A digitizer who turns ideas into reality at Coloreel
Mickaela Gustafsson, a digitizer and embroidery operator at Coloreel, represents a new era of change-makers who will transform the embroidery industry. What is her passion and what is it that she loves most about her job? Here's her story.
How did your journey with Coloreel start?
It all started with a phone call. I worked as a seamstress, making masks during the pandemic at ACG and had no idea that my coworkers had recommended me to Coloreel. They were scouting for new talents and my name came up. I must admit, I hadn't even heard of Coloreel before I was headhunted for the job offer. When I googled Coloreel I was intrigued, what an exciting company. An interesting product aiming for the future of embroidery. I wanted to join their journey towards more sustainable embroideries.
What was your first impression of Coloreel?
One word: a big WOW! It was exciting and thrilling. I remember when I was introduced to the Coloreel unit. My first thought was; "Gosh, am I going to be the one using this cool new thing?". I started with loads of different embroideries to try out the technology, it was so much fun seeing the result, it's incredible.
What is it that you do at Coloreel?
As a digitizer I produce the embroidery designs for our clients, making sure the stitches will have the perfect match for the design. First I worked at our R&D department, with a focus on testing our units. Now I'm in the Design and Marketing department, inspiring our clients by showing the limitless possibilities that are being offered. I design examples for them to enjoy, look, and feel. I love to challenge our technology and the design software, to see what can be performed, and to think outside the box.
What’s your favorite thing about your job?
It is so much fun, I get to do something new every single day. I love to grow and to be challenged, and here at Coloreel, I get to learn new things every day. A nice workplace where no ideas are bad ideas. We are encouraged to express our insights and ideas and to think freely.
Your passion is design and embroidery, why is that?
My favorite class in school was what we call "syslöjd" in Swedish, textile crafts. My teacher got frustrated with me because I always wanted to do more advanced and challenging crafts than what was planned for the class. I loved it! I recently found out that I am not the only one in my family with a passion for textiles, my grandmother has worked as a seamstress, and my grandmother's mother on my father's side made clothes for the family and worked at a Sewing factory. It is no surprise that I graduated as a Garment Technical Designer.
What are your superpowers?
My creativity, innovation, and my passion for technology. I love to solve problems, to find solutions to challenges that are being met in the designs. Finding new ways forward, seeing solutions that have never been done before.
What are your favorite motifs to design?
Flowers of all sizes and colors. There is so much structure in the colors, and they are beautiful to design.
What do you think are the major advantages of Coloreel vs. traditional embroidery?
Embroidery is a craft that has been along for so many years, Coloreel brings it into the future with a sustainable solution for the thread. There are no limits to the design, you can use gradients, color effects, and even striped colors - the creations can come to life. Coloreel is challenging the traditional embroidery industry and I can't wait for what's around the corner.
How do you see that Coloreel support reducing the environmental impact of the textile industry?
Coloreel means transformation and change. Coloreel technology leads to change, thinking ahead. It is time for an upgrade of the industry. Coloreel is revolutionizing the sustainability aspect of the textile industry, using one thread with instant coloring instead of i.e. using 10 different thread spools to get a similar gradient and effect. It all comes down to the thread. Just think about how much water we can save, which is normally a high waste in traditional embroidery coloring. Our Coloreel unit instantly colors the thread, using only one reel, which also reduces the number of spools. A thread spool is a fresh produce with an expiration date, so we are also reducing the need to throw away spools that haven't been used.
Where do you see Coloreel’s technology being used in the future?
I think we've only seen the beginning of the transformation Coloreel technology is contributing to the industry. In every item that has a thread - Coloreel can enhance the sustainability of the production by reducing the coloring waste. There is such great potential.
Japanese Illustrator Hitomi Morita was challenged to create a collection of t-shirt designs that showcased the strengths of today's leading embellishment technology with Coloreel’s instant thread coloring technology and Ricoh’s Ri-2000 DTG printer system.
Coloreel visited customer Shirtful at their main production facility in Castrop-Rauxel, Germany where they currently have Coloreel in operation.
We checked in with Joakim Staberg, the founder, and inventor behind the groundbreaking technology that is now elevating the textile industry to the next level. The journey of Coloreel started many years ago when Joakim had a revelation.