Park City entrepreneur stitches together a passion
It all started with one machine that Hubie Rosch didn’t even know how to use.
About 10 years ago, Rosch sold the copy and printing shop — Copy Depot — he and his wife had owned for several years. He tested out the waters of retirement, but quickly found, however, that he was yearning for another project.
"I was trying to think, ‘OK, what am I going to do with the next phase of my life?’" he said.
It wasn’t long before he noticed a curious trend. Everyone in town, it seemed, was wearing embroidered hats or screen-printed T-shirts. Perhaps there was something to this. He investigated and found there were no embroidery shops in Park City. A lifetime entrepreneur, he sensed an opportunity.
So he dove in and bought a single-head embroidery machine. The only problem was he had no idea how to operate it. He had to fly to Arizona for a training course to learn the basics. When he returned home, he started accepting small orders, determined to hone his new craft but harboring few expectations.
"I plugged it in and didn’t even know how to turn it on until I went to Arizona," he said.
Nearly eight years later, Rosch is no longer a beginner. And his company, ACME Threadware, is no longer simply him by himself, laboring to get orders exactly right. A few years after opening, Rosch began hiring employees and expanded his services to offer screen printing and, eventually, digital fabric printing — he also bought a four-headed embroidery machine to supplement the single-headed original that started it all.
The company has grown so large, in fact, that Rosch was recently forced to move it into a new building. He opened the new location at 6400 N. Pace Frontage Road, in the Silver Creek Business Park, in December, and already he is anticipating having to move again in a few years.
Rosch admits to being amazed by the success.
"This was just kind of my semi-retirement, something to mess around with, like, ‘Hey, this will be fun to do a few things here and there and make a few bucks,’" he said. "I’m an entrepreneur and always have been, so having it grow has been fun. But when I bought that first machine, I had no idea what it would become."
He is also pleased that ACME Threadware has become an integral part of the community. Everyone from sports organizations in the area, such as high school club teams and little league baseball teams, to local government departments uses the company for custom-made embroidery or screen printing.
"This town is really great," said Rosch, who has lived in Park City for 29 years. "Because almost all of our advertising — I’d say 99 percent — is word of mouth. We don’t advertise in the paper or on the radio. People have found us and spread the word. This town is good that way. If you’re doing a good job, you’ll get a lot of business."
As well as enjoying his business success, the craft has become a passion for Rosch. Though he never expected the company to become as big as it is, he now devotes much of his life to it, and learning the intricacies of the trade has been fulfilling.
Rosch does not anticipate growing weary of it anytime soon. Owning a business can be a stressful and all-consuming commitment, but he enjoys the challenge that each day brings, when customers come in, invariably asking for something different than what he did the day before.
"I always say ‘yes,’ to customers no matter what they want and it drives my wife, Chris, crazy," he said. "She’ll say after they leave, ‘How are you going to do it?’ I’ll say, ‘I don’t know, but I’ve got two days to get it done.’ It’s exciting to do it that way and it’s fun. I don’t just want to do the same thing every day."
For more information on ACME Threadware, visit acmethread.net.
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Another ski season is in the books, and much to the relief of the restaurant industry, the outlook, like the weather, is looking sunny.