Like other stay-at-home Moms, Beth Bischel, a resident of Menlo Park since 1976, began to wonder what she’d do next when the youngest of her three daughters entered kindergarten at Oak Knoll.
“With the girls’ school schedule, I didn’t really want to work outside the home,” she recalls. “Then on a family vacation, I stumbled upon a machine that did embroidery. I’d always liked sewing and doing crafty type things, so we came home and bought my first machine. I called my business Nine Needles because the machine allows you to do nine colors at once without changing threads. I do all the work but rely on my husband to keep the machines in running order. I couldn’t operate without his help!”
Almost two decades after she started, Beth continues to be busy enough to work six to eight hours a day, completing orders for a mix of commercial and individual clients. “I’ve done a lot of work for Menlo-Atherton High School aquatics over the years,” she says. “I was PTA president there when my kids were at the school and knew a lot more people than I do now.
“Palo Alto Toy and Sport is my biggest client. I also get a lot of seasonal work, like people wanting to have Christmas stockings embroidered plus corporate end-of-year orders.”
Beth feels lucky to be able to run a successful home-based business that is somewhat unique. “There aren’t a lot of people who do what I do,” she says. “And I really enjoy it. People come to me with a need for something, and it feels good to help them and to be appreciated.”
Photo by Irene Searles