Hanging Out with Chess Grandmasters

Embroidery and heat press machines in tow, we headed over to Embassy Suites Lynnwood over the Memorial Day Weekend. The Washington Chess Federation (WCF) gave us the rare opportunity to spend a couple of days with hundreds of top-rated chess players all over the state including several Grandmasters who flew in to Seattle for Washington Open 2018.  We ran the booth selling embroidered hats & other items.

sdr

 We weren’t sure what to expect since our son has never played in this tournament and there was a product line that we wanted to introduce.  Our mantra has always been “When in doubt, over-prepare!”  and that’s exactly what we did. Since our last roadshow, we found better & more compact tools & fixtures that freed up room for some “just in case” items in the SUV. We brought extra hoops, supplies, laptop and embroidery designs and these came handy as clients asked us to do jobs that we’ve never done before.

Transporting our brand new 210 lb. Knight heat press was one of the major challenges we faced.  It took three people to move this thing!

Heatpress in Action.jpgThe other big challenge was Suyesh’s bag. His mom bought the bag from Chess Pros (booth next door) and asked us to embroider one of the patch designs on it along with his child’s name. The foam lining of the bag was very thick & there was not a lot of room for the free arm to move. I had to tweak the way the design was digitized, used thicker needles, and slowed down the machine. In the end, it looked great though. I ended up monogramming a few more bags until we powered down the machine for the day.

One great thing about it being a 2-day event was that we were able to pivot and tweak our product offerings on Day 2.  During the Day 1 debrief, the team noticed that sales wasn’t so hot. So, on Day 2, I embroidered one of our “Worst Knightmare” patch designs on a hat. After displaying it for 10 minutes, someone bought it. It became so popular that after the event, we decided to make this available via our Etsy Store – EmbroiderrificNW

I’ll have to say that the ultimate highlight of the event was gaining new acquaintances that carried with it prospect of future collaboration with them. A non-profit group approached us about partnering on some volunteer work with middle schoolers during the summer. We shook hands with Enrico Sevillano, a 2008 U.S. Open Champion, who was born from my homeland (Philippines). We met Jeffrey Roland, editor-in-chief of NW Chess Magazine and some of the officers of WCF (Gary Dorfner, David Hendricks, Robert Allen). There were several other great people we met. The whole experience was simply amazing!

I certainly would not be writing about this experience if it weren’t for the Washington Chess Federation (WCF) believing in us.  We don’t know how to say thank you enough to Josh Sinanan, WCF President and Dan Matthews WCF Tournament Director. Aside from being excellent chess players, coaches, and promoters, these guys and the the WCF officers are genuinely great people and so pleasurable to work with.

 To all the officers and members of the Washington Chess Federation, thank you so very much for the opportunity. We look forward to supporting your future events.

WCF Hat_Green Chessboard.jpg

(These WCF Hats are still available in our Etsy Store.)

 

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