In our latest interview, New York Embroidery Studio (NYES) shares insights into how its transition to digital marketing and effective networking in the bustling city of New York has shaped its business.
From managing social media to fostering industry connections, NYES' Social Media Manager Chih-lan Chang discusses the pivotal role these elements play in the success of a modern U.S. design studio.
Passionate about bringing creativity to life in the world of fashion, Chang is currently serving as the Social Media Manager at New York Embroidery Studio (NYES). Graduated from New York University and with a diverse background that includes a CRM agency, gallery and securities company, Chang brings a unique blend of skills and experience to fashion marketing.
DesignRush: Can you please introduce us to your work at New York Embroidery Studio (NYES)?
Chang: I am a social media manager at NYES — a full-service surface design studio and manufacturing facility with more capabilities than any other factory of its kind in New York City. The services we offer include diverse techniques besides embroidery, for example, trimming, printing and laser cutting.
My job as a social media manager connects our work with the public.
Since NYES mainly deals with B2B projects, sometimes it's difficult to show the public how we make those delicate patterns. Thus, it is important and necessary to properly manage and utilize social media as a bridge to tell the brand story and elevate brand awareness.
I am also responsible for the outreach.
Within the fashion industry, people rely on each other to obtain mutual success and improvement, the connections between each other are interwoven, and one delicate piece will involve efforts and handcraft from different parties.
In our new social media project, we reach out to designers in NYC to invite them for an interview format collaboration to discuss their business, design styles and vision toward the future of fashion.
In this way, we want to promote both parties and help with social commitment.
NYES has evolved from door-to-door sales to leveraging word-of-mouth and social media. Can you talk about what that transition meant for the company?
The traditional sales model is a time-honored method of selling products and services directly to potential customers by personally visiting their homes. It requires time and effort and depends more on the communication skills of the salesperson instead of how valuable a brand is.
For NYES as a fashion design atelier, we have been through the transition stage to a modern design studio.
In the past, we relied on calling our customers to inquire about their needs and tried to sell our service, which is time-consuming and unstable.
As we moved on to digital marketing, utilizing CRM platforms to integrate all our business units, things became easier, and this transition completely changed our business model.
Clients submit a job, and we collect our orders online and the whole process takes place automatically, which means we only need to deal with the discussion part and not worry about informing our clients about any job status.
The CRM system records every job, so it's easy for us to organize and revise.
How has the use of social media transformed NYES' client engagement and business outreach?
NYES has been using multiple social media platforms for different purposes. We mostly use Instagram and TikTok to post our work and share it with people who aren't familiar with it.
The biggest change is that in the past without social media, only people in this industry or those who are familiar with embroidery services would acknowledge what we do.
Now, with the fast spread of information, everyone can have a look at how the garments are done and how fascinating those techniques are. We are also willing to share what we have and let more people know about embroidery and the projects we have done.
Meanwhile, Pinterest is one of the platforms we use to share our delicate swatches and techniques. We regularly upload the swatches we have, including laser, appliqué and pleating.
Designers seeking inspiration can browse through our Pinterest boards for creative patterns and this is helpful in a broad sense, which means we share ideas, and help others in the industry.
Outreach is always hard for businesses. We don’t want to be too aggressive, but we need to do something.
Since our founder Michelle Feinberg already has so many connections within the industry, we try to maintain a good relationship with brands and reach out to designers who deserve a chance to gain more exposure by collaborating on their projects.
We use a CRM to send bulk email campaigns concerning our new techniques and campaigns. We also send out messages on LinkedIn to try to seek more partnership opportunities.
What lessons have you learned in this journey from traditional to digital marketing?
The ability to collect, analyze and interpret data is a crucial skill. This journey taught us to make informed decisions based on metrics, user behavior and analytics.
Understanding KPIs becomes fundamental for optimizing strategies and achieving measurable results.
Digital marketing involves leveraging various channels, from social media and email marketing to content creation and search engine optimization.
Over time, we learned the importance of a cohesive and integrated approach across these channels.
In the context of NYES' brand development, how crucial is participation in major events like the Met Gala?
Events like the Met Gala and Fashion Week are a thing for everyone.
For us, they represent a chance to prove our quality skills and maintain brand awareness. Since it requires a lot of work to prepare for those big events, we need to arrange our schedule in advance to make sure we can deliver our work on time.
Dealing with Fashion Week and other projects of this level can be stressful because of time constrictions.
We receive different fabrics daily, and they can easily get lost without careful management. Drafting a schedule for daily tasks and weekly tasks helps a lot with the plan and can reduce the time going back and forth.
NYES has ventured into creating costumes for major TV shows in the U.S. Can you elaborate on how these partnerships helped you expand into the entertainment industry?
Through industry events, conferences and social gatherings, we have the opportunity to connect with potential partners and establish a relationship that goes beyond transactional.
Strong relations form the basis for special partnerships, fostering trust and a shared commitment to success.
The embroidery world is colorful and diverse, so it's our pleasure to see how the threads become a finished delicate item.
Trust is a crucial element in any partnership.
Networking allows individuals to cultivate trust and credibility within their professional circles. As professionals interact consistently, they can demonstrate their reliability, integrity and commitment to shared success, making it more likely for potential partners to consider collaboration.
What are your top tips for networking in the digital age?
Leverage social media to connect with professionals in your field. Follow relevant companies, join industry-related conversations and engage thoughtfully with posts.
When engaging with others online, show genuine interest in their work and achievements. Comment on their posts, share their content and congratulate them on milestones.
Authenticity in your interactions helps build trust and strengthens your professional connections.
Take advantage of virtual events, webinars and online conferences. These platforms provide opportunities to connect with industry experts, peers and potential collaborators. Participate actively in Q&A sessions and use chat features to engage with other attendees.
How has the implementation of a CRM tool transformed your overall efficiency?
Utilizing a CRM was a big change for us because we had to digitalize everything, learn to use new systems and adapt to them.
Starting from job submissions, we started to ask our clients to use the job submission form to launch their projects while we update information on our end.
We now can record all our contacts in a CRM, which makes it more convenient to organize connections and group them with different tags.
Email marketing has become easier, as we don’t need to knock on the door to promote the business as a single campaign solves the issue.
All we need is a strategy to continuously improve based on the data we have.
Do you agree that success is about being in the right place at the right time?
While being in the right place at the right time can provide initial advantages, long-term success is often rooted in a combination of strategic planning, continuous improvement and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.
Business success is a dynamic process that requires ongoing effort, innovation and a keen understanding of the market and customer needs.
Gauging and implementing success requires defining success metrics, regularly assessing, reviewing and revising strategies, adapting to market trends, valuing customer feedback and good financial management.
There are many ways to define success within a business. However, the simplest way to explain them would be by achieving sustained growth.
When do you know it’s time to set the trends and when to follow them?
In the fashion industry, balancing innovation with responsiveness to market dynamics is crucial.
Some brands are known for pushing boundaries and setting trends, while others thrive by quickly adapting and interpreting popular styles.
The key is to understand brand identity, customer base and the competitive landscape to make informed decisions about setting or following trends.
We are not in the place to set trends, but we have the opportunity to see trends being created.
Being in the industry for more than 20 years, NYES has been involved in many big events such as Met Gala and New York Fashion Week.
Following trends helps you to stay in motion, but in the industry with more topics about sustainability and biomaterials coming up, people also need to consider the ethical side.