Women Building Business: Wright Leaves a Lasting Impression with Embroidery
Gail Wright has been creating custom embroidery designs in Huntsville since 2005. She is an independent business woman who has helped countless organizations and business owners put their personal stamp on keepsakes, uniforms and promotional materials. She is also the designated vendor for a local charter school and the main embroiderer for Ou Alterations on 11th Street.
Her motto is “Excellent services and quality embroidery with a personal touch”.
Wright counsels clients on fabrics and colors for any item that can be embroidered. From monograms on linens and gifts to logos on uniforms and hats she can design anything that will fit within an 11×15 hoop. Larger designs can be accommodated in sections, which requires a fundamental understanding of both traditional sewing and technology.
Embroidery has come a long way since the days of hand sewing. After evolving from specialty machines to digital computers, people like Wright who are well versed on the craft have become software specialists as much as experts in needlepoint and color theory.
She says her favorite part of the business is helping people. She creates a unique product and keeps meticulous notes for later use. This is extremely helpful for returning clients who want to recreate their personalized design on new items or those who have an ongoing need for reliable service with company and team logos.
Even if a project is too large for her to complete in house, she acts as a consultant to refer clients to larger companies for assistance. She then becomes a liaison between the outsourced vendor and client to ensure both parties achieve the desired result. She provides samples of her work before completing projects as an integral part of her process, she works with other vendors who do the same. This ensures the client gets exactly what they asked for.
Her small business has a big impact on the community. Since two other local operations that provided embroidery services have recently gone out of business, the demand is higher than ever. Wright has taken on a subcontractor in Humble to help fill orders for schools and businesses.
Wright has been a resident of Huntsville for more than 40 years. She grew up in Giddings and attended Blinn College with her husband Douglas, who was raised in Brenham.
They both transferred to SHSU in 1979, where Gail earned her Bachelors in Teaching and a Masters in Communications and Fashion Design. She planned to be a home economics teacher, but she never got the chance. She became a coordinator for the Correspondence Course Division and served clients for their organization for 25 years.
She always did embroidery in the background, so it was a natural transition for her after retirement to create a full fledged business with her sewing skills. She began with two small machines so that she would always have a backup.
Buying things in pairs is a practice she has followed throughout her years in the business, allowing her to continue to complete orders even if a machine is out for service.
As her business grew, so did her skill set. Through the Sew Vac Warehouse and Sewing Studio in Humble, she was contacted by Macy’s to do embroidery demonstrations. For eight years, she showcased her skills four times per year, making 70-80 monogrammed bags for each session.
When her husband Douglas had to undergo a kidney and pancreas transplant in 1996, Gail trained a seamstress from Texas City to take her place doing demos so she could stay close to home. Over the years, Douglas learned the craft and is now her number one embroider. They have been married for 43 years.
“I married Mr. Wright,” Gail said with a laugh. “I keep him busy so he stays fit in mind and body. He also stays active in the community, serving on the Huntsville Cemetery Advisory Board and the Huntsville Public Library Board.”
She became a vendor for Huntsville Classical Academy/Ignite Community School in 2017 while she was serving their campus as a substitute teacher. She began teaching one of her students, Morgan Nauls, how to embroider when she was eleven years old. Nauls just turned 17 and began attending SHSU.
“Morgan is my best assistant. It’s hard to believe she has been working for me for six years. I am really proud of her, and excited that she is going to attend college here at Sam,” said Gail.
As a teacher at heart, Gail believes in the power of a good education.
She volunteers for Partners Resource Network, a non-profit organization that helps educate parents on resources and advocate for children with disabilities. Gail helps families with special needs children navigate the system to obtain educational services.
Gail has gained a great reputation as a generous member of the community and a business owner who gets the job done. Regardless of your needs in the area of embroidery, she can help you create a design that will leave a lasting impression.