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 were 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 five
years providing monogram services for Jordan Marsh, Macy's, and Carroll Reed. As the demand for monograms faded, Dicksie started
to provide corporate embroidery services to Promotional Products Distributors. She purchased new, more advanced, embroidery equipment
to run corporate logos. Funny enough, in 1985 "state of the art" was magnetic tape and paper tape reader (this is where the term
"Tape Charge" comes from) connected to a 6 head single needle embroidery machine where you had to manually thread 6 needles every
time you wanted to change a color! Then Dicksie started the process of adding technology to the order process by buying a new fancy
machine called a "fax machine" where customers could send orders over without mailing them via USPS!
In 1994 Dicksie Callen turned the contract business over to her son Andrew Callen to pursue a new career in health care. 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. We built a new database to manage orders efficiently
and bought a few new machines. Soon, we were shipping 100 orders per week with 15 employees and 2 shifts.
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.
Custom Managed Stores
In 2000 we developed a way for our clients to sell/procure apparel with their logo in custom online stores. We created a base catalog, ordering
system and production processing system that would allow us to produce a single unit order profitably on-demand. Some of our early clients were
NetJets, FalconJet and a few others in the corporate aircraft business. We progressed into large Non-Profits like the Nature Conservancy, World
Wildlife Fund (WWF), Outward Bound and Audubon. The company expanded quickly and we fostered most of these relationships for 5-7 years. The
difficulty was the long sales process, clients afraid of security embedding our store in their site and the program managers we started with moving
on in their careers. So we decided to move on….as explained in our Boston Business Journal article
A Change in Direction
In 2005 we noticed CustomInk was letting customers design their own printed logo online for screen printing with some success. We decided to
develop one specifically for embroidery and got it patented: US Patent 8,069,091
In early 2006, the company began to offer printed apparel online as well. 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"!
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.
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.
Continued Innovation for Improved Quality and Service
We recently launched the initial phases of offering a true custom catalog where customers may view all products in the catalog with their
own logo proofed on every garment. This is a customer experience that has not been matched by any company offering embroidery. This eliminates
proofing and versioning because the customer sees every possibility instantaneously. They view a real embroidered design on every garment and every
color for the best shopping experience. And, most importantly it eliminates forever the need for any customer to explain (in words) what they
want their logo’d apparel to look like….they can just order visually….the way it should be done.
Director of Worldwide Shipping Operations
I think the reason for this timeline and the detailed explanation of our stages is to partially tell our story (mistakes and successes) but also
convey that we pride ourselves in always innovating to improve efficiencies and quality but also our service to customers. We never lost sight that
we were some technology company like VistaPrint that talks all about their revolutionary technology but how we use technology to provide better
service. We have the best customer service team in the business by far and a lot of our upgrades in the past couple years was to help them help our
customers. We have a very personal relationship with our customers and find that not only supports us in business but gives us the passion to provide
the best embroidered and printed apparel every day. Thank you for your consideration.