A Day in the Life of a Digitizing Company

Get to Know Trevor Conquergood from Sunset Stitches

Meet Trevor Conquergood, the owner of “Sunset Stitches”. Trevor has been in the business for as long as he can remember, his parents (Wendy and George Conquergood) are the owners of “Stitchitize”, a digitizing company that creates embroidery stock designs that you can purchase for commercial and home use. Trevor took us through his typical work day as a digitizer and as someone who runs a digitizing education company. So not only is Trevor a skilled digitizer, he is also an experienced digitizing tutor.

We spoke to Trevor about what a day in his life (plus a little extra!) is like. Find out what the digitizing pros get up to below!

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Describe yourself in one sentence

Hi, my name is Trevor Conquergood, I create embroidery and share what I know (this needs a little fake Spanish accent, don’t ask me why).

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Tell us a little bit about yourself, generally.

My name is Trevor Conquergood and I am an embroidery educator. I learned to create embroidery from my father George while working in a family business called Stitchitize. I started in 1984 at a time when we were called punchers because an embroidery design was actually saved as little holes punched from a paper tape. Then as a team manager at Stitchitize I discovered I had a passion to share what I had learned. Fast forward about 25 years to find me begging my own company that would focus on providing embroidery education, I produce video based training about all things embroidery and textiles.

How did you get started on the education side of embroidery?

The first people I taught were the staff of Stitchitize where learning was more of a mentorship. In the year 2000 I was invited to present my first class at an event and I loved it. It was about this time that the domestic embroidery machine became connected to a computer and it was possible for a professional designer to save designs to sew on this new generation of embroidery machines. Prior to this most of the innovation in embroidery came from the commercial embroidery market but things were changing very fast, especially in the new emerging domestic market.

The new Domestic equipment got bigger and better every year and the new operators were willing to make time to play with their equipment. Even better is once they learned something new they told everyone one they know. By the time I began Sunset Stitches the need for education was huge because the domestic embroiderers were hungry for knowledge. However my family was very young and I did not want to spend my days on the road attending retreats and events. I learned to produce my lessons on Video that can be downloaded or burned on a DVD. I zip the artwork and designs up with a PDF and .WMV class recording and my students can download my classes and watch them on their own time and for years to come. I do hold live classes but attendance is optional as all the classes I teach are recorded and uploaded for download at any time.

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What is the first thing you do in the morning?

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Give us a quick run-through of what your work week looks like…

Typically I like to present one class per week, beginning on Monday with member management. That can be everything from receiving new members or answering questions. By Tuesday I am working on creating new content for my class. I work from home and when my family is around I take a break and participate in the family activities. However I love to go back to my studio around 9pm and will often work late into the evening rocking the tunes and digitizing. Next up is photography and preparing the slides and images for my live class, which are held at 1pm, but go live at various times across the world. Once the class is recorded I need to prepare a printable class review and process the designs and video. By Friday I will have the class all zipped up and uploaded on to my class server. Then I send an email to the class members with a link to download the class. I only ever teach my classes once and once they are recorded I move on and begin to prepare the next lesson.

In your typical day, what would you say is the hardest thing to deal with? On the flip side, what is the best part of your day?

Accounting. Owning a business means I have to do all of the jobs (unlike participating in the family business) and accounting is my least favourite. On the flip side I get to digitize and create embroidery almost every day. I love stitching the designs and am a self-professed Thread-A-holic with more than 2000 cones of thread all hung on the walls of my studio!

Name three things that you need to do every day

1) Embroider, there is always something that needs to be stitched.
2) Create or digitize embroidery designs to suit the class topic of the day
3) Produce and deliver video

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What is the one tool or item that you can’t get through the work day without?

Easy, Embroidery Software. I could not live a day without it.

Are people often confused when you tell them what you do?

I’m probably not the best person to ask this because I’m surrounded by thousands of people (mostly students) who know exactly what digitizing is! I can tell you another thing I know is that most people that have an embroidery machine would not say they purchased it so they could become a digitizer. I like to say “create embroidery” rather than digitizing because most people will say yes they are creative however most won’t call themselves a digitizer. The truth is everyone needs some embroidery software as that is how we can take control of the super cool embroidery machine we own. Most of the people I meet will use their software to open the designs they already own and make small changes in size or colours and then add lettering or combine several designs in a layout. Having the ability to edit and improve the thousands of designs that people have collected is the best part of owning embroidery software. As you learn more you may just find yourself creating embroidery and in time even come to call yourself a digitizer.

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Where do you see yourself and Sunset Stitches in 5 years time?

I want to be exactly where I am today: in my studio creating embroidery and sharing what I know. I have been blessed with some amazing trips to present embroidery classes from Canada and the US to Norway, Sweden, Germany, England, Thailand, Taiwan, and Australia. I learn so much from the people I meet and it is very rewarding to work with other likeminded embroidery enthusiasts.

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So what does someone who works in embroidery digitizing do on a day to day basis?

Well from our chat with Trevor it’s no wonder that people get confused as to what digitizers do! From creating to designing to stitching out the final product, a digitizer’s work really depends on what needs to be done at any one point in time. On top of the actual digitizing, Trevor is also a teacher. He runs multiple seminars on how to use specific digitizing software and has travelled the globe to teach people about the joys of embroidery digitizing.

We had a great time learning about what goes on at a digitizing company day to day, we hope that you’ve also gotten a little insight into the wonderful world of embroidery digitizing! We’d also like to thank Trevor for taking the time to chat with us about his company and his day-to-day proceedings.

To get in touch with Trevor:

www.sunsetstitches.com

trevor@sunsetstitches.com

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