Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Recycling The Day Of Atonement

Dear Friends,

This past Wednesday I celebrated the Yom Kippur holiday…the holiest Jewish holiday of the year.  I got several comments and emails about this post when I originally wrote it last year, so I figured that I would post it again. Sorry for being lazy, but it is important for me to repeat these apologies again and again.  One can never apologize enough when wronging another person. So I am going to do just that.  

As you may or may not have known, this past week was the culmination of the last 10 days of penitence in the Jewish religion.  As you also may or may not know, for no particular reason, I am not the most religious person in the world, but do have full respect for all religions and races.  That being said, Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur are holidays where I do go to temple to pray, atone for my sins and celebrate the Jewish New Year.  This year is 5776. 

Yes, I know, you can’t believe that I sin.  Well, believe it or not, I am unfortunately not as perfect as I appear.  (This is where you are supposed to laugh).  Moving on.

As I sat at temple, pondering a range of fleeting thoughts, I came up with a blog subject.  I thought it would only be appropriate for me to atone for my sins on the corporate level.  Hint:  I am totally struggling for good blog subject matter so bear with me.  Anyhow,  I am gearing up to apologize for the sins that my family business may have committed against you.  Mind you, I personally do not like to hold grudges and hope that you don’t either as life is just too short to hold on to grudges.  So before I start laying on the apologies, if you plan on reading it, you will be inherently accepting the apologies from me and the companies run by my family.

Forgive us for:

Late deliveries.

Early deliveries.

Deliveries to the wrong address.

Damaged boxes.  Even though that is usually the shipping company’s fault, but don’t tell them that I blamed them.

Short shipping.

Over shipping.

Backorders.

Not giving you credit.  

Giving you too much credit.

Shipping 10s, 11s, 12s, 13s, 14s, 16s, 17s, etc. when you wanted a 15 yard cut.

Shipping an entire collection minus the lead pattern.

Not returning your call or email quickly enough.

Not following your explicit instructions.

Messing up the free project instructions.

Giving you misinformation.

Not meeting your delivery requirements.

Not getting you an invoice soon enough.

Being rude if that is how you interpreted the New Yorker’s in us and in me especially.

Ignoring you.

Whatever we may have done to have wronged you.  (blanket listing)

 

I could go on and on with potential reasons to be apologizing, but I think you get the drift.  If you think of an apology that I have not listed, please consider it listed under the blanket listing. 

Like most businesses, we do try hard to improve our business each and every day and this is just another step in the right direction. 

I am confident that this atonement is just one additional step toward improving our business relationships.  So please accept my most heartfelt apology for any harm we may have done to you.  Moreover, if there is something bothering you about any of our companies, please let me know so that I can try to fix it.

Thank you for listening and thank you for accepting my apology.  And let us all say together, “Amen to that Scott.”  I am looking forward to a strong finish to 2015.  Happy Jewish New Year to those that celebrate.  Thanks for your partnership and friendship.

Sincerely,

Now Sin-free Scott

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: There Are No Shortcuts In Life!

Cheaters, thieves and liars….UGH!  Over the last couple of years I have surprisingly come across people in and around this industry who are looking for short cuts.  This is very sad, but a fact of life for a lot of businesses including mine. The thing is that cheaters, thieves and liars sometimes get caught. Fortunately for us, we have had luck busting these people in two cases, but who knows how many thieves got away with it. Allow me to elaborate.

Perhaps you recall the situation last year where a very disreputable company in Canada was copying and knocking off the A.E. Nathan (Studioe sister company) flannel prints.  They were selling the prints to a chain store in Canada and taking the business from our legitimate Canadian partner. This was all good until a friend of our companies advised us to look in to this.  Lo and behold, we found out they were copying our designs.  Then we had to go through the expense of hiring a lawyer to deal with this.  The fact that this was in Canada added an entirely other level of annoying to the situation and helped to increase our legal bill.  However, in the end, I am happy to say that our lawyers were successful and the offending company wrote us a lovely check to pay for their stealing.  Justice served!  Hopefully that penalty was enough to get them to stop, but I doubt that is the case….because once a thief, always a thief in my book.

This next one is a real doosie.  I can’t elaborate on this one too much because it is going on now, but I highly doubt any of the offenders are reading this blog.  Recently, we were informed that there were some low end stores selling one of our fabric brands for under $3.00/yard. That is crazy because that isn’t a realistic selling price based on where we sell the fabric. One of our astute sales reps came across this extremely low priced fabric and had the brains to question it.  

I have a couple of points to make about this.
1.  We take these matters very seriously and will sick our lawyers on any offenders….so beware.  
2.  If you are in a shop and the prices are too good to be true, they probably are.  So, please question it and let us know because we don’t want slimy criminals damaging the value of our fabrics nor do we want them hurting our legitimate customers who we greatly value.     
3.  Stealing, lying and cheating doesn’t pay.  There really are no shortcuts in life.

The last thing I wanted to mention is that I know that our valued quilt shop customers have to deal with cheating, stealing and lying too and I know it is a big problem.  I have spoken about this issue with many shop owners and I can relate to how they feel.  All that I can say is, you can’t underestimate the importance of good security, cameras, employees and a detailed inventory system.  Nothing is sacred anymore and you need to protect yourself because no one is going to do it for you.  Good luck!

What do you think about all this?

Sad Scott

  

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Bye Bye Website For Quilters


A couple of weeks ago, I got the most disturbing email that is going to have some seriously negative repercussions for the various company websites under the Jaftex umbrella.  Maybe your website and business is going to be negatively affected too.  If you don’t know what I am talking about, I am referring to the announcement by Dan Purcell, owner of Websites For Quilters (WFQ), about the fact that they are being acquired by Like Sew.

In spite of the fact that the notice said they were being acquired by Like Sew, that really isn’t the case.  See the except from the letter:  

“Like Sew has agreed to support our clients on the Dash system for an appropriate period of time.  Due to the difficulty of managing two separate systems, Like Sew is planning on supporting the Like Sew program in the long run.  As a result, our clients’ websites will be migrated to the Like Sew software. This may take up to a year.”

To me, it doesn’t sound like Like Sew is just taking over all of Website For Quilters accounts and continuing to run their business, they are making all those customers pay to get on to the Like Sew platform within a year.  In there lies the rub.  That is not a takeover to me, that is an attempt to get existing customers to transfer to a competitor for a fee…I am sure.  Being that we had 5 websites with WFQ, we are extremely disappointed and totally shocked by this announcement.  To add insult to injury, we were also working on an ipad ordering program with them too.  Needless to say, this is going to be a big setback for our companies and it is going to suck a lot of valuable energy out of people who could be working on more productive work.  In other words, this is going to generate a lot of negative energy.

We are now scrambling around to get this all sorted out.  The truth is that the most disappointing thing about this situation is that WFQ was an amazing company to work with.  The staff was young and aggressive and they were very responsive.  This is why we selected to work with them in the first place.  I don’t really know much about Like Sew, so I can’t comment on them.  Do you have an opinion of Like Sew?  I would like to know what your opinion is.  

As the Jaftexism goes, it is what it is and now we have to deal with it. Did you get blindsided by WFQ too?  What are your plans to keep this from disrupting your business?  If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them.  I will keep you posted about how we sort this all out.  Wish us luck!  Thanks.

Have a great week!
Websiteless Scott
       

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: In Total Awe Over The Blog Hop!

Dear Friends,
First and foremost, I wanted to wish everyone a happy Labor Day. Hope you are enjoying the day off and are ready for Fall.  Second off, I wanted to say how absolutely impressed and in awe I feel when I see the huge effort taking place in honor of Jaftex’s 85th Anniversary.  I spent much of my AM reading through the many blog posts and admiring all the great projects that have been made for this special event.  I must say two things:

1. WOW!  Amazing job by all participants.
2. Thank you all so much for your effort, time and hard work.  Thank you also to all of those people who are sending messages of congratulations to everyone at Jaftex.

We at Jaftex have been promoting several contests and special events in honor of this big celebration as well as tons of great prizes too.  I too wanted to get involved and throw out my own little offer.  So here is the deal.  Post a comment to this blog about your favorite 85th anniversary blog post with a short explanation of why it is your favorite.  I will select the winners Monday September 14 by 9 am, so that is the deadline.  Snooze and you lose.  I will pick the top three replies and the winners will each get a 10 yard bolt of a never before seen “special edition” Peppered Cotton.  Below is a list with links and dates for all the blog posts and where to find them.
Good luck!
Scott 

September 1 – Kim Diehl guest posting @ American Patchwork & Quilting

September 2 – Pepper @ Pepper at the Quilt Studio 
September 3 – Anjeanette @ Anjeanette Klinder 
September 4 – Leanne @ The Whole Country Caboodle   
September 5 – Mark @ Mark Lipinski’s Blog
September 6 – Heather @ Heather Kojan Quilts  
September 7 – Heather @ Trends and Traditions  
September 7 – Martha @ Wagons West Designs  
September 8 – Linda @ Linda Lum DeBono 
September 9 – Heidi @ Red Letter Quilts 
September 10 – Jill @ Jillily Studios  
September 10 – Dana @ My Lazy Daisy  
September 11 – Penny @ Sew Simple Designs  
September 12 – Ida @ Cowtown Quilts 
September 13 – Liz and Beth @ Lizzie B Cre8ive  
September 14 – Melissa @ Sew Bitter Sweet Designs
September 15 – Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl    
September 16 – Amy @ Kati Cupcake 
September 16 – Barbara @ QuiltSoup2 
September 17 – Erica @ Kitchen Table Quilting 
September 18 – Leona @ Leona’s Quilting Adventure 
September 19 – Margot @ The Pattern Basket  
September 20 – Sylvia @ Flying Parrot Quilts   
September 21 – Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts  
September 22 – Kim @ Aurifil Threads  
September 23 – Rebekah @ Don’t Call Me Becky   
September 24 – Julie @ The Crafty Quilter 
September 25 – Mary Ellen @ Little Quilts  
September 25 – Mary Jane @ Holly Hill Designs 
September 26 – Daisy @ Ants to Sugar
September 27 – Melissa @ Happy Quilting
September 28 – Janet @ One S1ster
September 29 – Jenny @ Martingale& Co.

September 30 – Teresa @ Third Floor Quilts

85th Anniversary Blog Hop

Welcome! Jaftex is the parent company of Henry Glass & Co., Studioe Fabrics and Blank Quilting and we are excited today to kick off the celebrations for the Jaftex 85th Anniversary Blog Hop.

Scott Fortunoff

Dear Friends,
We are so excited to see all of the projects made in honor of Jaftex’s first ever blog hop and 85th Anniversary celebration.  Jaftex is the parent of several companies, 3 of which cater solely to quilt shops only:  The Blank Quilting Corp., Henry Glass Fabrics & Studioe Fabrics.  Each of these companies and its employees could not be more proud to be a part of this special celebratory blog hop.  Thanks to all of our dear friends that contributed their time, skills and social media prowess in order to make this blog hop a huge hit.  We could not have achieved such great results without your contributions.  It means a lot to us that so many people were willing to step up on behalf of our companies and our family.  We truly value your friendship and partnership.  Thanks a million!

Being part of a family business is very special and rewarding in so many different ways.  At the current time, the third (Robert) and fourth generation (Scott & Greg) of the Fortunoff’s are holding down the fort, with several from the fifth generation on deck.  With 85 years behind us, we look forward to what lies ahead especially as this industry continues to transform with lots of new advancements.  We are excited to see what the future will bring and hope that you continue on this amazing journey with our family as we get closer to the very big and exciting 100th anniversary.

As we look toward the future, we would remiss if we didn’t talk about the past.  Thanks to 
Jacob A. Fortunoff, the JAF in Jaftex, for having the guts to go out and start his own business.  We could only imagine what effort was involved with starting a business from scratch in the early 1900’s.  Thank you to Jacob’s sons, Everett & Dan, for their contributions to the business too.   Each generation certainly faced challenges along the way and luckily no one gave up the quest to keep Jaftex alive.  There is no doubt that all of these Fortunoff ancestors are looking down at us and smiling to know that their legacy lives on.

Thanks again to everyone involved, both past and present.

Robert, Scott & Greg Fortunoff           

———————————————————————

We invited over 30 designers, quilt industry friends and bloggers to help us celebrate. Bundles of Henry Glass’ Folio Basics, Studioe’s Peppered Cottons or Blank’s Splash were sent to our friends and we asked them to make something special for our blog hop. They did not disappoint! Each day we will reveal the designs on the designers’ blogs. We are starting the blog hop with Kim Diehl guest posting on the American Patchwork & Quilting blog. Enjoy!

You can find Kim Diehl’s beautiful designs on her website or read all about her daily process on Facebook.  Currently she is working on her upcoming collection Sunday Best and her new Simple Whatnots Club 4 collection. 

September 1 – Kim Diehl guest posting @ American Patchwork & Quilting
September 2 – Pepper @ Pepper at the Quilt Studio 
September 3 – Anjeanette @ Anjeanette Klinder 
September 4 – Leanne @ The Whole Country Caboodle   
September 5 – Mark @ Mark Lipinski’s Blog
September 6 – Heather @ Heather Kojan Quilts  
September 7 – Heather @ Trends and Traditions  
September 7 – Martha @ Wagons West Designs  
September 8 – Linda @ Linda Lum DeBono 
September 9 – Heidi @ Red Letter Quilts 
September 10 – Jill @ Jillily Studios  
September 10 – Dana @ My Lazy Daisy  
September 11 – Penny @ Sew Simple Designs  
September 12 – Ida @ Cowtown Quilts 
September 13 – Liz and Beth @ Lizzie B Cre8ive  
September 14 – Melissa @ Sew Bitter Sweet Designs
September 15 – Yvonne @ Quilting Jetgirl    
September 16 – Amy @ Kati Cupcake 
September 16 – Barbara @ QuiltSoup2 
September 17 – Erica @ Kitchen Table Quilting 
September 18 – Leona @ Leona’s Quilting Adventure 
September 19 – Margot @ The Pattern Basket  
September 20 – Sylvia @ Flying Parrot Quilts   
September 21 – Lorna @ Sew Fresh Quilts  
September 22 – Kim @ Aurifil Threads  
September 23 – Rebekah @ Don’t Call Me Becky   
September 24 – Julie @ The Crafty Quilter 
September 25 – Mary Ellen @ Little Quilts  
September 25 – Mary Jane @ Holly Hill Designs 
September 26 – Daisy @ Ants to Sugar
September 27 – Melissa @ Happy Quilting
September 28 – Janet @ One S1ster
September 29 – Jenny @ Martingale& Co.

September 30 – Teresa @ Third Floor Quilts

Another fun part of the celebrations is the contest. Winners will receive fabric of course but also some great prizes from our quilt industry friends. The first prize winner will win a Janome Skyline S5, the second place winner will win a big box of Aurifil thread and the third prize will win a lovely tin with special goodies from Schmetz Needles.  Jaftex Corp. thanks special thanks to Janome AmericaAurifil and Schmetz Needles for their prizes.

Take note. We love our quilt shops and we have included a part of the giveaway where you can help your local shop win too! Here is a peek at the prizes.

Enter the contest below and good luck!

85th Anniversary Blog Hop Giveaway

Thank you for joining us for this celebration.