It’s hard to find, even if you know where you’re looking. La Crete, Alberta, Canada is a small rural community of around 3,000 souls located in the upper reaches of the province - a good eight hour drive from the city of Edmonton.
La Crete is a friendly little community with a booming economy, but it’s not the kind of place you would expect to launch a highly successful embroidery and promotional products business. However, that’s exactly what Darrell and Tina Derksen, owners of EmbroidMe La Crete franchise have done. In a little over eight months, this hard working couple and their staff have raised the bar for EmbroidMe franchises everywhere with their amazing efforts.
In May of 2014, EmbroidMe LaCrete was presented the EmbroidMe Rookie of the Year Award as the best new EmbroidMe franchise in the world.Darrell and Tina also received the 2013 New Business of the Year Award from the La Crete and Area Chamber of Commerce.
The recognition is well deserved. Since opening their franchise location in June of 2013 Darrell and Tina have steadily grown their sales volumes to the point where their numbers stand amongst the top producers in the entire EmbroidMe worldwide network.
“For me, the awards were thanks to our customers and the community support we have received, and to the good job that everyone here has done,” stated Darrell. There are lots of factors that have contributed to the early success of EmbroidMe LaCrete, including an excellent location in a stand-alone building shared by Subway, one of only three restaurants in the town. Darrell and Tina are also well known in the community as long-time residents and owners of Magnetsigns La Crete, a highly successful portable sign rental business.
According to Darrell, the challenge was parlaying this community awareness into sales and he says the key has been providing outstanding customer service while operating with the highest level of integrity.
“To me that’s the most important thing that you can do and sometimes it is the hardest,” he says. “Even if it costs you some money, you have to go above and beyond to make sure you do the right thing.” Darrell says operating with integrity can mean redoing work that doesn’t meet the highest standards for quality or it can mean simply acting in a fair, open and honest manner. Of course, integrity goes hand in hand with hard work and there certainly has been a fair measure that invested in the business by both owners and staff. Darrell and Tina have done their best to create a real team culture, including providing incentives for reaching store targets. This team atmosphere has allowed them not only to generate enviable sales numbers but to also deal with the many challenges that come with starting any new business.