From the Big Country to Beyond: Cisco Business Owner's Key to Success

Based in an unassuming building on Conrad Hilton Boulevard in Cisco, Southwest Emblem's business extends well past the Big Country -- and it all started with a small shop and a big dream.

"We ship all over the United States and to some foreign countries," said founder Eris Ritchie.

In fact, the company supplies pins, patches and academic medals to thousands of universities and schools in Texas, across the country and around the world.

Established nearly six decades ago by Ritchie, at first in his home, the business creates products for everything from music to academics.

"The business grew steadily on up to the 80s and it's been good," said Ritchie. "Honestly, it's gone down some with the economy I think."

Ritchie said his passion began while he was the band director at Cisco Public Schools.

"All of that time, for about sixteen years, I was identifying a niche business that I thought could be profitable."

Ritchie credits his success to finding that niche market and going from there.

But like any smart businessman will tell you, that's not all it takes.

"Being friendly with people, having a one-on-one relationships with the customers, and valuing that relationship."

For Eris Ritchie, the threads of success are tightly wound.

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