Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Vacation

Happy Summer Studioe fans!  Like you, I too need a vacation once and awhile.  The thing is that I am not really taking an actual vacation, but rather I am only taking a vacation from the Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive blog for this Monday.  I am hoping to squeeze in some time for an actual vacation before the summer ends. My fingers are crossed, but the prospects are dim.  Anyway, this week I am off to South Carolina for work. Hoping to have a new and interesting blog for next Monday.  Until then, stay cool, drink a lot of water and keep on quilting and sewing.

Summer Scott

Peppered Cottons Checks and Plaids Giveaway


Congratulations to Aimee Gevin for winning the Just Color! bundle giveaway! Today Studioe is giving away a beautiful bundle of the Peppered Cottons Checks and Plaids. Aren’t they beautiful?  To enter to win, all you have to do is enter through the Gleam box below. 

*Contest ends July 23rd, 11:59m EST.  Open to US residents only.*



Peppered Cottons Checks and Plaids Giveaway

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Jaftexisms We Live By

In honor of the ensuing 85th anniversary celebration of when my great-grandfather started Jaftex, the parent of Studioe Fabrics, I thought I would discuss some of what I am calling Jaftexisms.  Basically, these are expressions or mottos that we frequently toss around in the office. I am sure that I have made reference to several of these Jaftexisms throughout my blogging career.  We probably didn’t invent any of them, but we definitely live by them.
“It is what it is.”  When you boil this one down, it really just means that a situation is presented in a certain way as reality and now we need to deal with it.  In other words, we can not change the facts as they are presented to us, so suck it up and figure it out.  As much as we wish the facts could be different, they aren’t.  

“It is better to be lucky than good.”  Believe it or not, luck plays a big role in each of our lives on a daily basis and it happens in our business too.  You could be lucky because you were in the right place at the right time or you just happened to call a customer when he/she was looking to make a purchase.  We hope and wish that more of our successes are due to our talents, but one can’t mess with the power of luck.  I would definitely rather be lucky than unlucky.  

“The first loss is your best loss.”  Over the course of a year, we produce so many different fabric designs.  Most of those designs are winners, but we also have some dogs once and awhile. It really is hard to be perfect as much as we try. In any case, we don’t like to fall in love with our fabric, nor do we like to fantasize about a bad print selling out on its own.  This is when we get aggressive about taking losses.  We do what we need to do to make the bad print disappear so that we can focus on strong sellers.  Losers are distractions, so bite the bullet and take your medicine.     You will feel a lot better when the distraction of having the loser is cleared from your mind.  

“It isn’t the last dime that matters.” This expression is really more about negotiating than anything else.  This often comes up when I am going back and forth with a customer about pricing and we end up a dime apart in the negotiations.  My dad always reminds me that the last ten cents is not the most critical, it really is everything that comes before the last 10 cents that matters.  This is where I either give in to the customer and take the order or when I just try to get the customer to agree to splitting the difference.  In either case, I don’t want to really lose an order over ten cents as that would be foolish. 

“Sell and repent.”  This typically means that an opportunity has arisen to make a sale, but unfortunately at the time that a decision needs to be made, all the facts are not available.  Usually the missing fact has to do with the price or delivery.  This is when you might hear my dad say to me, “sell and repent.”   In other words, take the sale and we will figure it out.  Fortunately, we are better to be lucky than good and these situations usually turn out ok.  Maybe the profit margin is below normal, but it is another sale.  

“It is all about averages.”   This expression relates to pricing.  We obviously hope to sell all of fabrics at the highest prices possible, but that isn’t always the case.  Sometimes we are forced to closeout fabrics at much lower prices, but the point is that when it is all said and done, it works out to an average and hopefully that average meets our profit targets.  

“I don’t do what ifs.”   This one was invented by my dad and I find myself saying this more than just in the office.  The point here is that you could keep saying, what if this, what if that and so on.  All the variables can make you absolutely nuts, but the truth is, you are better off waiting for the situation to develop on its own instead of trying to figure it out on your own. The irony of this is that when we do what if, the result is usually a what if that we didn’t expect at all.  So save your brain power and don’t stress yourself out, things will unfold on their own.  

Do you have any of your own isms that you live by?  I would love to hear about them and maybe we can make them work in our business.  

Until next time, stay cool!
Studioe Scott

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Ways In Which A Quilt Line Is Developed

A question that I am frequently asked is, how is a quilt line developed? This is truly a great question. In my family of companies, our lines come to life in various different ways of which I will discuss below. I imagine that there are many other approaches that other companies take, so I can only speak from my own experience, here goes.1. We buy art and develop a line. There are tons of studios in New York that have unlimited amounts of art to sell. These studios have various artists that contribute to their broad portfolio of designs that they offer. Each studio has a specialty or at least a type of look that we can expect of them…some are better than others. We pay in the $500 range per design. I can write an entire blog about this which I may do another day, but basically I want to tell you what we do with the design after we purchase it. We develop an entire line around what will be, in most cases, the lead or key pattern for the line. Thereafter, we (our designers) develop the sub lead patterns and then they search the designs for little coordinates that they could use to round of the line. Somewhere in between, the designers use their creativity and textile knowledge to select colors for the lines and to make things like book patterns, panels and other special engineered prints (tree skirts and Christmas stockings to name a few) that typically are the best sellers in a grouping.

2. Licensor Lines. We are always searching for important people in the quilt world, licensing world, special artists, quilters and anyone else with the creativity to become a licensor. Some Studioe licensors include: Pepper Cory, Sarah Frederking, Dt-K Signature, Debi Hubbs, Jodi Barrows, Jennifer Brinley, Diane Eichler, Lucie Crovatto and so many more talented folks. There are several ways in which a licensor works. The first one is easy and this is where the licensor creates and develops an entire line and submits it to us. We love these. The second way is where the designer submits some sketches and makes color suggestions and our team does the rest with some back and forth between the lead stylist and the designer. The third way is where we develop the entire line and we put the designers name on the line to help us promote the line as a big name can take a line a long way. This is the least common way, but it does happen. The final way is where the licensor shows us other designs that they have already sold for other licensed products and we pick and choose what we like and develop a line around it.

3. Trends. This is a very broad way in which we find lines. It could be that there is a hot color trend and we develop an entire line around a single color that we expect to be popular (purple or grey recently). We get ideas from window shopping, reading magazines, visiting quilt shops, going to quilt market, watching tv, searching the internet and just having your eyes open and being alive living life. You just never know when the next line idea will pop in to your brain. You can often find my dad or I giving media clippings to our designers for inspiration. In a way, we are all designers which is helpful because we can never have enough lines. For me, I often find a lot of inspiration from the motifs on my kids clothing. There is no shortage of size 3 pajamas floating around the office.

4. Suggestions. You would be amazed with the number of suggestions we get for lines every year and a lot of times these suggestions are spot on. One great resource is our team of sales reps as they have their fingers on the pulse of the quilt shop owners and these people really are in the know. We take great care to examine all these suggestions as they typically are true gems. So thank you for making suggestions and offering them to our team…I hope you realize we study each suggestion very carefully.

5. Seasonal. Every year we know that we will be doing a certain number of holiday lines (Christmas, Harvest, Halloween, Valentine’s, Easter, etc.) In these cases, we really back in to these lines by requesting submissions of these types from our licensors and from our art studios.

6. Miscellaneous. This is the kitchen sink approach. A perfect example of this would be the development of a line based around a dream. Another one would be the creation of a line after seeing a storm or something like that. Recently, I came across a fire rainbow and I suggested to the lead stylist that this would make a really cool line. So stay tuned.

In other words, there is no simple equation to the creation of the line…they just happen. We truly never know which lines will be successful and which will be duds until we go out and start to sell. But as you can see, lines can be developed from the most unusual places.
That all being said, what other ways have you heard that lines are developed? Do you have any suggestions of lines we should run? I would love to hear all about it.

Sayonara From Studioe Scott

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: What A Great Country We Live In!

I hope your July 4th weekend was full of fireworks, parades, barbeques, carnivals, picnics, concerts, sports games (go USA Women’s Soccer) and other special times with family and friends.  I had an exhausting, but amazingly fun, long weekend with my family. I did take some time to reflect on what a great country we live in. The land of the free and the home of the brave. A place where we have the freedoms that other’s around the world unfortunately do not have.  Sure, we pay taxes and have to deal with Obamacare and some other nonsense, but for the most part, we are really lucky.

With that, I wanted to say how appreciative I am for all of the brave people that defend our country and defend our lives on a daily basis.  Their braveness and courage cannot go unnoticed.  So next time you see one of these brave souls, how about shaking their hands and saying thank you for all you do for our country?  I know I will.

I would be remiss if I didn’t discuss any fabric in this blog entry.  So here we go.  American Anthem by Studioe was released in May.  It has 17 skus and ships in December of 2015.  Check it out!       

American Anthem by Studioe

Ask your Studioe sales rep to see this line today.  

Thanks for listening!  God Bless America!