mind that they can’t do what they want.” It is a case of “like mother, like children” as Stevenson is approaching the completion of her 13th year in business. Riverhills Embroidery & Screenprinting has come a long way over those years, changing, growing and adapting as necessary.
“Embroidery and screenprinting are still the meat and potatoes,” she said about the business. “To make money, I have to have the machines running.”
The equipment at Riverhills—including two large embroidery machines, a screenprinting machine, a vinyl cutter and much more—helps set Stevenson’s business apart from others. “I don’t know anyone who has this,” she said, pointing to the equipment behind her. “I can be flexible with the customers’ needs. Nobody gets turned away.”
Many businesses which dabble in the things Riverhills Embroidery & Screenprinting does have to contract with other businesses—sometimes even Riverhills—to get their items produced. In some cases that can mean minimum orders and delays in delivery, but not at Riverhills. Over the years the business has filled orders ranging from a single shirt to 13,000 shirts.
“Things are definitely growing,” Stevenson said. “I’m starting to work with some bigger companies.”
Stevenson also clearly has a passion for another aspect of Riverhills—her Shirts & Giggles division. People who drive by Riverhills on Milwaukee Drive (STH 32/57) in New Holstein no doubt
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have noticed the brightly painted trailer outside.
Shirts & Giggles got its start about 10 years ago when Stevenson was asked to sell shirts on the grounds during the huge, annual New Holstein Youth Soccer Tournament. “I love dealing with kids,” she said.
If on-site shirt sales worked well at the New Holstein tournament, what about other events in other communities? That has been the impetus behind Shirts & Giggles. Especially during the spring and summer, Stevenson packs up her trailer with all the necessary shirts and heat transfer equipment to put youths’ names, numbers, etc. on shirts. She travels to tournaments which have included wrestling, softball, volleyball, basketball and soccer. “The kids go nuts” for the shirts, she said—especially tie-dyes—adding that she has started to work in the Milwaukee and Madison markets as well.
is the Web
site for Riverhills and the place to find out more about Shirts & Giggles. As a business which produces a lot of clothing and other items for both New Holstein and Kiel high schools, Stevenson said she also is hoping to soon add sections on the Web site for those products as well. Riverhills also has a strong Facebook presence.
Husky and Raider apparel also is available on a retail basis inside Riverhills with a growing supply of those items kept in stock. Stevenson encourages anyone looking for something specific to ask if they do not see it in her shop because she likely has the ability to produce it. That includes shirts of all sizes and types, sweatshirts, hats, visors, tank tops, polos, Oxfords, jackets, team uniforms, duffel bags, letter jackets, stadium blankets, bleacher chairs, and more.
Riverhills also does trophies, medals, plaques, engraving, banners, event signage, open signs, vehicle lettering, window lettering, and promotional products ranging from coffee mugs to water bottles, key chains to calendars and everything in between.
Some customers come in with their own designs, while others seek the help of Stevenson and/or an artist which she uses from time to time. At the present time, Stevenson also is getting some intern assistance from New Holstein resident and Lakeland College accounting student Brandon Balazs.
Stevenson said running Riverhills Embroidery & Screenprinting has been a roller coaster at times, but she weathered recent recessionary times and added, “It’s fantastic right now.”
“I’ve figured out ways to be more productive and turn products around faster,” she added. “I have found turning products around faster brings in more orders. The chaos is much more organized.”
She said she enjoys being her own boss and a one-woman shop, and believes that works to the advantage of the customer since their order does not get lost in translation.
Asked if she still enjoys coming to work every day after 13 years in the business, Stevenson simply said, “I love it.”