World Emblem International has been making a name for itself in the industrial uniform market for nearly two decades.
World Emblem, which has 125 employees at its Miami headquarters and 600 more at other manufacturing locations in the United States, Mexico and Canada, makes a wide variety of embroidered emblems, transfers, appliqués magnetic badges, promotional products and other items for corporate clients.
The family-owned company also supplies small businesses, sports teams and just about anyone else who wants to exhibit their brand. World Emblem has production facilities at 12 locations, including Miami, and partnerships with companies in Europe.
“Our main focus has always been the uniform rental industry,” said Erin Gallagher, World Emblem’s business development manager. “So if you are wearing a uniform that is industrial washed, the patches on those uniforms probably came from World Emblem.”
World Emblem works with all of the big industrial uniform suppliers such as Cintas, Aramark, Unifirst, Alsco and G&K Services, Gallagher noted. “Their end customers could be just about anyone from FedEx to Coca-Cola,” she said. The company, which has one large competitor in the industrial uniform market, also works with resellers in the promotional products industry.
The company started out making emblems and direct embroidery on apparel, but over the years added products such as transfers, screen printing and name badges. World Emblem was founded by the late Jerold Carr in 1993. His sons, Randy, the president and CEO, and Jamie, president of sales, now run the company.
Making emblems and other embellishments is a highly complex process starting with computer-generated design or reproduction of a logo or other image, selection of thread colors and sewing patterns, customer review and approval, constant quality control and production at a plant close to the customer in order to ensure quick delivery.
World Emblem is capable of producing large runs of emblems for corporate clients or small lots. “Last year, we made 36 million units,” CEO Randy Carr said. “The average size order last year was nine pieces.”
The company recently completed an order from G&K Services for about 150,000 aprons that were embroidered for Walmart, as well as 55,000 emblems for a school district in Texas.
The company uses automated equipment linked to a computerized system, and coordinates each step of the production process. World Emblem has an online ordering system that can handle everything from designing new embellishments, placing production orders, checking sales history and submitting garments for decoration. The complex embroidery machines are tied into the company’s production tracking system.
Precision and product consistency are crucial. “If a company orders patches three years from now, the thread must be the exact color of the original order,” Carr said.
Last year, the company opened a manufacturing plant in Canada to offer a quicker turnaround time for Canadian customers.
It is also opening a 50,000-square-foot facility in Atlanta this year to consolidate two existing plants in Georgia and expand overall capacity there. The company recently announced that it is launching a line of flexible, high-resolution digital print emblems in Miami that can be heat-sealed or sewn into apparel.
“We have a pretty sophisticated setup today,” Carr said. “It took us 20 years to figure it out.”