Dakota Bigos


At Our Personal Touch, Elaine Gilbert and her team have embroidered clothing for companies and individuals for nearly 35 years.

“I’ve had this business since 1983,” said Gilbert, the owner and operator. “We started it from scratch and built this business up.”

Gilbert grew up in Redmond and says her parents were a large part of why she became involved with embroidery.

“My dad was an upholsterer and my mom was a seamstress,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert and her mom had always wanted to be in business together, she said. When her parents told her about an embroidery machine they saw down in California, Gilbert was inspired.

Our Personal Touch continues to operate out of its original location on the corner of SW Black Butte Boulevard and SW Fourth Street. Gilbert’s father, Glenn, owned an upholstery shop next door. After Glenn’s passing, Gilbert expanded Our Personal Touch to include the space her father’s upholstery shop had occupied.

Gilbert works with her three employees, Colleen Hawkins, Linda Green and Kim Mathiason, to bring their clients’ designs to life.

“Our core is the embroidery,” Gilbert said. “We do a lot of work for the forest service, sheriff’s department and police and fire departments.”

Our Personal Touch embroiders a variety of items from blankets to flags. Its clients can either purchase an item from their shop to have embroidered or bring their own item in to be embroidered. Outerwear company The North Face recently gave Our Personal Touch approval to embroider and sell their brand.

“I love the creativity of it all,” said Hawkins, who handles headwear production.

After spending just a few minutes in their shop, it’s clear Gilbert and her team enjoy what they do.

“It’s very exciting to have things come in,” Gilbert said, “especially when people are starting their own business and they have an idea of what they want their logo to look like.”

The team maps out clients’ designs through a computer program which traces out each individual stitch that the embroidery machine will make. Gilbert says she loves her work and part of what she enjoys most is working with a variety of clients.

Our Personal Touch is a Central Oregon company but Gilbert said they have clients all over the country.

“We have clients in Hawaii that we send to. A lot of it is word of mouth,” Gilbert said.

In addition to their expansive clientele, Our Personal Touch works closely with the Redmond community. They embroider the names on the flags that fly downtown and also embroider items for FFA groups at the county fair.

“It’s really fun to see it materialize in front of their eyes. They just get very excited to see that their dream is coming true,” Gilbert said.

— Reporter: 541-548-2185, dbigos@redmondspokesman.com