2008 Existing Business of the Year


  • Owner: Gavin and Kim Unruh
  • Nature of Business: Embroidery
  • City: Dodge City
  • County: Ford County
  • Phone: 620-227-3100
  • Business Structure: Franchise
  • Business Began: 2004
  • Employees: 5
  • KSBDC Consultant: Patricia Veesart

Secret to Success:

"Building a reputation as a business that has excellent customer service, quality products and competitive prices is key. Customer service comes first and with those standards, we have built strong business relationships." Gavin Unruh, Owner

Gavin & Kim Unruh were looking for a niche. The family farm was no longer meeting their financial needs and they wanted to be their own boss. They considered a number of options and what attracted them both was EmbroidMe, a franchise based in Florida with strong values and an excellent reputation. The franchise could help them understand the specifics of the business, but first they had to secure financing.

Their banker sent them to the GCCC KSBDC for assistance in writing a business plan and putting together financial projections. They worked together on the project using information from the franchise as well as local demographic information to help them believe the business could be viable in Southwest Kansas.

The best part of being an entrepreneur is encapsulated in a single word, freedom. They like knowing their time is used to help build their own business. They value the freedom to help others, either by providing products or by donating products or time to areas that make a difference in life. They also value the ability to provide their staff with jobs that are valuable and part of a team. They belong to "The Drovers of Dodge City" a group that promotes the community and welcomes tourists. They serve on the Convention & Visitors Bureau Advisory Board and the Advisory Board at DCHS which applies educational needs with the needs of the work world. They also serve on board of the Mariah Fund, an organization designed to promote tourism and preserve history in SW Kansas. Kim is also involved as a Youth Friend in the Cimarron Elementary School.

Over the five years they have been in business, they have achieved many notable awards within the EmbroidMe franchise. For the past four years they have served as a MENTOR store in their mentor program helping other stores as they face the challenges they faced. For the past three years they have been awarded the TOP QUALITY award, given to the top six stores out of over 450 stores. In 2008 they were awarded the President's Award, an award given to the top three franchises by the president for unselfish contributions to the franchise growth. For the past

Photo of Gavin and Kim Unruh

"The help that our KSBDC connection gave us was vital to our preparation to go to banks and seek the financing we needed. Helping us put together our financial projections gave us the credibility that made a difference when we met with the banker."
Kim Unruh, Owner