Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Sewing Revolution Of 2018

Throughout history there have been various revolutions that have helped to shape the world as we know it.   I am hoping that my grandiose self proclaimed Sewing Revolution is no different.  I just need all of you to get with me by stoking the revolutionary flames.  We can achieve this by embracing the revolution and spreading the art of quilting in whatever way suits us best.  Know that we are all in this together because I am only one person and I can’t be the only force behind what will hopefully be a game changer for the fabric industry.

People keep asking me, “Scott, what do you mean by this Sewing Revolution that you keep referencing?” I have a simple answer for that and it really isn’t about what I mean, but rather it is about how the Sewing Revolution is going to spread like wildfire.  It goes something like this (in no particular order):

  • I am going to keep giving away free sewing machines to those suffering through tragedies in their lives or those living through extremely challenging times.
  • I am going to continue to urge people to teach others how to sew and quilt.
  • I am going to try to convince people to get a new machine and give away their old one to someone that can’t afford one.
  • I am going to keep selling more fabric, of course.
  • I am going to continue to donate fabric to those who can’t afford it.
  • If you say it more and more, people will believe it more and more and then they will embrace it more and more and jump on the proverbial bandwagon with the rest of us.

  • I will keep talking about it until I am blue in the face and everyone else is talking about it also.  It is so easy to embrace because so many people love quilting and fabric.  They just need someone to stir the pot, and at this time that person is me.  Long story short, we cannot allow this great art to wither away and become a lost art.

With that, I ask consumers, shop owners, competitors, sewing machine company owners and everyone else in this great industry, “What is going to be your contribution to the Sewing Revolution?”  Let’s do this and let’s have fun doing it.

That is a good start to the Sewing Revolution 2018.  Why are you still sitting there?  We have a revolution to embrace.  Chop Chop!

Have a great December!

Sewing Revolution Scott

P.S.  In my effort to help the Sewing Revolution along, I am willing to offer people some misprinted fabric rejects that can be used for the sole purpose of teaching people to quilt (I have white on white western prints and I have a 36″ book panel with a typo).  Price would be 50 cent per yard plus freight and all proceeds would go to buying more sewing machines to give away.  Minimum would be 100 yards as these are on large rolls.  If interested, post a request in the comments and I will be in touch.  First come, first served,  while supplies last.

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: 45th Birthday Musings

Since I announced that my goal was to have given away 45 free sewing machines by my birthday on December 4, it is no secret that today is my birthday.  Deflated yeah.  Deflated happy birthday to me.  With that, here are some birthday musings to start off my 45th year on this planet and about my 14th year in the fabric industry.

  • Please don’t wish me Happy Birthday.
  • Please don’t surprise me with any cakes or people jumping out from behind doors.  I don’t want to have a heart attack and I hate surprises.  If I was 21, that would be another story….but I AM NOT 21, I am more than double that.  WAHH!

  • I am so happy to have handily surpassed my free sewing machine goals for 2017.  62 machines in about 3 months.  Not too shabby for a 45 year old.  Next year, I will give away at least 52 free sewing machines which means at least 1 machine per week.

  • Congrats to all 62 sewing machine recipients.  I look forward to receiving lots of photos from all of you showing me what you have created with your new EverSewn machine.

  • I am hopeful that, outside of the 62 machines that I gave away, there has been a lot of other transactional activity in the sewing machine market to promote my self-proclaimed Sewing Revolution.  I hope people are buying machines, sharing machines, trading up to better machines and giving their older machines to someone else especially someone in the younger generations.  The Sewing Revolution presupposes that the number of sewing machines sold will drastically rise next year.  You heard it here first.  We need to keep stoking the revolutionary flames….and of course everyone needs to buy more fabric from their local quilt shop too…wink, wink.

  • I am happy to report that many people have praised my sewing machine giveaway. It’s great to hear that they will now be loyal Jaftex fabric consumers due to our unselfishness and commitment to the fabric industry and the community at large.  Thank you for that as it is a great honor for which the Fortunoff family is very proud.
  • The second half of this year has been some adventure with the sewing machine giveaway.  I really want to say that it feels like I gave birth, but then I had second thoughts about all the trouble I would get in for saying something like that.  Oops.  Delete. Delete.  Refresh.  Refresh.  It’s a joke, get over it.

  • Please know that I have given myself the month of December off from giving away sewing machines.  I will resume my free sewing machine giveaway in January so please share my giveaway with anyone you think might be eligible.  Don’t forget that all requests need to be submitted by comment in the comments section of any one of my blogs.  So there is no urgency to get your requests in to me until January.  If you received a call from me already, but we never spoke, don’t worry because I will reach back out to you in January.
  •  If you submit a request and I ask you for your address and phone number, you will likely be getting a call from me from a 516 or 917 area code.  Please pick up the phone, it is me and not a telemarketer.  I usually call on the weekend and I do speak with every winner.

  • I still can’t believe I am 45.  Where did the time go?  How many freaking blogs can one guy write in a lifetime?  Those are my Monday mourning (sic) birthday musings.  Have a great week.

Wishing everyone a great December filled with lots of joy and happiness.

The Birthday Boy

P.S.  In lieu of gifts, please make donations to your charity of choice and feel good about it.

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Tales of a Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Our Team Rocked Schoolhouses!

I hate to tell it how it is, but I am going to.   All of the schoolhouses that the Studioe Fabrics & The Blank Quilting Corp. sponsored at quilt market rocked and I got to witness most of them.  Don’t take my word for it though, take it from all the people that stopped me to say how relevant and helpful our  sponsored schoolhouses (SH) were. “So much better than those SHs that become showcases for new lines, which is what schoolhouse is clearly NOT supposed to be,” said  one happy customer.  (Please note that where possible I linked the schoolhouse on Youtube so that you could witness this for yourself.)

I personally found our social media oriented classes to be the most useful.   I mean, who knew how important a PS was.   But seriously, I attained a lot of good information with supporting handouts as well as clear and concise instructions and explanations.   In particular, new Blank Quilting licensor, Hope Yoder did a great job explaining social media photography and how to market and sell more fabric.  Abby Glassenberg dazzled us about how to make your shop an Instagram shop and how to use email marketing.  And our own Vanessa Denniston, our social media guru, wowed everyone with a how to on Facebook advertising that was extremely thorough.

 

Outside of the social media realm, Pepper Cory discussed, explained and showed different blocks from well know quilters in the industry using Peppered Cottons.  This is part of her new RSVP/designer program.  Also, sales rep extraordinaire, Janice Pope, spoke eloquently about how to lift your dollars per square foot metric.  Finally, Tana Mueller of Western Denim and Dirt, a Blank Quilting licensor, explained different variations of applique.  This is our way of giving back to our business partners.  Thank you for your support.

In general, I must say that the SHs were very valuable and are a great reason for shop owners to come to market.  There is just so much to learn and there are lots of smart people teaching.   Maybe I will do a schoolhouse one day.   On what, I have no idea.   Any suggestions?

With all this being said, please give strong consideration to attending the next quilt market in May 2018 in Portland, Oregon.  It’s not too soon to start making plans.  Sometimes it pays to book early.   I am excited to travel to the west coast minus the long flight and time differential.   See you then.

Schoolhouse Scott

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Tales of a Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Results Are In

You remember when I did that April fools blog where I said I was fired from blogging by my dad and brother? I know that was so long ago, but I just found this blog and it makes me laugh and hope it makes you laugh too. I also don’t want to waste it.  Hopefully all my readers caught that it was an April’s Fools joke. Hopefully! Omg, is nobody reading my blogs anymore? Hello! I think I just heard a pin drop.

Did you hear that?

Anyway, to those who are still reading, at some point, I eluded to the fact that I didn’t really know if many people were reading my blogs. So you wouldn’t believe this. This is crazy. Nuts! There are actually more than 100 people reading my blog. Yes, well over 100. No freakin’ way. Actually, hold on a minute, it’s in the 1000s and not just like 1000, sometimes it’s 3000 or 4000 and more recently it is way more like 5k because of the free sewing machines that I am giving away to those in need. Omg, all for my crappy blog! I just can’t.  WTF? (F for fabric of course) I mean, how stupid is that moniker…Tales Of A Fourth…blah, blah, blah, dork?  Someone please rename my blog.  It takes five minutes for me to just type that nonsense in to the title bar and then I need to type in an actual title too.  How about some suggestions for a new moniker to replace Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive and be nice please?

This is hysterical though. Who knew? And who are all these readers? I think it is bots. Maybe it’s a conspiracy to make me think I am cool or people actually care about what I am saying.  Maybe it was the Clintons.   I hate to be political, but I couldn’t resist.  Or maybe it was the Russians.  I think the people of Word Press are messing with me and the stats are all lies.  Anyway, the internet is crazy.

Can someone please pinch me? Can someone please say something? Time for my loyal readers to come out from behind your fabric and sewing machines to say anything in the comments section. Pretty please already. We need to get all the cards out on the table here.

Anyway, I gotta go now before I die of laughter.  I think I am going to celebrate my blog fame. Want to join me for a little soirée?  Table for 5000. LOLOLOLO 😂.  Have a great week, a happy Thanksgiving and be thankful for being alive.  And most of all, thanks for following my blogs.

Cynical Scott

PS….I want to thank 2 amazing English professors from the University of Michigan: John Rubadeau and Eric (spacing on the last name right now, but he knows who he is). I also want to thank my law degree.   What a difference good teachers can make.

PSS….dad and bro will be giving me a raise real soon.

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: 2018…The Year Of The Sewing Machine

Happy Monday To All My Favorite People,

I am going to reveal a secret to all you shop owners out there.  Some may already know the secret, but others may not and I hope that this perhaps opens your eyes to new opportunities that will help to increase your profits and improve your business in 2018 and forward.

As you know, since the summer, I have been giving away free sewing machines to those facing difficult circumstances in their lives.  No doubt sewing relaxes people, helps to relieve stress and also distracts from stress.  All good things if you ask me.  If you take a closer look at the free sewing machine giveaway though, you could see that it might have some unintended positive effects on my business too.  Simply put: more sewing machines in circulation=more fabric used and sold.  The thing is that it doesn’t only help my companies, it helps our entire industry that we all need to thrive for many years to come.  My fifth generation of Fortunoffs surely needs it to thrive as they are going to need jobs in the not too distant future.

Jaftex 5G. My boys are the younger ones in the black jackets.

Allow me to compare razors to sewing machines to put my secret in to perspective. Companies that sell razors don’t get rich selling the razors.  They get rich selling the razor blades since not many people need razor blades without the razors.  With respect to sewing machines, not all sewers need sewing machines, but if they have a sewing machine, that should result in an increased demand for fabric since projects will get completed quicker and more frequently.  In other words, the more fabric machines that are in circulation, the higher the demand will be for fabrics too.  This is a win/win for everyone in our great fabric industry.  Not only that, but if you read my recent blog, this sewing machine growth will help to fuel my self-proclaimed SEWING REVOLUTION that I hopefully sparked  a little in my last blog post.   According to a recent survey that was revealed at quilt market, there is an estimated 7-10 million quilters in the US and there is no reason why that number shouldn’t explode with the help of increased sewing machine and fabric sales.

Now that I have established that the circulation of more machines equals more fabric sales, I must finally reveal the big secret.  My secret for success in 2018 is for shops that don’t carry machines to carefully revisit the possibility and logistics of starting to sell machines in their shop.  Please don’t be afraid to change and try something new because you may be very surprised at the results.  As I often say, change is good.  The advantage of doing this is that you now have an additional source of income with higher margin items and larger dollar sales.  Many shop owners that sell machines tell me that they couldn’t survive without the machines.  I know that isn’t the case for everyone, but bringing sewing machines in for sale could certainly help your shop to thrive in 2018 and forward.  Not only that, but if you sell more machines, you will sell more razor blades….ooops, I mean you will sell more fabric.  This all goes hand in hand and results in growth which we would all welcome.

I often use the quote from the movie Field Of Dreams, “If you build it, they will come.”  If you bring in the sewing machines, they will come and buy them and then they will come in and buy more fabric, more frequently.    However, before you run out and go crazy finding sewing machines to sell, I suggest that you do some thorough homework because this is a big decision and investment.  Contact a variety of sewing machine companies and find out the logistics of getting machines in your shop.  Contact at least 2-3 different companies so you could compare them and see which one offers you the best deal and which makes the most sense for you based on your specific needs.  Ask about specials and financing.  Reach out to another shop owner you know that carries machines and pick their brains.

You need to see if you have sufficient space for the machines.  If space is limited, you may want to consider smaller machines or work with a company that allows you to buy a couple machines at a time that will be replenished as you sell.  The thing is that the sewing machine companies want to sell the machines, so push them to get you the best deal possible for your circumstances.  My final word of caution is that you make sure that your financial position allows you to bring in sewing machines  because you don’t want to stretch yourself too thin and get yourself in a bind and put your entire business and family at risk.

Now that I got that out of the way, I am going to take it one step further and then wrap up.  Please consider attending the Vacuum & Sewing Trade Show & Convention (VDTA & SDTA) from March 24-26 at the Charlotte Convention center at 501 S. College Street, Charlotte, NC.  Click this link to learn more.  I will be attending this show for the second year in a row and I think it is worthwhile for you to poke around and learn about new opportunities.  Finally, not only might you consider bringing in sewing machines, but you may want to delve in to the possibility of carrying vacuums too.  You just never know!

Food For Thought…what do you think?

Sewing Machine Scott

PS…If you decide to add sewing machines to your shop, I would love to hear about it and I will certainly help to spread the word for you.

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Let’s Start A Sewing Revolution Together…..1 Machine At A Time

Happy Monday Friends,
I have been on such a high lately from giving away free sewing machines.  Who would’ve thought?  Not me!  I just called my shrink and told her to tear up my prescriptions because I think I am cured….for now that is. Anyway, to bring you up to speed on Scott’s Free Sewing Machines (SFSM), I have given away nearly 30 machines since the summer (that doesn’t include 7 for the Freedom House from my BFF) and I have vowed to give away 45 by my 45th birthday on December 4th and 50 by the end of the year.

Now that you are up to speed on the latest on my sewing machine adventure, I need to set the tone for this blog with a new trick that I just learned from my amazing social media guru, Vanessa Denniston.  So with that, please hit play on this Tracy Chapman video below where she’s Talkin’ ’bout A Revolution which is the same thing I am coincidentally talking about.

I just love that song.  Don’t you?  Doesn’t it get you pumped up to want to start a revolution and make something positive happen in this crazy world that we live in?  It sure has me pumped up and you all know very well that I am trying to make a little positive change in the world through sewing and fabric.

The thing with SFSM is that I am only one person.  I mean seriously, maybe I could give 100 machines away a year if I really put my mind to it.  And don’t get me wrong that I would welcome the opportunity, but there are only so many hours in the day and as you know….here it comes…..I am still NOT the president of giving away free sewing machines….yet.  I do smile every time I use that joke.  I hope you do too.

Ok Mr. Scott, how do you plan to start this so called SEWING REVOLUTION?  Here are some of my ideas:

  • What if you did the same thing that I am doing?  No, you don’t have to give away 50 machines a year, but what if you picked one person or maybe 5 people and bought them each a sewing machine.  It doesn’t have to be a $1000 machine, it just needs to be a basic starter machine like the EverSewn Maker 200 that I am giving away.  Reach out to local charities, schools, churches, etc. and find someone that needs a machine.  Give them the gift of a machine out of the kindness of your heart and because you  love of sewing and know what joy it brings you. It could be a complete and total random act of kindness.  If you can’t do it alone, find a couple friends and do it together and make it fun.  If you want to take it a step further, offer to mentor this lucky soul who is getting your amazing sewing machine gift.  Imagine the power of this.  Now we are talking about getting this SEWING REVOLUTION rolling!
Our SEWING REVOLUTION has LOVE in it!
  • Forget the ipods, clothing and crappy toys for Christmas, how about a sewing machine for your child, spouse, grandparent, wife, husband, what have you?  That is the gift that keeps on giving and moves us a step closer to the SEWING REVOLUTION!
  • Is your machine aged?  Have you been thinking about an upgrade to one of the newer high tech machines?  It is time to pull the trigger and go for it.  I am not one to spend other people’s money, so this is only if you can afford to do it.  If you do have the means, when you go to buy your new machine, see if the shop owner will tune up your old machine so that you could give it away to someone else in good condition.  Maybe they will throw that repair in as part of the deal if they know you are donating it to someone that can’t afford their own machine.  This can only help their business and help to fuel our ensuing SEWING REVOLUTION!
  • We need to get our schools to step up the Home EC situation.  And colleges need to offer more quilting and sewing classes.  This is an art that can’t become a lost art.  Fight for it!  Ask for it!  Speak up!  The SEWING REVOLUTION is gaining steam and it needs your help to keep advancing it further.

So those are a handful of my ideas that I have been tossing around.  What are your ideas?  Please share them and let’s light a fire under this SEWING REVOLUTION.  We need to share the joy of sewing with others and it all starts here with the SEWING REVOLUTION….one machine at a time.  Together we can do this because that is the nature of our amazing fabric industry.

All that being said, please watch a short video that I created at market about the Sewing Revolution.

Thanks for your time and contributions to the SEWING REVOLUTION!
xxoo
Sewing Revolution Scott
P.S.  Please go to this link on Facebook and become my friend on my Executive Page….. www.facebook.com/JaftexPresident

 

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Tales of a Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Big Macher Induction

Pepper Cory gives a hand to Hope Yoder as congrats to Hope’s introductory fabric line, Roses and Arrows with Blank Quilting Corp

Yup, you guessed it.   It’s a big macher induction at the quilt market. (Please refer to my big Macher blog if you don’t know what I am talking about).

It’s so cool to be in the presence of quilt industry royalty.   Today I asked big Macher number 1, Pepper Cory (left) to induct big Macher number 2 and here you have it in a Kodak moment.

I hope (no pun intended) you know who she is, but if not, allow me and Pepper to introduce you to Hope Yoder of Designs By Hope Yoder.   She is a new designer for the Blank Quilting Corp among other things. See more about those ‘other’ things here.  I am so excited to add her to our team.   Her new line, Roses and Arrows,  has been a hit at market. See the digital quilt of her design in the above photo.  This line ships in April, is offered by the bolt, in fat quarters and strips too.

In addition to this little Macher moment that I captured, I attended 2 school houses by Hope Yoder, who was helped by her bright daughter and right hand, Olivia.  The school houses were very helpful and I love Hope’s cute sense of humor and how adorable she is.  I am not sure all the attendees caught all her jokes, but I certainly enjoyed it and was definitely chuckling away in the back. My favorite thing of all about Hope is that she is a rainmacher (autocorrect is amazing, we just made up a word and I love it) and a doer.  She sets goals and makes things happen.   These are all great attributes and we should all aspire to do the same.   Without further ado, please welcome Hope to the Macher-ena.   You remember that Macerena song?  I couldn’t resist.  But seriously, please welcome Hope to our team and the land of big Macher.  I hope to work with Hope and Olivia for many years to come.  Thanks for all that you do and thanks to Pepper too!

Hopeful Scott

PS…I think I just drank my fourth bottle of $5 water in the hotel at Quilt Market.

PSS…several friends felt bad and offered to buy the water for me and I took them up on it.   It feels so much better when they pay.  Very refreshing.  Thanks!

 

 

 

Tales of a Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Interesting Evening

it is 1140 pm and there is so much noise outside from the World Series game just finishing. People are so rude.  Don’t they know I am trying to sleep bc I have a busy day tomorrow and an early breakfast.

I might as well share a story about my evening.   Tonight I had dinner with a lovely group of industry big machers. Not only that though, we had a very special surprise guest.  Could you guess who it was?

I had an amazing representative from The Freedom House, a place where kids are saved from human trafficking, join us for dinner.  She spoke so eloquently about the organization.  Let’s say there were lots of tears and emotions in the room.  Several dinner guests were figuring out ways to help this great cause. I even saw a guest give a cash donation.  Such kindness!   Thank you.   Anyway, I am reiterating my support for this great organization, even more so after the stories I heard tonight, and I hope you too can help.  Let me know if you want to do something….anything to help and I can get you details after I find out what they are in need of.  As I like to say, cash is king…if you could spare it.

Good night.   Make sure to visit me tomorrow at booth 2319.

ps.   Today I learned how important it was to put in a ps because for some reason everyone likes a good ps.

Pss.  If they like ps, they really must like pss.

Psss.  Not funny anymore.

Goodnight scott

ps.  I am so thirsty, but i just can’t get myself to buy the $5 bottle of water in my hotel room.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Quilt Market

Happy Monday Folks,

In anticipation of the Quilt Market in Houston, that begins later this week, I wanted to share some words of wisdom so we can all maximize the potential of Quilt Market.  As an industry, there is nothing we all need more than to have a successful show.  No matter how things play out, my team and I are going to keep a positive attitude, keep our heads up, have smiles on our faces and work as hard as we can to SELL FABRIC!

What we aren’t going to do is be Debbie Downers, bashing on what might be the weaknesses of market.  There is no more time for that anymore.  It is what it is.  Everyone, and I mean everyone attending market, needs to unite to maximize the potential of this show because our industry needs it badly and the people of Quilt’s Inc. need it too.  Not only that, but the people and city of Houston could certainly use our help through our patronage of local businesses.  Come on people, let’s get pumped up.  Stop the negativity and let’s make things happen.

Enough with my preaching.  I want to give some pointers on how we can make things run more smoothly to the benefit of everyone attending and working the show.  Here goes in no particular order:

  • Be mindful of your quilt market etiquette which would not be much different from your regular etiquette.  Don’t forget that many people are on the clock working and not there to mess around and be distracted.
  • Avoid interrupting people that are in the middle of meetings.  Yes, all customers are important, but the person sitting in front of me at any particular time with a proper appointment is my priority.  If you need me, there are plenty of other people at my company that can help you.  They can also take your business card so that I can get back to you asap.

  • Try to stick to your schedule and don’t over book.  In theory it is good to have big plans, but once that schedule starts to run late and fall apart, your day is totally screwed as are all the people that you have appointments with.  If you are running late for an appointment, communicate that with the person you had the appointment with so that they could use the time productively and not just linger waiting for you.

  • Keep in mind that everyone is under a lot of different stresses and pressures and everyone handles them differently.  Try not to add any undue stress to those working.
  • Be respectful of company booths.  Ask to take pictures.  Ask to touch.  Don’t leave your trash in the booth or candy wrappers on the floor.  Don’t linger over people that are working at the booth.  Don’t chat on your phone while people are working nearby.  It’s all about respect people which unfortunately seems to have been lost a little in this day and age of technology.  Common courtesy is critical and is greatly appreciated by all.

  • Smile.  Say hello.  Make eye contact.  Introduce yourself.  Don’t be afraid to say, “I am sorry, but I can’t remember your name.”  I love meeting new people and I love it when people come up to me and say hello.  I promise to welcome you with open arms as will the rest of my team at the Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp., the Henry Glass Fabrics, the A.E. Nathan and the Fabric Editions booths.
  • Don’t be insulted if I don’t remember you.  I probably remember your face, but maybe not your name or company.  Please understand that I meet tons of people every year and if I meet you at just one or two quilt markets a year, it isn’t easy to remember everyone as you might imagine.  It is nothing personal at all, so please don’t let it hurt your feelings.  With that being said, please make sure that your quilt market badges are facing in the right direction so that people can see your name clearly and no one has to be embarrassed.

To have your badge spun around makes it difficult, drives me crazy and makes the name badges useless.  Sometimes you will see me attempting to spin the badge around by waving my hands in a fan motion or trying to blow the badge around very subtly when the person isn’t looking.  That’s a joke, but make sure you badge is working for you and not against you.

  • Speaking of not being insulted, I can’t help myself from having a wandering eye at market as much as I try not to.  Don’t take this personally as you need to understand that I have a crew of people that I need to manage and make sure everyone is doing what they should be.  I try to stay focused, but sometimes I just can’t help myself.  Sorry in advance and thanks for understanding.
  • Be careful what you say and who you say it to.  Everyone knows everybody in our industry and you don’t want to embarrass yourself by saying something stupid to the wrong person.  As I like to say, “Loose lips sink ships.”

  • I suggest chatting random people up at market.  There are so many smart and knowledgeable people at market and you should certainly get to know them.  Usually when I grab lunch in the convention center, I try to sit with random people and stir up some conversation.  This is not a time to be shy.  What do you have to lose?  You just never know who you are going to meet and how meeting that person is going to change you or your business for the better.
  • Quilt Market is very conducive to an unhealthy and tiring lifestyle for a couple of days.  Make sure to take care of you.  Try and eat healthy.  Drink lots of water.  Don’t over drink alcohol.  Exercise. Get plenty of sleep.  Go out of the convention center and walk around the block.  Whatever it is, know that we all need a break and need to take care of our mind, body and soul to be able to work at full capacity.

  • Get involved.  Go to school houses.  Go to take and teaches.  Go to events at booths.  Make the best of this trip because there is so much to take in which can certainly help your business thrive.

I am sure there are lots more suggestions on how to make the market work for you, but these are the first ones that come to my mind and I am sticking to them.  I wish everyone attending market a safe trip and I look forward to seeing you very soon.  If you need me, I can be reached at scott@jaftex.com or 917 751 5487 and I am at booth #2319.  Now let’s have some fun and make this an awesome show for everyone and make sure all those that aren’t attending see all the greatness they are missing out on so maybe they will reconsider and in fact attend the next show.

Quilt Market Sage Scott

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Some New Bits ‘N’ Pieces

SCOTT’S FREE SEWING MACHINES (SFSM): 

Call me gullible.  Call me a sucker.  I always seem to give people the benefit of the doubt because it is just in my nature.  When my wife and I review all the SFSM requests, she laughs at me because I say “yes” to just about every single one.  Let’s call a spade a spade that someone could be a good liar and get a free machine from me if they really wanted one.  You know what, if they want it so bad, they could have it.  Such is life, but I just don’t think that the people I am dealing with are the types that would do anything like that.

As I give away the free sewing machines, I think everyone is still in a little bit of disbelief.   It’s funny when I speak to candidates on the phone to discuss their request and I say to them, “You will get this awesome and free EverSewn machine”, there is always a dead silence.  Then they say, “Seriously?”  I say, “Yes!  Seriously!”  Then I say, “Keep your eye out for the Fedex delivery person.  Talk to you later.”

You will be happy to know that I finally tracked down Linda Yarrow (thanks to a little help from a friend), one of my first SFSM winners. Recall that she is the one who is helping young girls, at The Freedom House in Conroe, Texas, who were rescued from the slave trade. Rather than sending a new Eversewn machine, I decided that they should get multiple machines since there are like 20-30 girls/women involved.

Anyway, if you remember, my good friend, Joanne Hubbard, bought a bunch of machines from a local school and fixed them up. She did some creative bargaining and bartering and the results were great.  In all, she ended up with 7 fully functioning machines.  These will ALL go to The Freedom House (see the photo she sent me of one box with machines and some fabric).  Joanne and I couldn’t be happier about trying to help these poor ladies. Perhaps this will give them hope….just a little or maybe a lot. But what if this changes their lives?  We will just have to wait and see…..and pray……and hope of course.

In addition to the machines, I have sent them a large, nearly 200 yard, roll of fabric.  I know this will go to good use and when they are done with it, I will send more.  On top of all that, I am going to make a donation of $1000 to The Freedom House.  This is not the end for me people of The Freedom House.  I am going to continue to be in touch with Linda and the people at this great organization because I am now compassionate about this cause. It’s like selecting winners for SFSM, I know it when I read it. Linda’s request hit a chord and piqued my concern in a big way. I am going to help them indefinitely.  Sometimes you just get that feeling and right now, I have that feeling.  You ladies can count on me for years to come! Check out their website  or their Facebook page and try not to cry.

QUILT MARKET

As much as my audience probably wants to hear me say something about quilt market, I am going to withhold judgment until after and go with my new optimistic and HOPEFUL me.  Did you hear that collective sigh of relief?  I am hopeful that this Quilt Market is a true success for everyone.  Amen to that!

Speaking of market, please don’t be shy about setting up an appointment with me.  I always get the, “You are too busy nonsense or you are the President.”  I am there to work, so please email me to arrange an appointment as I am not above meeting with anybody…scott@jaftex.com or 800-294-9495 x 218.  I welcome the opportunity to work with existing customers and meet new customers as well.  Booth #2319.

A lot of people are intrigued by my SFSM project so I decided that I would block off 2 hours during the quilt market if people want to visit with me at Booth #2319 on Sunday from 10-12 (STUDIOE FABRICS) to discuss SFSM.  I will have one of the Eversewn machines at the booth if you want to check it out.  In addition, since a lot of people want to contribute in their own way, we can discuss other possibilities.  One suggestion on how you could help is by sharing fabric and sewing tools with some of the winners who really don’t have much if anything.  I am also open to any ideas that you may want to share.  I hope you can stop by to chat.  Thank you.

Just as I was wrapping up this blog post, I got an surprising email from my new friend Philipp Ueltschi of EverSewn.  He advised me that he would be donating 10 EverSewn Starter Kits to the next 10 SFSM winners.  How amazing and generous is that?  I can’t get over how so many people want to contribute to this great cause.  Anyway, if any of my readers are attending market, I urge you to go visit EverSewn at booth 734 & 735 to see all the great products they offer or just to go say hi to Philipp and thank him and his team for being an integral part of SFSM.  I think that would be very nice and I know that I plan to buy Philipp a drink….or 2 at market.

Have a great week.  12 days until schoolhouses and 13 days until the Quilt Market floor opens to visitors.

Scott

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