Let me start by saying that I just had my blog totally written and when I went to post it I was told by the computer that I was no longer signed on. Needless to say, I want to cry. I don’t have time for this….wah, wah, wah! Let me see if I can recap.
All the people at Jaftex are starting to settle in with the most recent acquisition of Blank Quilting Corp., and I am therefore back to writing blogs again. So I wanted to get back to what happened on my trip to Indiana. Let me start off by saying that I haven’t been in Indiana since around 1996 when The University of Michigan trounced Notre Dame in football.
I recall that I was in the front row and I ran on the field when we scored the winning touch down. Now back to reality.
When I pulled up in my Hertz rental car into Erica’s parking lot, I couldn’t help but notice that Erica’s had a computerized billboard. I looked up and was shocked it said, “Welcome Studioe President” in the first slide and the next one had my name. I was thinking, “damn” you guys don’t mess around here. Was this my second 15 minutes of fame? Doubtful.
See the pictures that Vanessa will hopefully post since I haven’t figured out how to post pictures yet. (You’re welcome, Scott – V.) What would I do without such a great support staff? Big shout out to the Jaftex Team! (Gosh, thanks Scott. -V.) I digress.
So after getting over the shock of seeing my name in lights, I went in to Erica’s and was welcomed by the lovely staff and the great set up of the store. The store was one of the larger ones that I had visited and it was deceivingly big with a lot of nooks and sub-departments. I figured there were around 10 or so sub-departments (yarn, holiday, by company, books, sewing machines, white on white, flannel, etc.) The set-up made it very easy to shop the store and you could tell that someone had given it some serious thought. Erica’s has a great online business too that I was able to peruse.
After a nice tour from the owner, Cathy Young, we sat down in the back room with Studioe sales rep, Pete Holmes. We showed Cathy all the Studioe and Henry Glass lines. Pete and I didn’t have enough paper to write all the orders. We had hit the jackpot and Cathy told us that she had no more open to buy for the rest of the year….so be forewarned competitor sales reps. But seriously, we had a nice time working with Cathy and she was full of insights. I love when I have time to work with shop owners because they have a different perspective and tons of great info. I for one am one of those people that loves tapping in to that info because I live in the bubble of New York where I don’t get to talk to many shop owners or quilters. Sad, but true.
After we finished going over the lines, I was totally taken a back when Cathy asked me if I had any ideas or suggestions about how to improve the layout of the store. I was like, “Are you talking to me?” And, I think she was. So in my infinite wisdom attained from Fab Shop News, I went outside and started there.
I had some suggestions about the outside of the store and then I talked about my first impressions upon entering the store since I know that is always critical. Hopefully she didn’t listen to a word I said. I am just a salesman.
Thereafter, we headed for dinner at Rocco’s.
You wouldn’t believe it, but your’s truly is getting a little wide in the hips so I have put myself on a diet. Needless to say, pizza was not on that diet, but salad was. So I didn’t try Rocco’s pizza, (I know, booo, hiss!) but it did look good and all my company enjoyed it. Unfortunately for Rocco, I don’t think he could throw down with New York pizza, but as I tell my kids, “you get what you get and you don’t get upset.” I am sure Rocco could handle the criticism.
That is all I have for you folks. Hope summer is treating you well. Our Studioe & Henry Glass reps should be out with our July lines any day now. As for Blank Quilting Corp., they will have new lines around the end of the month. Happy summer and happy quilting!
So Long From Summer Scott e