Wednesday, May 22, 2019Embroidery's Voice and Vision



Expand your understanding and hone your technical skills as veteran award-winning digitizer, e-commerce manager and all-around technophile Erich Campbell explores and explains the intersection of embroidery, technology, creativity and business. He’s the go-to guy for stitches and tech at Black Duck Embroidery and Screen Printing in Albuquerque, NM, one of the Southwest's largest screen-printing and embroidery firms. You can find him on Facebook at, follow him on Twitter at or e-mail him at


Teaching at any Stage - Your Voice is Important NOW

When you've been doing a thing for, say, 15 years, people expect you to know how to do it well. If you've been doing it successfully and in public, your voice is given some weight and people listen when you lay down the method that has kept you doing what you do. It's taken for granted that an experienced voice is valuable, but I'm here from beyond those years of experience to tell you a secret.

You, the person just starting out, who has just learned to thread your embroidery machine, who has just set your first monogram in your lettering software, who has just learned the difference between piqué and jersey, your voice is important and necessary. We need you to share. I need you to share.

Here's why – though I remember well my first days at my station digitizing, and my first time hooping a garment, I have been doing this a long time – the things that are current to me and that I am obsessed with are the problems I've yet to solve; that's where I'll be teasing out the new and valuable information. Those of you who are just starting out feel the pain of those beginning steps and have learned in your own way how to take them; it's not that I can't help beginners – I do so with great frequency, but there's a difference in the way the words of someone who is currently embroiled in the act of starting a thing can resonate with others in those same stages, experiencing those growing pains.

If that weren't enough, those of us who have been at their work for a good chunk of their lifetime need to hear the beginner's voice as well, to see their own working world with fresh eyes, from new perspectives born of a different time and climate from the one in which they 'came of age' in their careers. It helps us keep learning and evolving, and it helps us know when and where our experience can come in and smooth the path for those emerging practitioners of our art. Share your process and your triumphs and we learn – share your troubles and your struggles, and we can offer help.

No matter what stage of the journey you find yourself in, reach out now. Teach now. Share now. Become a part of the conversation, a beacon and touchstone for your peers, an infusion of fresh excitement and vision for those who have already taken those steps to which you aspire. Your voice is valuable.

(To read more from someone who has realized this lesson, see the both incredibly experienced embroiderer and new digitizer Geri Finio's Blog, ‘A Newbie Digitizer's Diary’.)


  - Tuesday, September 8, 2015 (oxgtcvdu)

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