About Corporate Casuals
Corporate Casuals supplies custom embroidered and printed apparel direct to small businesses and organizations. We operate our own state of the art embroidery equipment from our facility in Concord, MA. We are the first company to offer a set of online tools that enable our customers to design both embroidered and printed apparel online. Corporate Casuals was founded in Concord, MA in 1999 as a spin-off of Callenstitch and has subsequently grown to employ over 30 people.
The Early Days
Callenstitch was founded in 1980 by Dicksie Callen. She worked out of the basement in the families Amherst, NH home for nearly 10 years providing monogram services for Jordan Marsh, Macy's, and Carroll Reed. As the demand for custom embroidery grew the business was able to purchase modern embroidery equipment. The embroidery equipment of the period was just starting to benefit from modern computer technology. In those days "state of the art" was magnetic tape and paper tape reader connected to a 6 head single needle embroidery machine (this is where the term "Tape Charge" comes from).
In 1993 Dicksie Callen turned the contract business over to her son Andrew Callen. The business was moved out of the family home (to new offices in Acton, MA). After a six month break Dicksie Callen returned to operate the shop floor while her son handled sales, marketing, and other administrative duties.
The dot-com boom of the 90's allowed the business to expand with state of the art embroidery equipment (no more tapes) and a new facility in Concord, MA (its present location). While Corporate Casuals was not especially involved in the dot-com boom/bust, lessons were learned which allowed the company to position itself in the marketplace.
In 1999, Corporate Casuals was formed and began building the infrastructure for what would become CorporateCasuals.com. A team of software professionals and customer support specialists was recruited to build internal systems needed to operate a modern decorated apparel company. In 2000 version 1.0 of the website was launched. This allowed the company to begin taking orders online and create custom stores that businesses and organizations could use to sell their own logo apparel.
A Change in Direction
In 2005 the company changed its online strategy from custom storefronts to enabling customers to create custom apparel directly. In a series of releases, the website was converted to a modern software platform (ASP.NET) and for the first time the company could accept uploaded artwork via the website.
The success of the new web site allowed a follow up project that became an industry first online embroidery studio. This technology let customers to create their own designs without the usual burden of custom digitizing. The technology permitted Corporate Casuals to streamline their production process and for the first time enabled small business to order embroidered apparel without large setup fees normally associated with embroidery The company filed a patent for this technology in 2007.
Custom Decorated Apparel?
In early 2006, the company began developing a strategy to offer printed apparel on its web site. With the emergence of direct to garment printing technology, it became practical to offer printed apparel. In July of 2006 we launched version 1.0 of their T-Shirt Design Studio. Like the embroidery studio, the t-shirt studio allows customers to create t-shirts online and have them produced in an efficient manner. With this offering we had to change our tagline from "Custom Embroidered Apparel Direct" to "Custom Decorated Apparel Direct"!
In 2007 we developed a way for our customers to sell their logos in online stores. You can take any of the logo's stored in your account and combine them with apparel from our catalog. With just a couple of easy configuration settings you can have a store page up and running in just a few minutes. Profit from the sales of your store is deposited directly into your online account and an online reporting system lets you track your sales.
Embroidery Studio 2.0 Launches
After 4 years of outstanding service our trusty old embroidery studio was replaced with the one you see today. Our new studio offers a full drag and drop interface with text and stock designs. We also support real time color selection and design overlapping. In other words you click directly on a design to select a color rather than choosing from a list of colors. If you have a logo with a suitable area for text the studio will allow you to place the text over the logo.
To kick off 2010 we launched a series of features that give customers a way to share their designs within their organization or social network. There are three options for sharing designs:
Basic design share
This option allows you to give your organizations design to someone else within your organization.
You can chat about your design via a social network (twitter, facebook, etc) or using our built in chat system.
Design Sales (Micro Store)
Using this feature you can combine a design and apparel from our catalog to produce a product. You can embed your product in a web page for others to buy. Whenever someone buys a product, they check out using our secure server and your account gets credited with any commission you have defined.
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