Starting with just a $300 embroidery machine, Patty Dickey has built a booming monogramming and embroidery business which has expanded its Statesboro location twice in the last four years.
Dickey opened the original Sew Much Fun in a kiosk in Savannah's Oglethorpe Mall in 2001. While commuting back and forth to Savannah, Dickey opened up a second location of the business in Statesboro's Woodlands Square shopping center in 2008. She sold the Oglethorpe Mall location in 2009.
"I was working in a local physician's office and piddling with embroidery on the side," Dickey said. "My aunt did it, and I became interested in it. I started to go to craft shows on the weekends, and began making enough money to leave my job and do this full time. I just love it."
Dickey's daughter Lacey Dickey has joined her mother as co-owner in the business which not only monograms and embroiders, but also carries a full line of products and baby items that can be monogrammed and embroidered.
"I started working with mom seven years ago in the store at Oglethorpe Mall," she said. "I took orders, and helped with decorating the store. A couple of years ago, I began helping mom with the monogramming, and I have really enjoyed it. I love working with my mother. We have a wonderful relationship, and we get along so well."
The Dickeys recently added 500 square feet to their operation, bringing the total square footage of the store to 1,500. Local realtor Marcia Parker leased the space to the Dickeys.
"I am just amazed at how their business has grown so quickly," Parker said. "They are always busy, and use every square foot in that store. They have done amazingly well. They are wonderful tenants."
Patty Dickey said she and her daughter strive to give the best possible customer service including same day turn around on the embroidery of items.
"No matter how late we may need to stay here at the store, we will," she said. "We strive very hard to keep the same day service. There are a few days out of the year when the volume is just too much, but those days are few and far between."
Beth Lamb has been a customer of Sew Much Fun since it opened in Statesboro.
"I like going into the store, because it is such a pleasant atmosphere, and they are able to accommodate my needs," she said. "When I call them on the phone, and tell them what I want, they always have it ready when I get there. They are just wonderful."
Angie Lee feels the same way about the customer service that she receives.
"They do exactly what they tell you they are going to do," Lee said. "The quality and service is outstanding. I do take some items in to be monogrammed, but mostly I just buy what I need there. They have a lot of items that appeal to college students, and they have a large baby line that I buy from for showers."
Patty Dickey said they are able to embroider any item that can be "wadded" up in her hands.
"We do apply vinyl lettering to plastic items, but if it is going to be sewn, it has to be an item that is pliable or we cannot get it into the machines that we use," she said. "People will bring in items on occasion that we just aren't able to do, but that is pretty rare."
Dickey stresses that anyone can bring anything in to be embroidered. The item does not have to be purchased in the store.
"We are happy to embroider just about anything," she said. "But, we do have one rule that we instituted after embroidering something that a customer brought in. We will not embroider any underwear, unless it is brand new, never worn. I will just leave it at that."