Scott is MIA Today

MIA – Yes, Scott is “Missing In Action” from the blog today. Pay careful attention to the word ‘action’ though. He is so busy preparing for the launch of new fabric lines on May 1 and Quilt Market in St. Louis May 19-21 that today he missing from his space on this page. Believe me though, he is still in action.

Comment below if you missed him today. (It will make him feel guilty.)

 

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: You Can’t Keep A Good Yenta Quiet!

APRIL FOOL’S blog readers!  You can’t keep a good yenta down.  Did you really think that I was going to end my blogging career like that?  I think not.  When it is time for me to go, when I have nothing more to talk about with respect to our industry, that is when I will pull the plug.  In the meantime, see that picture below?  You know what that is?  That is the pile of irate letters that I received from people protesting that I was going to stop blogging.  It’s crazy!  Who knew?  Not to mention all the phone calls and emails I got too.

That is the crux of what I wanted to report this week especially since we are in high gear at our offices preparing for the ever-important May Quilt Market release.  Speaking of Quilt Market, I continue to hear that more and more vendors and shop owners won’t be attending.  This is very disappointing and unfortunately there appears to be no end to the troubles that we all face with quilt market, its future and its importance.  When is the downfall going to end?  In addition, with the couple of mergers & acquisitions and companies going out of business, that won’t help market either because that too will reduce the booth counts.  Anyway, I will be there with a smile on my face, ready to show our newest lines and to take orders. I will look forward to seeing you too.  If you want to set up an appointment, please email me at scott@jaftex.com so we can get something on the calendar.  You can also email sales manager extraordinaire, Cliff Garfinkel at cgarfinkel@jaftex.com.

Speaking of mergers and acquisitions, I continue to hear that a lot of companies are looking and talking.  They are kicking the tires around. Lots of rumors.  So you should expect to see some more deals coming in the future because where there is smoke, there is fire. Unfortunately, at this time we haven’t found another company to bring in to our organization, but that it not to say that we are not looking.

Hope you had a nice Easter and/or Passover.  Have a great week.

Sincerely,

The Yenta Is Back, Scott

 

An Interview with Sandra Magsamen, author, artist and encourager.

On a recent Friday, Sandra Magsamen gave StudioE a few minutes to catch a glimpse into her life and work. She was in route from her home and studio in Vermont to visit family in Maryland. She was at that moment a perfect passenger with hubby at the wheel and plenty of time to chat.

Sandra with daughter Hannah in Paris

I commented on how many of her recent Instagram photos were in Paris! Sandra’s daughter Hannah has been living there for the past five years, having completed grad school, she followed with a certificate from Parsons Paris in painting and dedicated herself to becoming fluent in reading and writing French (says proud Mom).

Sandra joined her daughter in Paris for a month-long visit in January and had her own reflection period. The kind that one can only get in a distant place. Fine French food and fabulous museums doesn’t hurt, either. She jokes that she ate her way through Paris. And the happy outcome is that daughter Hannah decided to move home too, to start putting roots down closer to family.

Children enjoying one of Sandra’s books.

At the core of Sandra’s time in Paris, during her personal reflection period, she got to think about what excites her most which is; connection from the heart. She immensely enjoys her work writing for the young.

That is where her soul is drawn. In a larger sense she is a giver, and creates all things in her art to give to another for the sole purpose of making a connection with a heartfelt message.

Sandra with the book panel for “My Little Chickadee” from Sandra’s Huggable and Lovable collection with StudioE Fabrics

In a moment, she was happily talking about the books she has designed for Studio E Fabrics, and shared how she imagines them being used.

One of the books from StudioE’s Huggable and Lovable collection, “Because I love you”

She has fond thoughts of mothers or grandmothers making them for their children, or perhaps for a new baby. She imagines a young mother reading a fabric book made with love to her new baby. From the creation of her designs, to the selection at the store, to the making of the books and the final act of sharing, Sandra’s hope is for connection.

Sandra’s compassion began at a young age when she herself went through her own trauma. At 12, she was accidentally pinned underneath a piece of one ton farm equipment. She credits her twin sister, Susan, for supernatural adrenaline and the power of love to lift the equipment off Sandra to save her. Sandra spent a year sheltered away, first in the hospital and then home convalescing to recuperate. During that time, her very close family encouraged her to make things to send to school to her school mates that she missed. With four sisters to help serve as messengers, Sandra’s days were spent making drawings, knitting, painting, sewing or crafting up all sorts of things, to be delivered to those whom she wanted to keep connections.

Sandra in her home studio that she shares with her husband.

That beginning is the legacy of her work. “Ultimately, we all want to connect to be loved”, she says.  While much of her book writing (over 55 now) has been dedicated to the very young, she has found that all of her art is about finding that language of encouragement. She has been an art therapist working with deaf children, as well as older adults who are facing difficult seasons of depression or mental digressions.  She has also written cards for Hallmark.

So, what’s next? Sandra wants to enlarge her sphere of influence to begin writing for the young school-age child. She recalls the books we read as children ourselves that influenced us toward transformation. She envisions sharing through nature and metaphor that a young child should begin by believing in the wonderful grown up person that a small person will become.

Flowers harvested from the community garden where Sandra and her husband have devoted their time.

She also excitedly shared a local community project that her and her husband have undertaken by partnering with a local school and delivering a horticultural program for young students by way of a community garden.

Sandra Magsamen has lots of fires burning on all fronts; creatively, in business, in her community and for her family. Her calm soft voice communicates that she is confident and clear of them all having a positive outcome. She is lucky, she says, to be able to follow her dream and to have had the experiences and travels that she has enjoyed.

All her experiences can be summed up in the mission she describes quite simply; to connect one heart with another.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive Is Officially OVER!

Not so happy April folks.  April means the start of a new quarter and with a new quarter, we have new budget cuts.  Yes, budget cuts!  Guess what?Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive is on the chopping block to be some of the carnage from the cutbacks that need to be made during the market contraction.  THE PARTY IS OVER FOLKS! An analysis was done by the book keeper and it was determined that the cost of the blog on an annual basis was $253,004.11.  It sounds high, but you think it is easy to write nearly 52 blogs in a year, with photos, editing, etc. I don’t work for free! Also, you can’t forget all the lost sales from the time it is taking me away from selling fabric and travelling.  The point is to sell fabric, RIGHT? Not write blogs!

The irony is that I don’t get paid for the blogs and I totally should. When I broached the subject recently about not getting paid for the blog writing, that too contributed to the decision by my dad and brother to cut it. Anyway, the truth is that they think my blog sucks and is a total waste of my time.  I kind of enjoyed it if anyone cares.  Do we get more sales because of my blah, blah, blah, blog they ask?  I have no idea, but I can think of a couple of people that will be happy to see me go. Regardless, the point of this blog is that I am done blogging.  I am out of here.   What do you think about that?  Post your comments and I will make sure that my dad and brother see them.

  Studioe Scott