CH Holderby and Decsource in Seattle

C.H. Holderby and Decosource

In 1977 Decosource and CH. Holderby introduced the first multi-head embroidery machines into the Northwest.

The Japanese Tajima company had orders from Decosource and no one to do installation and service. CH Holderby and Ernie Allen to the rescue.

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Ernie Allen

Ernie Ernie Allen the owner of CH Holderby was a master sewing machine mechanic.  He is one of these individuals if you took apart a watch he could put it back together. This was the type of company Decosource needed to be aligned with. When Decosource purchased its first machine they knew nothing about how to maintain and repair the new embroidery equipment.

This was a major investment and they needed a partner. Decosource was so lucky to meet with Ernie Allen forming a partnership that has lasted close to forty years.

In the first six months of operation and startup Ernie was at Decosource weekly sometimes daily. They never received a bill for any work Ernie did. They did receive bills when Ernie’s technicians were on site.

This was CH Holderby’s marketing program.

They killed us with outstanding service. We couldn’t have survived without Ernie Allen.

The rest of the story is that Decosource bought more machines from  Ernie and so did everyone else. As Decosource grew so did CH Holderby. They became the west coast distributor for the Tajima and as the embroidery business grew so did CH Holderby. This was a sewing machine mechanic’s dream come thew.

Decosource bought over three million dollars of embroidery equipment over this period of time. I can’t imagine how many machines were sold in the Las Angeles area alone.

But what happened when Ernie became too successful?

The Japanese decided they needed to consolidate and bring these customers into the parent’s fold. It was a one sided decision and the person who introduced Tajima to the west coast was forced to sell out.

Author: Jim Mickelson

Jim Mickelson is the pioneer in the custom apparel industry since 1977. Jim is the CEO of NW Custom Apparel and Decosource and writes for industry blogs and trade journals throughout the world. Jim's work has been published in Impressions and Prntwear magazines. Jim is available for onsite consulting services when his schedule permits.

4 thoughts on “CH Holderby and Decsource in Seattle”

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    US A Inc

    Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc.

    Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc. is the North American Toyota sales, marketing, and distribution subsidiary devoted to the U.S. market. Founded in 1957 in California, TMS currently employs more than 6,500 people. Its current headquarters i…


    Founded: 1957
    CEOs: James Lentz · Jim Lentz
    Founder: Kiichiro Toyoda
    Headquarters: Torrance, CA
    ** all cars built in USA are sold by this company in Torrance; you should fly to Torrance and get your foot in the door; T0yota is very big; all employees wear decorated apparel; all factories have a “store” to get apparel, they need printed tees, caps, etc.; you are in their system many times!

  2. look @ “Toyota careers” , you can see how big this company is; look @ OPS brochure PDF, look @ operations map, look at fast facts; if you look under “Toyota careers” you can spend a lot of time reading info about Toyota; and see if you can get your own application into their system via TALEO; Toyota is freak in huge, 11 factories in USA; they need apparel and caps and tees and ASI products

  3. maybe my suspicion is correct; jim is not the great businessman he thinks he is; maybe he just actually married into a lot of $$ and flaunts his cash to give impression he is “highly intelligent” , an option foe me could be to hang around Princeton for 1 more year, work @ PIC or at Vuteq, and take course @ Oakland city university with my second job being “opening accounts” for Erik around Evansville; just hang around here for 1 more year, I am in quandary as I hate living in this house but my mother is 83 years old; If I depart, it may break her heart, she has already had 2 heart attacks, and I am sure I attributed to her problems !

  4. like George Steinbrenner for example; Jim thinks he is George Steinbrenner; but after 40 years; all of jims employees could fit in one dugout @ Yankee stadium; 25 workers after 40 years in business is LAME ; and maybe Jim ran both me and Brian out of his business so he could protect his inheritance

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