Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: What Can I Do To Help You Sell Studioe Fabrics?

The clock is ticking down until yet another Quilt Market.  With market in mind, I have been thinking a lot lately about the business environment and trying to wrap my brain around what the future might have in store for this industry.  The conclusion, I have no freaking clue and to be perfectly honest and that makes me a little nervous.  So what’s a textile executive to do or anyone in our industry for that matter?

Here are some simple answers in no particular order:

  • Work hard.
  • Keep designing beautiful prints.
  • Stay on top of technological advances.
  • Be active on social media.
  • Listen carefully.
  • Plan for the future and not just today.
  • Have a plan.
  • Take care of customers and continue to work under the mantra that the customer is always right. (Customer service)
  • Be aggressive.
  • Be kind all the time.
  • Focus on what has worked and maximize its potential.
  • Think a lot and try to think outside of the box.
  • Be different and innovate where possible.
  • Take calculated risks.
  • Be surrounded by smart and creative people.
  • Question things that don’t add up.
  • Crunch numbers.  They can be your best friend.  They do not lie unless you have a crappy calculator.
  • Be willing to change when the circumstances dictate.  Don’t be satisfied with status quo or mediocrity.
  • Ship as quickly as possible.
  • Offer competitive pricing.
  • Hire knowledgeable sales people.
  • Don’t give up.
  • Care for those around you.
  • Be respectful.
  • Be compassionate.
  • Be patient.
  • Share with others who are less fortunate than you.  Donate fabric.
  • Help customers succeed.

Today, I do want to focus on the last item on the list:  help customers to succeed.  Hence the title of this blog, What Can I Do To Help You Sell Studioe Fabrics?

I am vowing right here and right now to help Studioe as well as Blank Quilting, Henry Glass & A.E. Nathan customers succeed. You might be thinking, damn Scott, that will be a huge undertaking. What are you thinking?  The thing is that I am not afraid.  I am in an 87 year family business and I am part of the fourth generation with my very capable brother and of course my wise father too.  I am going to be 45 this year.  I can handle this and I will handle this. What do I have to lose?  We didn’t make it 87 years in the business having family members that were scared and we aren’t starting now with me….that’s for sure.  And with that, I am not going to slack, but rather I am going to embrace this situation head on and take the bull by the horns.

So where do I begin?  Starting right here and right now, I am going to start spreading the word that I, Scott Fortunoff, am on a mission to help you, however I can within reason, sell fabrics from family of companies. Essentially, I am now transferring the burden on to you and asking you to challenge me.  Yes, I am talking to you. How can I help you today, tomorrow or next year?

Get in touch with me asap with your ideas.  I promise not to disappoint you.  BRING IT ON!

Scott Fortunoff

800-294-9495 x218

scott@jaftex.com

I will be at booth 2915 at market and will be waiting for your challenge.

 

5 thoughts on “Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: What Can I Do To Help You Sell Studioe Fabrics?”

  1. Great list! I think combining two of these would be a great start: “be active on social media” and “be aggressive.” Many of your competitors are very active (and aggressive) on social media, working with fabric and pattern designers to curate content that engages the consumer. Some competitors have 50 to 100 times as many followers on their social media accounts as compared to your companies. And the content is very different. Often their content is used to build up excitement for new releases, creating demand for their fabric long before it’s even available to consumers. Consumers want what is marketed to them, and today, there is no marketing option greater than social media.

  2. I would like to help you by posting items I create using your fabrics. Let me know. Also, you are doing a great job!

  3. I agree with Laura that social media is an amazing marketing tool, and I’m thrilled to see that your family of companies is showing up more frequently there. I would like to see more posts that feature your designers and their upcoming lines and patterns. As a quilt instructor, I like to know what’s coming and have an opportunity to share (or at least tease) my students to get them excited about the new fabric lines and projects. Quite honestly, people just like to feel that they “know” the designer, the back story of the line, etc. and it makes them feel a personal connection and encourages them to buy it more frequently.

    I love the idea of the recent Blank Quilting American Honor contest and am trying to think of a way to encourage a lot more participation in future contests. Including the participant’s favorite quilt shop in the prizes for the American Honor contest was an awesome idea!

    I think the Henry Glass Inspire to Desire project is wonderful and I am always excited to see what is created. (Personally, I wrote up patterns for all of the projects I created and taught classes locally and it was really fun to be a “real” designer who got some press for and from area shops.) I feel confident in stating that many of my students have become more conscious of the fabric manufacture because of these two projects. I know that I mentioned the fabric lines, designers, and manufacturers enough on my personal blog. 🙂

    I think you need to continue your quest to improve Quilt Market. I’m sure you don’t make some people happy with your comments, but I have no doubt that you are making them think about what’s happening and the direction in which this is going. Just bringing it up for discussion is charting new waters, and I’m confident that positive changes will happen.

    Speaking of change, simply writing this post is empowering shop owners to be open and honest with you about what they really need and want for their shops. Hopefully they will pass this task on to their customers as well and be able to provide you with even more information. I look forward to hearing about your Friday night dinner, because I think this will be the beginning of wonderful conversations and ideas. Good luck!

    Have a good Market and thanks for all YOU do!

  4. I see different uses in the fabrics the competitors are posting, they don’t hit you with a ton of new collections at once. They seem to slowly emit photos on all social media, to keep one’s interest or a gentle reminder, like hey you might need this collection for your next project, keep us in mind. Even thought the fabrics are mainly for quilting that is not always the case. There are tons of giveaways. They reach out to all creative outlets. I was chosen on a Facebook post to see if I wanted to create something with a specific collection all I had to do was make something using only the fabric they sent and post. It was a win win. I follow numerous fabric manufacturers. They have tons of free projects as well posts showing what a person has created using a specific collection. (On Instagram it is called a shout out.) I myself am a quilter at heart but I enjoy dabbling in other crafts. I think you are doing a great job. You have lovely fabrics, and the designs are up to date. Thank you for your time.

  5. I need shareable pictures I can use in my social media and sales posts of quilts. I don’t care if they’re branded, tastefully. Samples sell, and I’m a little quilt shop one woman show who could sell more kits if I just had better and “funner” pictures I could use. I sew like a wild woman, but I can’t make a sample for every kit I want to kit. I’m a bit known for my Kim Diehl collections, I would love to sell more fabric in kits, then I could buy more fabric!
    Thanks for asking!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *