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Brookfield Promotional Products Business Draws Success

Thirty years ago, newly immigrated Martin Allen could be excused if he confused the Americanized version of soccer with the popular sport known in his native Great Britain as football. Today, however, he makes it his business to know his adopted country's spectator sports. Since May of 2003, Martin and his wife, Jean, have been franchise co-owners of Brookfield's EmbroidMe, a full-service embroidery, promotional products, personalized gift and printed apparel company that offerse an extensive line of athletic attire for a variety of sports. "When my wife and I became empty-nesters and I decided to stop traveling, we looked to invest in a franchise that was operational from day one and would be a good fit for our particular skills and interests," said Martin, who previously worked as an engineer for several years at Johnson Controls facilities in England, the Middle East and San Francisco and at their headquarters in Glendale. "My wife had a background working with material, embroidering, sewing and knitting, and I have experience in marketing, trade shows and events, so EmbroidMe was a good fit for us." The Allens' store specializes in embroidery, garment printing and specialty advertising for small businesses, large corporations and individuals on anything from coffee mugs and pens to key chains and stadium cushions. Its customers include numerous local elementary schools, both the Wauwatosa and Brookfield fire departments, and the Southeast Wisconsin Pizza Hut chain. EmbroidMe weathered the economic downturn of the past two years and looks forward to a prosperous 2011. "We're fortunate in that our business fits many businesses' needs," said Martin, who employees a staff of three. "But everything revolves around customer service, and we go beyond what needs to be done in order to satisfy clients' needs and requirements." To place an online order with EmbroidMe, visit embroidme-brookfield.com. JUST THE FACTS BUSINESS: EmbroidMe ADDRESS: 2355B N. 124th St., Brookfield PHONE: (262) 787-5401 OWNER: Martin and Jean Allen OPENED: 2003 TYPE OF BUSINESS: embroiderer PEARLS OF WISDOM: "Get noticed."