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.

PSSS…Please follow my Executive Facebook page

PSSSS… 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: 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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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: There IS Hope

As I delve deeper and deeper in to Scott’s Free Sewing Machines, I have had a lot of time to reflect.  I am realizing a lot of things about myself, people, life and the world.  In spite of all the crappy, pathetic and sad stuff going on in the world right now:  the hate, the terrorism, the bullying, the hypocrisy, the politics, the tragedy, the stupidity, the depression, the meanness, the insensitivity, the lack of respect, etc., I am hopeful.  Call me foolish.  Call me overly optimistic.  Call me blind.  There are still lots of good people out there. Allow me to provide some examples all from this past week.

As you know, I have been announcing contest winners lately.  One of the winning applicants was requesting a machine for her grand niece.  I have been so inspired by people who are nominating others to get a machine. Not for themselves, but for a loved one or friend who is deserved.  This is inspiring and makes me realize people are good.  Anyway, after her grand niece was announced as a winner, she emailed me to let me know that their machine was fixed and she no longer needed it.  She didn’t have to say anything, but she chose to let me know so I could share the sewing machine with someone else who didn’t have one.  In Yiddish, there is a word “mensch” which means a person that is a true gentlemen or woman with integrity or honor.  There is hope people.

After announcing some winners on Facebook recently, I started to get a bunch of personal messages and emails.  The ones that I was most focused on were where people didn’t want a machine, but rather they wanted to help me share the love.  People are sending me money. In fact, I was at a quilt shop and a woman handed me $20 and said use this for a machine. Also, people are asking for the addresses of the winners so they can send them fabrics from their stash.  To me that is shocking because I know no one wants to part with their stash.  Lol!   Then there are the people that are offering me machines to give away.  The outpouring is unreal and inspiring.  Hear me out people, there is hope.

The other day after the tragedy in Las Vegas, I was looking at a friend’s post on Facebook.  She said that her kids were scared about the tragic and sad events in Las Vegas.  So she shared with them a quote from Fred Rogers which many of you may know and I believe Jimmy Kimmel referenced it too one night.  The gist of the quote was to not focus on the tragedy, but rather to focus on the people running around and helping those who were in trouble.  You always see people helping.  Keep that in mind the next time you are watching the news.  Flip it around and focus on the good and try not to let the badness bring you down.  And I shall repeat, there is hope people.

Just the other day, I was traveling through Kansas with my sales rep in that territory and we made a pit stop.  As I proceeded to the checkout to pay for my protein bar, a young lady came in and inquired about the cost of a soda and whether the store accepted a certain type of payment which I never heard of.  The woman behind the counter advised they don’t take that form of payment.  The young lady was disappointed, but the clerk said she would buy it for the young lady.  So let me get this straight, the woman working the register is going to start buying things for customers?  Wow!  That blew my mind.  Of course, me being nosey and all, I asked the cashier what that was all about.   She told me the young lady was going through a rough time.  And I shall repeat yet again, there is hope people.

Spread the love and kindness and it will shine through all the tragedy and make the world a better place.  Amen!  Have a great week.

Spread The Love Scott

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: What’s The Point?

I was in this massive car accident.  As I lay on the side of the road thinking that I am going to die, I start to fade in and out of consciousness.  Suddenly, a bright light shines in my eyes and I am thinking that it is time for me to go to heaven (I am an optimist).  My life flashes before my eyes in an instant.  Is it my time?  Is this it?

Then, out of nowhere, I see a beautiful silhouette of a woman.  I can’t speak or function because I am so badly injured, so she grabs my wallet to try to figure out who I am and any other info that might help her take care of me.  She first looks over my license and a big smile develops.  With my eyes, I kind of say, “What are you smiling about?”  She replies to my eye question, “I know you.”  “You know me?”  “How?”  You are Free Sewing Machine Scott.  A chill runs through my body.  “Are you freaking kidding me?”  “Is this for real?”

The angel then proceeds to save my life by bringing me to a hospital for proper care.  Had she not taken care of me, I would have been left for dead.  She stayed by my side the whole time while I recovered.  She took such great care of me.  While I was resting and recovering in the hospital bed, I started hearing this very soft and familiar voice saying, “I had a nightmare, can I sleep in the bed with you?”  Now, I am thoroughly confused.  Suddenly, I awaken to realize that it was all a dream….that my 6 year old son so rudely interrupted.  I peek at the clock and it is 315 am and I am alive and now sleeping in the bed with my wife and son.

What’s the point?  I think I better keep giving away more sewing machines.

With that being said, I wanted to let everyone know that I have lots more machines to give away and not so many requests.  Please keep sharing the information and tell people to send in their request for a new machine.  Thank you.

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Free Yom Kippur Sewing Machines

Good Day To You My Dear Friend,

Today, Friday September 29 at sundown is when Yom Kippur begins.  As most of my avid readers know, I am of the Jewish faith and proud of it.  I am not an overly religious person though, but Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah (Jewish New Year) are the few times that I do attend temple.  For those that do not know, Yom Kippur is a Day of Atonement.  It is considered to be the most important Jewish holiday.  This day marks the 10 Days of Awe, a period of repentance and introspection, that follows Rosh Hashanah.  This is also a time when we fast.  The fast begins tonight at sundown and ends tomorrow (Saturday) at sunset.  Then we break fast (no, not breakfast) and stuff our faces with anything and everything we can get our hands on.

Enough with the religious lesson though.  In honor of this special day, I would like to announce a couple more winners of Scott’s Free Sewing Machines.  Winner winner Yom Kippur dinner, here we go:

  1. Mary Behnke thanks to her friend Donna Lynn Gerhard who sent in a request on her behalf.
  2. Julie Ann thanks to her great aunt Kathy Combs.
  3. Bennie Brookshire of Orange, Texas.  This is the second one going to Orange, Texas so I guess they all got hit pretty hard.  Big shout out to everyone in Orange, Texas.  Good luck getting your lives back in order.  I am thinking and praying for all of you…or should I say, “Y’all!”

All the other machines have shipped this week, so previous winners should be expecting machines next week.  And you know what that means?  Yes, I am waiting for happy pictures of people using their new sewing machines and photos of all the great things they are making using their new machines.

Thanks for your time.  Have a blessed weekend and wish me luck with the fast.  I will pray for you all.  Amen!

Free Sewing Machine Scott

 

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Big Macher!

We interrupt this program for my regularly scheduled Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive blog that has nothing to do with that Free Sewing Machine Scott (FSMS) fellow.  I have had loads of blogs in the cue as I was trying to get ahead of my scheduled posts and then I was rudely sabotaged by this FSMS for like the last 3 weeks and I am not sure I see an end in sight.  Boring!  Annoying!  Free sewing machine….blah, blah, blah. Whatever!

This week I am bringing back an oldie but goodie. The Fabric Yenta is bbbbbbbbbaaaaaaaaccckkkkkkk! I am starting a new series under the Fabric Yenta moniker.   It’s called Big Macher.  I am going to sporadically talk about people that I meet in the fabric industry that I consider to be big machers.

If you didn’t know, a big macher is a Yiddish term for someone who is a big shot. I am going to lob a name out there.  This is a no-brainer to me. Pepper Cory is the first big macher that comes to my mind.  Pepper is so cool. She’s a true sage in our industry.  She knows everyone or should I say everyone knows her?   Not only am I happy that she is on my team, but she is also a friend and confidante.  Thank you Pepper, you BIG MACHER!

Big Macher #1!

By the way, if you are going to quilt market Pepper has a schoolhouse that you should attend especially if you want to meet a big macher among other things.  Besides meeting the big macher herself, at the schoolhouse, you can come and see some new works from industry designers using Peppered Cottons.  You can also learn how to adapt Pepper’s marketing program “RSVP-Designers” to create your own sales buzz and excitement in your shop.  I digress.

The timing of this blog is perfect because we are nearing in on quilt market and I am definitely expecting to see some potential big machers and chat them up for further additions of …..say it with me, BIG MACHER!!!!  (I hate multiple exclamation points, but I couldn’t help myself). Stay tuned.

Speaking of Quilt Market, I will be at booth 2319 (Studioe Fabrics) and booth 2218 (Blank Quilting).  Please come by and see me and all the new lines we are showing.  Also, you can take a look at the EverSewn sewing machines that FSMS is giving away.  Finally, if you would like to set up an appointment with me, please email me at scott@jaftex.com.

We interrupt this program for FSMS.  Darn it!  This FSMS dude doesn’t go away and he is driving me crazy, but making me happy nonetheless! I may have to boycott this clown or give him a beat down.  Oh, just go ahead already you big rude jerk….there is another winner to be announced, so I hope that Stephanie Hogan is reading this blog now.  Stephanie, may this sewing machine help to bring just a little happiness to your family during these difficult times.  Thanks for sharing your heart warming story!

Enjoy the rest of the week,

This is the Fabric Yenta and his alter-ego Free Sewing Machine Scott

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Scott’s Free Sewing Machine Update

Happy Monday everyone.  I am not sure how it happened, but all of a sudden I have lots of new followers to my blog and all of my company social media sites which is definitely a good thing.  I am just joking, I know exactly how it happened and so do you.  I woke up one day and was like, “I should start giving sewing machines away for free to people suffering through tragedy.”  And that’s where it all started….let’s call it:  Scott’s Free Sewing Machines.

3 generations of Fortunoff’s. From left to right (backrow): my nephew (Oliver), my brother (Greg), my other nephew (Benjamin), my dad (Robert) and yours truly. Front row (left to right): my youngest son (Brett) and my older son (Aaron).  Missing my sister (Jill) and her kids (Julia & Evie).  My dad, brother, sister and I are all currently in the business working in harmony.

Speaking of where it all started, I thought this would be the perfect time to plug all of the fabric companies run by my family in case you want to support my family business by buying our beautiful fabrics or by asking your local quilt shop to carry our fabrics if they don’t already.  Please note however that I am not looking for anything in return for the sewing machine giveaway at all, but I would be remiss if I didn’t put it out there for the world to know who is making sewing machines rain from the sky over the US.  Also, when I called some potential free machine winners over the weekend to chat, I was dismayed to know that a few didn’t know much if anything about our companies.  Therefore, I thought it was important, at the least, for everyone to know about our companies and our unique family business.  As you could learn from my blog moniker, I am the fourth generation in the family business which is 87 years old.  Yes, 87!  These are our companies:

  • A.E. Nathan Co., Inc. specializes in flannel fabric and more moderately priced fabrics in general including cotton prints and fleece.  Products are sold in quilt shops and chains that sell fabric.  I am the President.
  • Fabric Editions, Incspecializes in pre-cut fabrics as well as kits.  In addition, Fabric Editions has a line called 3 Wishes and Quilter’s Palette.  Products are sold mostly in the chain stores, but the 3 Wishes and Quilter’s Palette lines are sold in quilt shops too.  The company is in Greenville, S.C.
  • Henry Glass Co., Inc. caters to quilt shops only and is our strongest and most well known brand. Hopefully you know this one!
  • Studioe Fabrics was spun out from Fabric Editions when we purchased it  years ago.  We moved it to New York and I became the President.  Studioe sells to quilt shops only and the brand is gaining in popularity.
  • The Blank Quilting Corp. was purchased in the last 3 years.  Like Studioe, Blank sells to quilt shops only and I am the President too.  I am working hard with my team to grow this brand and make it a household name.
  • Lastly, you should know that our exclusive sales force sells these lines too:
    • Air-Lite Batting.
    • Oasis Fabrics.
    • Stof of Denmark.
    • Sykel Fabrics….think NCAA, Real Tree, etc.

I am feeling so good about Scott’s Free Sewing Machines that I have determined that the giveaway will go on indefinitely.  I hope to giveaway about 40-50 machines this year and next year a minimum of 1 machine a week.  AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!  YEAH!  In my humble opinion, sewing machines are the essential ingredient that will help to grow the fabric industry so at the least I am helping to continue to keep sewing alive for many more generations of Fortunoffs among others.  It’s like the movie Field of Dreams….”if you build it, they will come.”  In our industry, if you bring the machines, they will sew and quilt.  I also believe that sewing begets more sewing and these machines will certainly contribute to the continuity and growth of our great industry.  We need to keep this industry alive, thriving and flourishing.  I am one person, but I am trying to do my part just a little bit at a time.  I challenge my competitors in the fabric industry to do their part as well in helping to grow our industry.

Before I announce the winners for this week, I wanted to let everyone know that I had a chance to test drive the EverSewn machine that I am giving away.  It is so smooth.  You should feel how it handles the turns.  It just purrs like a kitten.  Just messing with you, I don’t know how to use a sewing machine, but I have heard from a bunch of people that they love theirs.  I understand that this isn’t the best or most expensive machine ever made, but I couldn’t be happier about the quality of the machine and I wanted to thank EverSewn for working with me to get these machines in the hands of so many great people.  Thanks!

I am sure everyone is anxious to hear about the free sewing machine winners.  The crazy thing is that I never realized how hard it would be to give away free machines.  I spent much of my weekend between my kid’s sports and birthday parties calling potential winners.  The biggest problem that I am running in to is that a lot people have machines or have access to machines…which is a good thing.  However, for this year, I am trying to focus my energies on giving free sewing machines to people with no access to machines whatsoever.  So if you have a machine that isn’t working at full capacity, that is still a machine in my eyes and it is a lot more than others have. I hope everyone can understand where I am coming from on this front, so please only submit a request if you don’t have a machine at all.  Ok, ok….the winners.

These are the people that touched my heart and I feel most compelled to give a machine this week:

  1. Trish Jurkowski for her daughter Amelia.
  2. Lisa E. Jones.
  3. Morgana Laucer for her mom, Susan.

To be honest, I intended on giving away 7-10 machines this week, but like I mentioned before, so many had access to a machine already and the weekend is only so long.  Many of those people will be getting some fabric from me as a consolation prize.  Finally, finally, I am still searching for Linda Yarrow who was my second winner so that I can get her a machine for the Freedom House where people are rescued from the slave trade.  If you know her, please have her contact me at scott@jaftex.com.

Have a great week friends and keep being kind to others and keep on sewing and quilting!  As someone said to me, “May all my gifts be appreciated and used.”

Free Sewing Machine Scott

1162 words including these words and I hope you read them all.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: I Can’t Believe The Stories I Am Hearing

In spite of not wanting to be the President of Giving Away Free Sewing Machines, I think that kind of happened naturally. I am proudly overwhelmed with everything that has transpired since I offered out free sewing machines.  The last couple of days I have been glued to my phone and computer in awe of the sad stories I am hearing.  I have been carefully reading what so many of you are saying and I have also tried to reply as much as possible….and yes, it is actually me who is replying…not anyone else.  There are so many compelling stories and I am going to do my best to giveaway a lot of machines to those that need it most.  The truth is that giving the machines away is like a drug for me.  It is euphoric to be able to help people who are down on their luck.  Not only that, but just imagine all the beautiful things that will be created by those who receive free sewing machines.

The problem, which really isn’t a problem, is that your requests are a little bit allover the place now i.e. they aren’t only on the blog as was supposed to have been the plan.  It has spread to our company Facebook pages.  This is all fine and well, but if you are planning on sending in a plea that you want to be considered by me, I would greatly appreciate it if it came through in the comment section on the Studioe Fabrics’ blog where I introduced the giveaway originally.  This is the easiest way for me to manage the madness so to speak and not lose my regular day job.  Here is the link to that original blog in case you were wondering where to find it.  Go to the way bottom of the blog, even past all the comments, and hit post comment and then you can post your comment.

I am absolutely floored by so many of the stories that I am hearing.  These are stories that you can’t even make up and situations are going on in America that I never even realized existed.  The world can be cruel sometimes unfortunately, but it can also be kind.  In this case, I am trying to be the one bringing the kindness especially to those who are enduring undeserved cruelty and suffering, whatever it might be.  I am saddened by these stories, but they are absolutely eye opening for me and I will be glad to know that I did a small part in helping just a little bit to brighten the world.  If I can get someone to smile for a second or feel good about themselves, even for just a minute, I will have contributed to making someone’s life just a little better and that is definitely a good thing.  Everyone does deserve some happiness in life!

Please keep the requests coming and make sure to share the message with anyone who might be eligible.  Try to only send in a request if you do not have a machine at all as those are the people that I am really trying to focus on at this time.  However, sometimes the emotions overrule everything else and someone does deserve an additional machine.  I plan to carefully review many of the requests that I have received and I hope to send out a couple more machines by the end of this week.  Before I wrap things up though, I wanted to give a quick shout out to the first winner and also wanted to name a second winner.

The first winner was Mary Burnette who does God’s work at The Polk County Texas Quilts For Comfort where she teaches sewing to some woman that are down on their luck.  She was definitely worthy of the first machine.  She was also fortunate to have been the first one to send in a request and had good timing because I was anxious to show everyone that I really was going to send out machines and that I was not messing around.  Congrats to Mary and the people of Polk County, Texas.  We can’t wait to see the picture of your face when you receive your new sewing machine and can’t wait to see all that you create.  Please post on Facebook for everyone to see and like.  Keep up the good work!

As I mentioned above, sometimes the emotions overrule everything else and right now I am going to name another winner (but I will have to confirm all the info is legit this week) because when I read her plea, I wanted to breakdown and cry because you know I can be an emotional guy.  This request came from Linda Yarrow of Conroe, Texas.  She made a request for Freedom House which is (HEAR THIS PEOPLE!) the first place young women are placed after being rescued from the SLAVE TRADE.  OMG!  Did she say SLAVE TRADE? I can’t even imagine, but I feel sick to my stomach nonetheless.  In spite of the Freedom House having machines already, I would have to imagine that everyone would agree that this place is deserved of another machine and probably so much more.  Linda, you will be hearing from me this week (email me your phone number to scott@jaftex.com) and I plan to make you my friend and do so much more for your great organization besides the machines.  These poor souls deserve everyone’s help.

So friends, in closing, I want to tell you all that no matter what happens here with the sewing machines i.e. whether you win or not, you should know people are being helped and you should never give up your efforts to help others in need.  In the end, some good things will have come out of tragedy and that is the best we can do.  Hoping that everyone facing tragedy and adversity is starting to get their lives back in order.  You are in our thoughts and prayers.  So we say together “AMEN.”  Have a great week and be safe.

With Love,

Sewing Machine Scott

1023 words (so much to say!)