Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Who Will Be Selling For The New FreeSpirit?

I have been getting a lot of questions about who will be selling the FreeSpirit Fabrics when we close the deal later this month.  I 110% recognize the need for a wider distribution.  Being that I am in charge of the sales side of our businesses, this is my priority and I will be studying this closely as we progress.  In the meantime, outside of a few changes discussed below, I am going to observe and then act accordingly when the decision becomes crystal clear.  The sales tell a story and I will let them lead the way.

US & CANADIAN REPRESENTATION

The majority of the current multi-line reps will continue selling in the US and Canada.  A few have had their territory expanded.  The biggest change though is that Liz Dougherty, who was the only house rep for FreeSpirit, will be promoted to Domestic Sales Manager.  She will continue to rep the lines too in N.C. (new), S.C. (new) and K.Y. (existing).  There are 4 brand new reps. There may be 5 if we find a West Virginia rep.  In due time, we will make a proper announcement about the entire sales team, so stay tuned.

Please read this part very carefully as I don’t want anyone to misinterpret what I am saying.

I am giving the existing Blank Quilting & Studioe Fabrics sales reps the opportunity to sell a handful of the FreeSpirit lines, known as the Signature lines from here on out.  Just a handful.  For May it is 5 lines and July it looks like around 6.   To be clear, the multi-line reps will have everything including the Signature lines.

Hear me out now please:  The problem that I see is that there is so much focus in sales meetings on Kaffe & crew, Tula, Amy, Anna Maria, all of their basics, and a handful of others, that the multi-line reps just don’t have sufficient time to cover it all and all of their other companies lines and do every designer the justice they deserve.  You can argue and tell me I am wrong, but this is the reality, as far as I can see it, and I am a realist.  The bottom line is that I want to give all designers a fair chance to sell.

FAIR CHANCE

I am confident this is a strong plan of attack.  When you see your Blank/Studioe rep, they will be very clear about what they are offering you from FreeSpirit.  To repeat, they WILL NOT be carrying the entire FreeSpirit line, just the Signature lines as described above.  This arrangement is not changing so please do not inquire about having your Blank/Studioe rep carry the entire line.  That is absolutely NOT part of the plan.  Sorry in advance if this is a disappointment as this is just a calculated business plan and we are sticking with it.  Feel free to email scott@jaftex.com with any questions or concerns you may have about this subject matter.

US & INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTION

In the US, the only distributor continuing with the company will be Checker.  As for international, we are sticking with all the same overseas distributors.  Changes will be made as I see fit along the way.  I am hoping that with the changes that we implement that all distributors will be content and grow their businesses with our consistent support and methodical plan of action.  As mentioned in prior blogs, we are committed to getting FreeSpirit back on track and to making it one of the top fabric brands in our amazing industry.  Our goals are set!

If you haven’t heard, you should know that the sample cards for the newest lines will be shipped out the first week in May.  We are a month behind what used to be the regular FreeSpirit release schedule.  We anticipate that this will get right back on track before the end of the year.

Finally, I want to reiterate how excited my family and I are about this deal.  This is the deal of a lifetime and we consider ourselves to be very lucky that this business deal fell into our laps.  Everyone is working hard to cover all the bases and get the deal closed so we can best serve you, our valued customer.  We thank you for your patience during the transition as we all know it will take time for everything to be perfect.  From here on in, communication is critical, so if there is a problem, a concern, something on your mind, you need to make sure the proper people know including me.  You can always email me at scott@jaftex.com or call me at 800-294-9495 x 218.  There are no secrets anymore!

FreeSpirited & No Secrets Scott

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This is the sewing machine I give away for free. Please feel free to purchase one, and give it away too! Or Recommend it! Or love it!

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Good Things Come To Those Who Patiently Wait For The New FreeSpirit!

I love to hear all the chatter and optimism surrounding the Jaftex purchase of FreeSpirit.   On Facebook, I saw someone said, “Good things come to those who wait” and I couldn’t agree more with that statement.

My family is in this for the long haul.  We are studying all aspects of the business to see what can be improved, simplified and streamlined.  I spent a bunch of time reviewing the surveys, that Coats compiled in 2017, to read what shop owners had to say about the business.  The info was very insightful.  There were a few common themes that will be tackled first.

You will be happy to know that we are doing all we can to level the playing field on pricing and shipping.  This is so critical for such a well known and highly visible brand.  That being said, make sure your payments are up to date to avoid shipping interruptions from any of the Jaftex companies.  If you are in arrears, you don’t have a strong leg to stand on when bringing non-shipping complaints to our attention. Many people were asking for invoices, those will be emailed and attached to shipments when we take over.

We will have to address distribution as time goes on as it seems too many shops are not being well-served, when in fact they want to order FreeSpirit.  We can’t afford not to reach every person that wants to order.  We are not too good for anyone, trust me.  If need be, we will figure out other reasonable means to sell to those customers that aren’t getting enough attention.  Please let me know if you have this problem:  scott@jaftex.com.

ALSO, in the news:

  • We are going to have a brand new website.
  • We will have a dedicated shipping facility.
  • We are adding more inspections at the precut facilities to ensure top quality.
  • We are focused on keeping your favorite basics in stock.  In fact, we have loads of basics in process as we speak, if they aren’t already on the boat.
  • We have a full team of multi line reps assembled to cover all states, but for West Virginia.  Anyone?  Anyone?  Bueller?  (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off).
  • Domestic shipping will be faster as our international partners buy more fabrics directly from the overseas mills instead of buying from our US stock.
  • There will be plenty of inventory to cover regular orders so we can ship complete as often as possible.  We especially want to be stocked up when the line is initially shipped so everyone gets their proper allocation and no one is left in the dust.  We don’t want to mess up your planning whatsoever!

Some of the items being sold by the old FreeSpirit were being sold at below market prices.  Yeah, I know!  Sure Scott!  For example, everyone knows digital is more costly than regularly printed goods.  With that, we will be getting the digital pricing in line with the market.  The same goes for poplin lines.  Like digital, poplin is more expensive.  There are a couple other price changes, but in general we are not trying to fleece everyone with much higher prices across the board.  REMINDER:  We are providing you with a premium brand from world renowned designers and the overhead of maintaining such a stable of designers is not low.

The major transition and official takeover of FreeSpirit is quickly approaching.  I expect that everything should be wrapped up by May 1.  By the way, the company is now only known as FreeSpirit.  Short & sweet!

The next couple of months are going to be nothing short of crazy for my peeps.  Please please please be patient with both Coats and Jaftex.  Coats is still going to be shipping for themselves and then a little bit for us to keep things flowing.  Keep in mind that we have to move over 1000 pallets of fabric across the state.  Yes 1000 pallets!  (I will have to get some photos.)  We have to move everyone to a new office….over 20 people. We have to move and transfer all the technology.  We have to decorate and furnish the offices.  I can go on and on, but I am sure you get the drift.

It has been a pleasure to work with the Coats team.  Considering that the business was almost closed, everyone really rallied to turn it around.  I am very thankful to Coats and especially Keith Howard who is handling the lions share of the logistics for this deal.  I think Coats has acted very fairly, they have been fully respectful of the deal and extremely helpful in trying to do whatever it takes to maintain the reputation of this amazing brand.  You have no idea what a difference that makes.  Kudos to team Coats!

Looking ahead, you should expect to see the latest and greatest lines from FreeSpirit starting in early May.  We will have a major presence at market.  I am hopeful that you will come by to see the new lines and show your support of the resurrection of FreeSpirit.  Please contact your sales rep to set up an appointment at market.  If you don’t have a rep, please email me scott@jaftex.com and I will gladly help you out.

Let me wrap this up as it is getting very lengthy and I have hit on most of the major points.  Please know that there are a lot of moving parts with this deal.  We hope to have everything under control, but there are always surprises lurking.  Please hang in with us as best as you can knowing that the future looks very bright.  One word of advice:  it may not be the best time to over promise.  Tread with caution until everything is under control and I give you the green light message.

I can’t thank you all enough for your continued support and patronage!

xxoo

FreeSpirited Scott

P.S. ANNA Maria Horner and her conservatory is going to be hosting the premier school house at quilt market.  Hope to see you there.

P.S.S..…Here is where you can find my Executive Facebook page.

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This is the sewing machine I give away for free. Please feel free to purchase one, and give it away too! Or Recommend it! Or love it!

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Patience My Friends, Always!

I have been having a lot of crazy dreams lately and I think it is because the horrible shooting that occurred in Parkland Florida.  God bless all those that were murdered.  The most recent dream really blew my mind and freaked me out.  Ready?  Here goes.  Let me reiterate:   This is a dream.

As you hopefully know by now, I am giving away sewing machines to people down on their luck or struggling in life (broadly defined by me).  As I write this post, I probably have a pile of around 50-60 new requests for machines waiting to be reviewed and addressed.  I continue to work through the pile when I can, but this is a marathon and not a race.

So I am in my bed sleeping and dreaming.  Makes sense, right?  The setting of the dream is the Quilt Market in Portland.  By the way, please book your tickets for Quilt Market  ASAP. I digress.  So we are in the convention hall and everyone is doing their usual fabric selling stuff.  You know, a lot of touching and fondling of fabric.

Me personally, I am at the FreeSpirit booth with all my newest designer bffs. I mean, Kaffe is there, Tula, Amy, AnnaMaria, Brandon and the rest of the dream team.  Crazy that I met them in my dream before I met them in real life.  How ironic?

As we chat along, I am approached by a young woman who I didn’t know and had never seen before.  That woman asked if she could have a minute of my time.  I realized quickly that she didn’t realize I was talking to the royal family of FreeSpirit because she didn’t even look at them or acknowledge them.  How dare she?  LOL.   She was honed in on me.  I was thinking that it was probably just another one of my crazy superfans who wanted an autograph or selfie.  LOL AGAIN.

We step to the side and this young lady starts chatting me up about my sewing machine giveaway.  She was very familiar with it.  Out of nowhere the tone of the conversation dramatically changed and quickly.    The girl became enraged and I couldn’t figure out what got in to her.  She starts to flail her arms around in anger.  This is when the dream took a turn for the worse.   You may want to sit down.

She reaches in to her waistband in a very rapid movement.  Holy crapamole!  She’s got a freakin’ gun……at quilt market nonetheless.   Then she  blows me away with one shot to the heart.   Blood is gushing all over the beautiful and plush quilt market carpet and all the booths.  Here’s the best part,  someone is working hard with her team to clean up the mess.   I wonder what the dream interpreters would make of that.  Anyhow, love you. You rock!  I digress again.

It turns out that this young woman’s grandmother submitted a request to me for a free sewing machine.  In an email I wrote to her grandmother, the grandmother thought I was blowing off her request and I wouldn’t grant her a sewing machine for some reason….omg a total misunderstanding?  She misinterpreted an email that I wrote to her and thought she was out of the running and was super upset.   Hence the shooting.  The truth was, that in the email, I was just asking her for patience as I worked through the huge pile of requests. It turned out that her grandmother was next in line to get a machine.   How ironic!

The moral of the story is don’t bring guns to quilt market.  But seriously, don’t shoot me because then I can’t give away anymore machines.  No, no, no!  The real moral of the story is that after you submit a request for a sewing machine in the comments section of any of my blog posts, you need to be very patient with me.   A sign that you will likely get a machine or at least a call to discuss with me your predicament is when I ask you for your email and phone number.  That’s the tell.  Watch for it and wait.  No  need to keep checking in with me as I have a great system to run the giveaway and it’s been working great.

With that, I thank you all for your support of the free sewing machine giveaway and my self proclaimed sewing revolution #sewrevolution.   Please keep spreading the word  about my giveaway as we are surrounded by tragedy and struggles.  I plan to give machines away indefinitely as I am now totally committed.

Special thanks to Olfa for partnering with me and sending products to sewing machine recipients.  I am proud to announce that they just extended their offer to supply notions to machine winners beyond the originally 50 that were promised.  Way to get involved Olfa! Thank you for joining me to push the #sewrevolution agenda and truly stepping up.  With that, aren’t there other companies out there that want to get involved with this novel idea?   My door is open and I welcome discussions.  I would love to have more partners to try to help to prop up our industry and those suffering in life.

In closing, please don’t get freaked out because this was just a dream.  A DREAM!  Yes, a dream.  D—R—E—A—M!   Don’t start spreading rumors that I got shot.  And finally, I end with a question that I must keep repeating to my sewing revolutionaries…..what are you doing to support the sewing revolution and the downturn in the number of people quilting & sewing?

Have an amazing week.

This is Scott “I was NOT really shot” Fortunoff

P.S.  I think I am losing it lately.

P.S.S.…Here is where you can find my Executive Facebook page.

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This is the sewing machine I give away for free. Please feel free to purchase one, and give it away too! Or Recommend it! Or love it!

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Who Knew?

Who knew?  Who knew that my world was going to be turned upside down because of this deal?  Who knew that my work life would never be the same again?  Oh, if you haven’t heard, Jaftex (my family business) purchased FreeSpirit in the deal of a lifetime, said I.   Who knew that my phone would be blowing up with so many congratulatory calls?  Who knew how hard it would be to keep up with the outpouring of positivity, excitement, encouragement, relief and love.  I am not kidding.  Let’s hug it out!!!!!!  (I hate when people put a million!!!!!!! in a row).

Our shareholders, meaning consumers and shop owners, have given a resounding thumbs up to this purchase.  The outpouring is unreal and it just crystallizes the importance of this deal for my family and for the entire textile industry.   This is the transaction that we have been waiting so patiently for. FINALLY!  Hallelujah!  Hallelujah!

As I have also said, this industry needs consolidation and perhaps this will be the  start of a new wave.  I think a fabric merger mania Monday is in the cards so to speak.  When I was a stock trader, CNBC Business News would often have merger Monday as most deals are hammered out on the weekends and announced Monday. Ahem.  How ironic?  Makes sense? Recall that we announced our deal on a Monday.

We have definitely been looking for new targets (eesh that sounds so violent), how about new partners?  That’s not correct either.  A seller?  Yes!  This opportunity came out of nowhere when we got the email that FreeSpirit was closing.  We had heard rumblings, as I am sure you probably did too, but there is always so much rumor and nonsense being spread in our industry.   I am sure it is not unlike other industries.   Fake news!

Anyway, my dad made the call to the FreeSpirit management and that got the ball rolling.   The rest is history.  Here’s one for you dad:   I guess you haven’t lost your touch in your over 50 years in the textile industry.   Love ya man!   (My dad totally reads the blogs.  He likes to say that he “caught up on my blogs over the weekend.” Then my mom calls to say that my dad showed her the blogs and she loves them yadda yadda.  It’s classic).

Everyone has so many questions as do I.  I love it how people presume that within a day of doing this deal that I immediately know which way is up including every small and large detail about FreeSpirit.  As my dad always likes to say, “we don’t even know where the bathroom is yet.” Don’t forget that I was away when this deal was amazingly consummated by my brother and dad.  I will be heading to the office this week and will also be at the VDTA show in Charlotte so I will get to visit two times in the coming weeks. There is a lot to learn and I look forward to meeting all the new people and all the new challenges.  We are excited about how many employees have decided to stay with FreeSpirit.  This should greatly help to keep the transitional tumult to a minimum.  Thank you in advance to the new team at FreeSpirit.  I look forward to the our future together.

If you have questions, I suggest that you contact the same people or person as you would have in the past.  Or you can call the office number and  get help that way…the number is 866-907-3305.  Or you can always contact me and I will point you in the right direction.  Don’t be shy people because we want to make this transition as quick and painless as possible.

What I can tell you is that all the January released lines are moving forward except the Sprout line by Joel Dewberry.  The reps should have their next samples under the new ownership around quilt market.

All the sales and distribution channels shall remain the same for the time being.  We of course need time to evaluate all the existing partners that FreeSpirit has to see how strong they all are.  As you know, I am all for change, but that change has to come for the proper reasons.  As such, this deal is a work in progress and I expect it to take about a year before all the details and kinks are smoothed out.  At that point, the business should be able to more or less run on auto-pilot.  And then, we will be ready for the next deal!

Thanks for your time.  Have a fabulous week.

FreeSpirited Scott

P.S……Here is where you can sign up for my Executive Facebook page.   

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This is the sewing machine I give away for free. Please feel free to purchase one, and give it away too! Or Recommend it! Or love it!

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Rise Of The Superfan

I am totally obsessed with the television show Curb Your Enthusiasm lately. I went back and started watching the original episodes and I just can’t contain my laughter. I am talking belly laughs, drooling, hyperventilating, headache kind of laughing.  You know what I am talking about, right?

In a recent episode, Larry David, the star, has a whole schtick whereby he judges people on whether their appreciation or thank you is in line with the kind gesture of another.  In this case, Larry’s act of kindness was to let a co-workers’ married relatives stay at his house for a couple days.  It’s freakin’ hysterical and you should check it out. Long story short, it turns out that the house guests were swingers, but that’s a story for another day.  Needless to say, it was nothing short of brilliant comedy as usual.

Anyhow, in light of our recent acquisition of FreeSpirit, I wanted to say that the thank yous have WAY exceeded our actions.  So we are all good now and we can still be friends.  My family could not be any more appreciative for the outpouring of love and support.  Thank you for coming on this amazing journey with us.  I promise to continue to give you a birds eye view of what’s going on behind the scenes and keep you on the inside track the whole time.

This all reminds me about the Social Media Marketing World conference that I just attended in San Diego.  Many of the speakers harped on attaining the ultimate superfan.  This is what everyone should be looking to achieve for their business, the super fan.  That person that eat sleeps and breathes you and everything about you or your company or your product.  You can do no wrong by them.  These superfans actually work for you, but they don’t even realize that they work for you and you aren’t even paying them. (Let’s try to keep this between us).  In our case, it is the total and complete obsession with the FreeSpirit designers and their fabrics.  I have never witnessed anything like this before. I truly had no idea and let’s say that I am ecstatic about these obsessions.

With that, I want to remind everyone that FreeSpirit is back in business and ready to serve you with amazing fabrics and inspiration. Please just bear with us as we transition to the new ownership and deal with the immediate changes and challenges.   All the Jaftex companies are still in business too and ready to serve you as well.  Call your sales reps. Call your distributor. Call your local quilt shop proprietor. Call customer service.  Get on the website!  Call me! When the person on the phone answers, you should just start rattling off all the fabrics you want to order by FreeSpirit or any of our awesome family owned companies.  You got this.

What are you waiting for? Go go go!

Superfan Seeker Scott

Have a great week!

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P.S.S… Also, please subscribe to my blog and get notifications when new blogs are posted.  Look up on the right side of this blog to register.

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Deal Of A Lifetime!

Hello Friends!

It happened!  The rumors are all true!  Yes, my family is buying FreeSpirit in the deal of a lifetime.  While I was out enjoying vacation with my wife and kids for school break, my dad, Robert (3rd generation), and brother, Greg (4th generation), pulled off what I think will be our most pivotal acquisition ever (we have had around 15-20 companies under our Jaftex umbrella in our 88 years in business.)  They put this all together on their own in record time because they wanted me to not be bothered on my family vacation.  That is what a family business is all about.  With support staff, lawyers, accountants and the lovely and professional team at Coats, they pulled a rabbit out of a hat.  Bravo guys!

It’s not everyday that you get a chance to buy one of the premier players in the industry.  I mean, where do I even start?  Kaffe Fassett and his collective!  Boom!   Tula!  Anna!  Amy! (Omg, I can’t wait to meet them all!) Also, there is The Original Morris & Co.!  I can keep going, but you don’t need me to tell you because these are your idols.  These people are quilting royalty or “machers” as I like to call them.  For all those that watch the Saturday Night Live Coffee Talk series, I must say that I am completely and utterly verklempt (in Yiddish that means a person that is so overwhelmed that they can’t speak.) I mean, over the top excited and I don’t even know where to begin.  This is going to give our family so much credibility as an industry leader.  We are now in an ideal position to push the #sewrevolution agenda and quilting for the fifth and sixth generations of Fortunoffs.

Henry Glass!  Studioe!  Blank Quilting!  Scott’s Free Sewing Machines!  Fabric Editions & A.E.  Nathan Co., Inc.! #sewrevolution!  All of our partners in the US and worldwide including Stof of Denmark, Sykel Fabrics, Air-Lite Batting, Oasis Fabrics, 3 Wishes, Quilter’s Palette & Ellie’s Quiltplace of Belgium.  All of our employees.  All of our sales reps.  I hope I didn’t leave anyone out….sorry if I did.  This is just so exciting.  I hope it is very clear that we are committed…..to the insane asylum….did I say that out loud?  But seriously, if this doesn’t show the world how we feel about this amazing industry, I just don’t know what will.

So without boring you to death, let’s jump right to the chase.  FreeSpirit is back and is going to be better than ever.  The sales reps will have loads of beautiful fabrics to show.   We will be at Quilt Market in Portland.  We will be at the VDTA Show.  If you are wondering if we will be there, the answer is yes, yes and yes again.

I welcome with open arms the opportunity to add FreeSpirit to our stable of well known brands.  I am going to learn a lot from this company and that is an exciting prospect for me as I grow as a fourth generation textile executive.  I am always pushing to be a better businessman and this deal will certainly help to propel me to the next level.

We are blessed to have retained most, if not all, of the licensing talent and the staff at FreeSpirit.  We are just under a new and improved management.  There will be some changes no doubt, but those changes will focus on managing costs better and letting people know that FreeSpirit is here to stay and is as stable as ever.  You could rely on us, our basics, our quality, our top notch designers and designing, our team, me, my family and so much more.  I could go on and on, but I know I had you at “hello.”  Please help to welcome the FreeSpirit team to the Jaftex team!

Thanks for your support.

Scott, proud son and brother.

P.S.  What do you have to say about that?

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Roads Are Endless For Scott’s Free Sewing Machines

My favorite poem of all time is the Road Not Taken (you can listen to it here).  I always like to revert back to this poem because it is very relevant in life and especially in my life.  Of late, I think about the different roads that Scott’s Free Sewing Machine project has taken me down and it is truly remarkable because without the adventures, I would be on the same old boring path.  Remember happy boring Scott?  Life is too short to just be on auto-pilot down the same path day in and day out.  Sometimes you just gotta mix things up and stir the pot.

Let’s talk about the roads.  The first road I was taken down was the road to Freedom Place in Houston.  This was all thanks to Linda Yarrow for her request for a machine to help find a creative outlet for the residents (young sex trafficking victims) of Freedom Place.  To be honest, I think that this road I was taken down changed my life forever.  It opened my eyes to the barbaric ways of some people in our society and it touched my heart so badly that I couldn’t sit there and not try to help.  So I helped and helped and I will continue to help.  In short, aside from providing fabric and financial support, I helped to facilitate Freedom Place getting 17 sewing machines so all of their residents would have their own machine thanks to SVP (Singer Viking Pfaff–10 machines) and my BFF Joanne (7 machines).

Another eye-opener on the Freedom Place front was when my new friend, Jennifer, who works at the Freedom Place, spoke at a dinner that Jaftex hosted at quilt market for about 30 people.   After Jennifer spoke, there was not a dry eye in the room, but in spite of it being very sad to hear, it made everyone in that room want to help those youngsters being sex trafficked. Trust me when I tell you that no one will forget what Jennifer said that night.

Let’s talk about another road.  How could I forget the #sewrevolution?  The sewing revolution that I have been promoting would not have been a thing if I didn’t start giving away free sewing machines.  The idea just popped in to my head one day that if there are more sewing machines being used, more people will be quilting and sewing and this will help reverse the negative trends in the fabric industry.  So why not promote it as such?  This byproduct of the free sewing machine giveaway is such a noble cause because it is helping to keep this industry alive and kicking…an industry that my family has been involved with since the early 1900’s.  It may seem selfish of me, but this is my livelihood and I need to do what I can to support it and keep it alive and kicking for as long as possible.  All those future generations of Fortunoff’s are going to need jobs.  And I do love my job.  I do love seeing the beautiful things that people create with fabric.  I do love seeing the smile on people’s face when they see our fabrics.  I love selling fabric.  I love the kind people in our industry.  If that isn’t enough to try to keep this baby alive, I don’t know what is.  Are you with me?

There are just so many roads that I don’t know which should be discussed next.  OK, let’s talk about my friend Emelia.  When I select sewing machine recipients, I only ask 2 simple things of them in return for the machine:

  1.  Pay it forward.
  2. Share photos with me of the machine and all that is being made because I want to feel good about having chosen each recipient.

Anyway, with respect to #2 (sharing photos), Emelia is my star.  In fact, she is becoming a staple on all the Jaftex social media sites.  Every time that she makes something we post the pictures.  All the social media followers are getting a lot of joy out of watching Emelia grow with the help of her new sewing machine.  They are all cheering her on and being so supportive…it is amazing.  She is now being commissioned to do work and getting paid.  She is taking lots of classes.  She is going to work with me to try to create a local kids club of young quilters and we are discussing so much more.   Emelia talks about working at Jaftex one day which would be so cool if it really happened.  In addition, Blank Quilting is going to honor her by naming a line after her. In any case, to say that she is a changed person for the better because of fabric and a sewing machine would be a major understatement.  And this folks is why we need to keep promoting all the great art that can be produced with fabric.  Keep up the good work Emelia.  Thank you for being such an inspiration.

Oh the roads….there are so many and will be so many more.  For me, the road that I most cherish is the photographs of all the recipients smiling with their machines.  I just can’t get enough of that because a photo speaks a million words.  But it is not just the words, it is the future possibilities that arise because of a new sewing machine, because of fabric and because of our amazing fabric industry.

These are all my new roads and there are lots of other endless ones ahead.   So, we continue the march down the untraveled roads.   Hopefully you will continue to join me to see the surprises that lie ahead around each corner.

Have a great week.  Happy President’s Day!

xoxo

Scott

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995 words including these.

 

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: .COM Confusion

Not too long ago I got an email that opened my eyes to the madness of what is occurring on the internet these days.  In the email, the customer was writing to me asking how it was possible that a Studioe fabric was being sold on walmart.com?  My first reaction was, “No Way.”  So I clicked on the link and low and behold, one of the Studioe fabrics was in fact being sold on walmart.com despite Studioe products being for Quilt Shops Only (read:  not for big box retailers).

Allow me to explain.  In spite of the products being sold on the walmart.com site, it was not being offered by Wal-mart per se.  It appears that like Amazon, Ebay and all these other selling sites that Wal-mart has a place where people can post their own items for sale and they of course take their cut of the sale.  This is not unusual at all and goes on all the time these days.  With that being said, before you come after me for selling Studioe to chain stores in the US, delve a little deeper and you will learn that not everything is what it appears to be.  Just to confirm, Studioe is not sold to any of the big box retailers.

While I am discussing this, I might as well mention another interesting thing about the internet.  You could go to a site like sears.com and you may see some fabric offered (not from any of our Quilt Shop Only Companies).  In this case, the fabric is truly being offered by Sears.  However, Sears is not stocking the items.  They are just offering it and if someone buys the fabric, Sears has a company like Notions Marketing ship the product to the customer.  Sears makes a little cut of the profit and so does Notions Marketing.  What this boils down to is that Sears is using their website real estate to just try to sell as much stuff as they can without having to take stock in an item.  It is kind of like free money if you ask me because it didn’t cost Sears much more than the space that the offer was taking up on its website.  The internet presents lots of ways to make money without having to make big investments and this is just another one of those.  If you have a nice idea like this one, please make sure to let me know.

Have a great week.

Setting The Record Straight Scott

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453 words including these.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: A Gem From My Grandfather

Happy Monday Folks,

Fortunoff family tree from my grandfather. I penciled in the most recent additions. This chart will help you keep track of who my grandfather is talking about throughout.

I am so excited about this blog post.  It really isn’t a blog though.  Rather, this is 11 pages of Jaftex Corp. and Fortunoff family history in the words of my grandfather,  Everett, that I recently discovered.  It is a true gem.  I wish he were alive to read all my blogs and see all the social media stuff going on.  He would absolutely love it.  In any case, get on some good glasses or a magnifying glass and grab a bottle of something (grandpa preferred Vermouth) and take a walk down the textile memory lane.  Please enjoy the story and my grandfather’s sense of humor.  (If it is too hard for you to read, please make a note in the comments and I will forward you a clearer version.)

Grandpa Everett as a baby in 1915.

 

Grandpa and his mom, Ida.

Grandpa in our showroom at 49 west 37th Street where our office currently is located.

I truly hope that you made it to the end and enjoyed this as much as I do.  I so cherish this and will protect it with my life for the fifth, sixth and so on generations.

XXOO

Sentimental Scott

Too many words to count this week.

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P.S.S.… Also, please subscribe to my blog and get notifications when new blogs are posted.  Look up on the right side of this blog to register.