Everyone has a favorite T-shirt. Maybe it’s from a band they love, or speaks personally to them, or is just extremely comfortable. For many, some of the best clothes are ones they had the chance to custom order. To help out with that, a new business for the Watertown Area Chamber is ready: Jennabell’s Custom Apparel and Gifts. And they make much more than just T-shirts.

“My mom got me into embroidery and I recently turned my embroidery hobby into a small business called Jennabell’s Custom Apparel and Gifts,” said Jenny Nace, owner of Jennabell’s. “As a child growing up, my nickname was Jennabell so that’s where the business name came from.”

Nace has been a Mayer resident for 17 years. Growing up in St. Bonifacius and graduating from Waconia, she knows Carver County. Because she loved embroidery, she often made gifts and various crafts for friends and neighbors. Realizing there was a gap in the market for custom embroidery, and at the encouragement of family and friends, Nace got to work on creating a business based on her hobby in March of this year.

As one of the few embroidery businesses in the area, demand quickly “took off” according to Nace. Seeing that demand was high for custom work like hers, she expanded options by adding in heat-transfer vinyl. That addition allowed Nace to meet a lot of other requests, such as birthday shirts, jerseys for town teams, camp shirts, and much more.

As for embroidery, Nace has more planned than just shirts.

“I recently added a commercial embroidery machine to my business to be able to expand my embroidery options to include items like hats,” she said. “I want to continue to add more as my business continues to grow. The next service I want to add is Screen Printing.”

She also works with requests, such as personalized bath towels. She also embroiders kitchen towels, burp cloths, and Christmas decorations. One of her most popular items are actually her embroidered white cross ornaments. These are given for all kinds of events, and they can be easily customized for the person receiving the gifts or being celebrated. Baptismal clothes are also a popular item. Nace also recently partnered with Hustle and Heart Sports in Waconia, selling custom gear.

And there’s no sign of the business slowing down, with demand and creativity. With the apparel end of Jennabell’s covered, Nace is getting to work on the “gifts”. One option she’s currently playing with is custom mugs, which is a great place to start. She plans to bring her love of quality to any new projects as well.

“I am a perfectionist and I strive for the absolute best quality,” Nace said. “ I have already been to some training down in El Paso, Texas and have plans to attend additional training in August.”

For now, Nace runs Jennabell’s from her home by herself. In terms of future goals, while Nace would like to keep it small, a store front close to home would be ideal. However, she’s happy with her current set up, and will change and adapt as needed. For anyone who wants to visit Jennabell’s, the best way to do so now is to go to the Facebook page or the website, www.jennabells.com to see examples of Nace’s work.

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