There’s a new player in Atlanta’s embroidery business, and they come not-so-straight out of the city’s LGBT community.
The Big Stitch Atlanta is the brainchild of Shon Gallegos, a veteran of the city’s garment industry who last fall decided to break out into his own business for the first time. Along with him for the ride is his husband, co-owner Rory Moon, an Atlanta native who has worked in the city’s hospitality industry for over 15 years.
The Big Stitch can handle everything from corporate apparel and uniform needs to personal monogramming, sports uniforms, screen printing and 3D embroidery. Gallegos and Moon stepped away from the needle and thread one recent afternoon to talk to Georgia Voice about their new venture.
Georgia Voice: When did you start The Big Stitch?
Moon: Shon had expressed that he wanted to open a business back in mid-summer and we kind of started from there. We opened the business officially in August of this year and have been moving along since then.
Shon, what’s your background in the garment industry?
Gallegos: I have been in the embroidery industry for almost 20 years working for a big company in Atlanta, so I’ve learned a lot about the customer and the product and the quality of the embroidery.
What motivated you to want to start your own business?
Gallegos: I’m not pleased in the way other companies treat their customers. They don’t explain to them what the product is. So one of my goals is to explain to the customer how embroidery works and give them some tips because I feel capable enough to do it.
Rory, what’s your role in the company?
Moon: I’ve been the initial investor in the business but also I’m doing marketing as well as heading up the larger sales that we do with most of our business clients. Shon’s doing a lot of that now as well.
What kind of orders have you typically been getting?
Moon: We’re doing really across the board now a lot of custom monogramming for smaller business clients. That’s what we’re marketing towards is small business and local. We really want to stay local and kind of build up from a really solid foundation with the customers that we have and just provide really good customer service as well as a quality product.
A lot of the problem in this business is that it’s so impersonal that you never really even talk to the people that are doing the work or are even selling the work. So we’re trying to build a local business and work within the community and really give quality service to people.
The majority of everything that we’re doing is small sale collateral for companies, like uniform garments, corporate apparel, shirts that would have your logo and your name on it for employees, that’s the majority of it. We’ll do one-offs and custom work. We’ve done a lot of stuff for weddings like monogrammed napkins, everything you can think of.
Has there been an order that was particularly challenging either creatively or because of the size?
Moon: We can handle the volume, but I think that the challenge is like for any other small business that’s starting up—capturing the client, finding where your market is at and your niche is at and bringing those people in. We’ve been lucky, we’ve really had a lot of responses from the marketing we’ve done and we’ve kept our head above water so obviously we want to stay on that trajectory.
The challenge is getting the right people in that aren’t looking for the best bargain in town, they’re looking for quality product. That’s what we’re doing is selling quality and selling good service and letting people know that we’re actually doing the work and overseeing the work being done.
We’re certainly trying to stay competitive with prices, but we’re in a market where often people will undersell you and I think that happens across the board. We’re selling a quality product and we want to make sure that everyone comes back to us and that they’re happy with what we’re doing.
Would you want to open your own physical space of The Big Stitch at some point?
Moon: We have a small sew shop here in town but we do want to branch out and get a small retail space where we can show the actual process of what’s goes on. The sew shop is just in a kind of scary location and we’d rather not have people there, so we want to get to a point where we can showcase what we’re doing and clients can come in and see what we’re working on. So that’s our next step, and really just building a solid foundation in the Atlanta business community.
The Big Stitch Atlanta