Hector Leal and son Miguel are helping McAllen and the Valley be Fully Promoted.
EmbroidMe has changed its name to Fully Promoted. Do you know why? It’s actually pretty simple.
“The primary reason we changed our name is because people still think we just do embroidery,” manager Miguel Leal said.
Joining the four-year old EmbroidMe franchise in 2004, the McAllen branch became a family affair for Hector Leal and two of his three sons. Today, it’s Hector and son Miguel who carry on the family business and bring Hector’s dream of coming to America to become a success a reality.
Hector brought his family to the Valley in 1997 with one goal – to own his own business. Working in sales and management for a local company, Hector found an opportunity to open an EmbroidMe franchise in the Valley, and began following his plan of action.
“I remember it like it was yesterday: January of 2005,” said Miguel. “Dad was still working his last month with the other company when our new machinery with trainers came in. He relied on my mother, my brothers, and me to get it up and running. I was 17 at the time and didn’t know what I was doing.
“While we were in training, a customer came in who needed a vest embroidered. My brothers and I began telling them, ‘No, we’re not ready,’ when the corporate trainer said, ‘Yes, we’ll get it done for you!’ We did the job in 48 hours because we had nothing else to do.
I saw the gentleman about three years ago. We laughed together as I told him he was our first customer when we didn’t even know how to do anything.”
Starting with embroidery and promotional items, they realized that being stagnant rather than growing was not an option.
“We found we needed to evolve, to learn, to grow,” Miguel said. “As time progressed, our service had to expand. The market changed as our clientele began needing different things. We added heat transfers, vinyl, screen printing, and sublimation, a process when the ink integrates into the fabric.”
As they continued to incorporate new processes, they also added the ability to produce “direct to garment” items, where a photo or graphic can be imprinted right into the garment, employing a special printer which uses cloth instead of paper. Engraving and digital marketing solutions are two more options Fully Promoted now offers.
Attending the annual franchise convention every January in Las Vegas, Hector and Miguel join with the 300 worldwide store owners to learn from others and to study new ideas and products from manufacturers around the world.
“In our 13-year history, every single year we’ve added a service of some sort, which has culminated in our name change,” Miguel said. “We remain committed to our customers by continuing to grow, to change, and to be innovative for them. As my dad says, ‘If you’re not learning, you’re dying.’ The way we advance is to learn more about our industry every single day.”
Hector and Miguel feel confident in the five facets of their business they now offer.
Partnering with Rankology, search engine optimization (SEO) marketing experts, Fully Promoted has the ability to analyze a customer’s website, defining the weak spots, and identifying showing the areas that need to be fixed.
Lead Generation, helping their customers find customers, and providing print media such as business cards, post cards, and flyers are other facets the company offers.
Helping small businesses, like themselves, is one of the basic goals of Fully Promoted.
“It’s those people who are trying to grow their business,” said Miguel. Those are the people I help on a day-to-day basis, working to see their business grow. A lot of times it has nothing to do with our business. Sometimes it’s pointing them in the direction of the McAllen Chamber.
“I get a lot of people who come in wanting to start a business, to start their brand,” he said. “It doesn’t matter to us if a customer is an engineer, a hospital worker, or works in any other type of business. We can help them build their brands through our promotional products line and, help them with our other services.”
Hector and his sons have built the company he dreamed of so long ago. Attending conventions and building the company has been difficult, but the Leals have never been afraid of hard work.
As a matter of fact, they’ve added another facet to their business world.
Volunteering at Rio Grande Regional Hospital had been a family affair.
“My grandmother was a volunteer. All my brothers and myself, all my cousins, my mom and my grandpa were all volunteers,” Miguel said.
When the hospital gift shop was for sale, those years the family had volunteered came to mind and Hector jumped at the chance to own it. It seemed like the right thing to do – giving back for all they have received.
Starting with nothing and building his small enterprise, Hector Leal and his family believe in the commitment to family and community, learning and teaching as they go, sharing their knowledge to help McAllen, the Valley grow and be . . . Fully Promoted.