-sale and commercial equipment and site selection, although the Decatur franchisee did not go with the corporate office's first site choice.

In February, Hoffner's location grossed more than $54,000. In April, it more than doubled that figure with gross sales exceeding $133,000, which was more than any of the brand's other 262 stores across ten countries for that month. Much of the April sales bump was because of a large order from Sparks Energy Inc., a Danville-based business. The firm decided to go local and bought promo items for an April Talladega Superspeedway sponsorship.

EmbroidMe currently has franchise opportunities in many areas, including Austin, Texas; Knoxville, Tennessee; New Orleans and New York City. To qualify for one of these franchise opportunities, applicants must have a net worth of at least $49,500, with a minimum of $49,500 liquid. The franchise fee is also $49,500, with the total investment ranging from $174,000 to $178,000.

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