Milestone for business owner who ‘filled a void’
CLOCKING up twenty years as a small-business owner is surely no easy feat.
For Glenda Galligan of Ipswich Embroidery & Workwear, however, it was her work ethic and passion for customer service that ensured it was a milestone she was always destined to achieve.
The humble local, who first developed the business in 2001, has since risen to become one of Ipswich’s most in-demand embroiders.
Speaking from her Raceview shopfront, Ms Galligan reflected on her many years in the industry and eventual rise to success.
“I’m feeling tired to be honest,” Ms Galligan joked.
She said despite having “no skills” when first starting, there was a gap in the market she was determined to fill.
“I was looking for someone to do some embroidery for my husband Jerry’s business at the time and I couldn’t find one anywhere,” she said.
“We did some research and it just went from there, we taught ourselves everything we know.”
As demand for her unique skill surged, so too did her services.
Ms Galligan opted to stock workwear just months into operations and in return, further streamlined her business.
“It was just a natural progression to what we were doing,” she said.
“If someone walks in now and needs something desperately, urgently, then we can just take it off the shelf and hand it to the girls in the back, they can knock it up and be done in hours if need be.”
She said considerable changes had taken place since first opening her doors all those years ago.
“The technology (has developed), Ipswich itself has also grown so much and changed an awful lot too,” she said.
“We still consider ourselves to be a small business, even though we’re one of the biggest embroidery businesses in town.
“We’re not flash, we don’t have massive big space and we’re pretty cramped with all our stock, but when people walk in the door, I want them to feel like they’re walking into a store where service is number one.
“We try to give it that country feel because our customers mean everything to us.”
Ms Galligan now employs seven staff at the site as workload returns to normal following COVID-19 lockdowns.
“We certainly had a big downturn, a few staff left too” she said.
“Whether customers are buying one pair of boots a year, or buying 200 shirts for their staff, it all means so much to us.
“Without them I have no business.”
Read more stories by Kaitlyn Smith here.