April 2, 2015 by Ashley Schable
BetteR Designs has found a new home at 706 East Main Street in Panora. The custom embroidery and digitizing business offers designs for ad specialty companies, businesses, schools and sport teams, with quality embroidery and digitizing on all kinds of fabrics, textures, and apparel.
“Collegiate, sports, and corporate identity are my specialty,” said Bette Reese, owner and designer at the shop.
Reese is always adding new skills and services as markets change and she explores her talents. She offers over 6,000 stock designs and 150 lettering type styles as well as custom graphic creation and digitizing services. Reese offers digitizing and embroidery, and also screen-printing and vinyl signage for local and national clients.
“I have block styles, script styles, old English, Greek letters, even tools and kitchen fonts,” she said.
Reese is excited to have her business out of home, where it has been for the past 20 years, and into a place with more room to expand.
“I have all the room to grow my business into the future just like I envisioned,” she said.
Reese got busy with a freelance Graphic Design company she started from her home in 1986. She added embroidery digitizing in 1994. When graphic design work began to fade as digitizing work took over, Reese added contract embroidery.
In 2002, she and husband Bill, moved from their farmhouse north of Panora to a home one block south of main street in town to bring more local businesses to her new home based shop.
At that time, she began writing articles for the embroidery trade magazine called “stitches”, which gave her national exposure.
“The web helped bring in steady jobs and local business was good,” Reese said.
The couple soon went mobile with the embroidery business. They purchased a large vendor trailer that had already been set up for the mobile embroidery business. They booked a variety of shows form local to statewide events using their hobbies and interests as a starting point.
“We were off together this time exploring the world of mobile embroidery,” Bette said.
Bill was the salesman and Bette did the design and embroidery work.
“It was a good match,” Bette said.
Their first show was a motorcycle rally in Des Moines. From there, horse, motorcycle and 4-wheeler shows filled a lot of their weekends throughout the year. The website and mobile shop were generating a steady stream of digitizing and embroidery clients from around the United States.
Reese continued to hone her embroidery and digitizing skills and even won first place in a national contest for a full front embroidery design called “Soggy Bottom and Western Railroad” which she did for Dave Beidelman, a local resident.
Reese also partnered with Sew Inspirational in Panora, digitizing their designs for them. They began to contract their embroidery to her. “There was a nice constant stream of business coming in and it worked well for both our businesses,” Reese said.
Sew Inspirational closed their doors later in 2014, and Reese acquired their client list and designs, which led to her expanding her business and moving out of her home to a shop on Main Street.
“I looked at several office buildings in downtown Panora, but none of them were right for what I wanted to do,” she said.
She found a house on Main Street that sits right behind her own home.
“I’ve always wanted a main street shop and I’m very happy to be here,” she said.
Courtesy of Ashley Schable, The Guthrie County Vedette, 4/2/15.