Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Genius Behind It All Part 2: My Father

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive:  The Genius Behind It All

Part 2:  My Father

As my sister and I emptied out of the train and jumped into my car, we were both on edge and couldn’t get to the hospital soon enough.  I realized that one’s imagination could be one’s worst enemy.  What ifs were consuming me, but as my dad likes to say, “I don’t do what ifs.”  So I set the ‘what ifs’ aside and rushed into the hospital to see for myself my dad’s status. 

Upon seeing my dad and getting an update from doctors, I was relieved that my imagination was my worst enemy and things were certainly not as bad as what my brain had conjured up.  A sense of relief settled in to some extent.

Now it was time to get to the bottom of what was going on.  Without going into a million details, the long and the short of it was that my dad had somehow gotten blood clots throughout his body.  How?  We will probably never know.  After spending about 5 days in the hospital and taking blood thinners, among other medications, the pain subsided and he slowly got better.

As of today, January 2014, I am happy to report that my dad is back in good health and will soon be ready to fly again.  I guess I bought some time until I have to answer the question….could I run Jaftex on my own?

Hopefully that will be a story for a blog a long time from now.

Stay tuned for part 3.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Genius Behind It All Part 1: My Father

A couple of months ago, I awoke at some ungodly hour and couldn’t fall back asleep.  Rather than sit in bed rolling around thinking, I showered, got dressed, had breakfast and made a 5 am train.  I was in Manhattan by 6 am.

At 7 am, my cell phone rang and my mother asked, “where are you?” “I am in the office, believe it or not.” She said she was at the hospital with my dad.  My heart sunk.  He was having pains in his chest all night, but fortunately it wasn’t a heart attack.  She said everything would be ok and dad didn’t want anyone to visit.  That is just his way, he doesn’t really like to put people out, which is a trait I too possess.  So, I went on with my day, as best I could, staying in touch throughout.

At 3 pm, my mom called in a semi-panic insisting that my siblings and I come to the hospital immediately.  OMG!  Now I am freaking out, but in the back of my mind I keep thinking that nothing could ever happen to my dad…. he is invincible.  

 

My sister and I immediately ran to Penn Station to catch a train.  On the way over, she was an emotional wreck and kept eluding to death.  My head then started to fill up with morbidity.  My mind was now running out of control.  Not only could I be losing my amazing father, but I could also be losing my business partner and the brains behind the Jaftex Companies.

Could I run Jaftex on my own?  Was I up for the task?  These were questions I knew I would have to address one day…..I just didn’t think that day could come so soon. 

Stay tuned for part 2.

FACEBOOK WINNER!

CJ Shells from Glenford, Ohio has won the Studioe Facebook Contest and a fat quarter bundle from our popular Watermark collection.

She said “I live in Glenford, OH. I’ve been making quilts 1 year since Nov 2012. I’ve made 15 quilts in that year. My sister in law had me a shirt made that says “Help I’ve started sewing and I can’t stop” lol”

 

Winner! 

 CJ SHELLS FROM GLENFORD OHIO

 

 

CJ: To claim your prize please send an e-mail to LWALKER@FABRICEDITIONS.COM with your NAME, ADDRESS, and PHONE NUMBER. The package will be put in the mail as soon as possible!

 

Thank you for your participation! Please keep an eye for more giveaways on our Facebook!

Be sure to see the full details on the

COLORFUL PEPPERD COTTONS CHALLENGE http://www.studioefabrics.com/contest_rules/

TALES OF A FOURTH GENERATION TEXTILE EXECUTIVE: QUILTERS ARE A RARE BREED AND THE QUILT INDUSTRY IS AMAZING

Things have finally settled down since the Houston quilt market and now I am back to blogging for all my loyal Studioe followers.  So what’s on my mind?  A lot!  Unfortunately I can’t write about everything that is on my mind in one sitting and I highly doubt you would have the time or patience to read something so long and boring.

So today I am going to talk about how quilters are a rare breed and how amazing the quilt industry is.  When I say that quilters are a rare breed, I mean it in a good way.  As you may or may not know, I am from New York.  You might have heard or experienced the fact that New Yorkers aren’t the nicest people in the world. I am not saying that they all aren’t nice, don’t get me wrong, but a good chunk could be considered rude, obnoxious, pushy, impatient and snotty as compared to people from the other 49 states and world.  Of course I am not one of those New Yorkers.  No really!  I swear!  Ok, maybe a little, but I try really hard not to be….seriously.

In any case, quilters are so nice and genuine and hence, they are a rare breed to me. (Quilters from New York are a rare breed too).  I actually look forward to sitting down with many of you quilters and quilt shop owners at market to show you the new Studioe lines.  It is kind of soothing, believe it or not.

I am so lucky to have ended up working in such a great industry.  If you think about it, I could have ended up in a super high pressure industry where everyone was from New York or at least it might have seemed that way.  That would not have been pretty or good for my health.

As many of you know from reading my previous blogs, there is a lot to be said about low stress jobs.  If you recall, I attended law school for 3 very long years and then I traded stocks on Wall Street for about 8 years.  During that time, I experienced some serious stress related issues…tmj, hives, acid reflux, heart palpitations and insomnia to name a few.  The day I stepped into the Jaftex offices, all those ailments astonishingly disappeared like magic.  Needless to say, I now have a quality of life and am a lot happier.  It just shows that having the right job plays such a critical role in your health and happiness.  This really isn’t a joke as life is too short to be unhealthy and unhappy.

So to wrap this all up, because quilters are such rare breeds and the quilting industry as a whole is such a low pressure and amazing industry, many of us are really lucky to be a part of it.  Not only that, but we could be living longer lives because of it.  So amen to the quilting industry and quilters!

 

Happy Quilting!

Your Happ-e Friend,

Scott

HOW TO WORK WITH PEPPERED COTTONS BY PEPPER CORY

This is a general informational sheet brought to you by StudioE Fabrics. Our line of shot cottons, calledPeppered Cottons, has been selling well and we thought a how-to might be a smart idea. Feel free to post this in your shop and share it with your customers.

What Peppered Cottons are. These are 100% shot cotton fabrics that almost fall into the solid color category. The term ‘shot’ means the weft is “shot through” the warp but uses a discernibly different color thread. Because the warp (lengthwise threads) and the weft (side to side threads) are different colors, the resulting shades are muted and variable combinations of the original colors. For instance, a black warp thread plus a blue warp thread woven together makes for a very dark blue such as Ink color# 45. When a fabric like Ink is viewed from different angles, the blues and blacks produce subtly different visual effects. Above all, shot cottons have a tactile handwoven quality and display deep colors well since all threads are dyed prior to weaving. There is no wrong or right side to shot cottons–a plus for quiltmakers.

Peppered Cottons on the bolt. All shot cottons, when being readied for winding on to cardboard bolts, are folded double, pressed, and heated in a process called calendaring. Calendaring makes the winding process easier and tighter on the bolt. Without washing, calendared fabrics have a sheen and very soft hand. Art quilters, who do not need to wash their fabrics, can use shot cottons straight from the bolt. Most quiltmakers will want to wash the fabric prior to starting a quilt project.

How to Wash. Keeping the fabric in its doubled-form, slightly trim a little angled ‘ear’ from both selvedge edges of the length of fabric. Unfold the fabric. If washing small lengths, put the shot cotton pieces into a lingerie bag or knotted pillow case (give the fabric room to move—not a tight knot). Our preference is to wash in warm water and rinse in cold. Use the same sort of soap or detergent you would use to eventually clean a quilt. If washing multiple pieces, sort into several bags by colors. Wash in a full tub of water and use a Color Catcher ™ in the load. FYI: this step is to capture any excess dye particles. Peppered Cottons are color-fast! After washing, take the fabrics out of the bags and ‘fluff.’ Cut any loose threads at that time. Re-insert the damp pieces loosely into their bags and dry about 20 minutes. Do not walk away and let the fabrics over-dry. Unfold the pieces and air-dry completely. If the pieces are small you may iron them at this time. Most of the time, I snip any loose threads, fold the dry shot cottons yardage, and store on shelves. Then when I’m ready to sew with the shot cottons, I only iron as much as I need of the fabric for that project.

Washed Peppered Cottons. Washed and pressed Peppered Cottons have a slightly different hand than when they are on the bolt. The calendaring sheen rinses out. The weave firms up giving these fabrics the hand (texture + weight) of good-quality unbleached muslin. The brilliant colors also slightly intensify when the light-reflective finish is gone. Because of the finish difference between on-the-bolt and washed Peppered Cottons, the best advice is to purchase all you’ll need for a project at one time and to treat that length of fabric the same. In other words, no un-washed and washed of the same color in the same project. Note that Peppered Cottons are a higher thread weight than most shot cottons and it means these fabrics blend well with regular-weight quilting fabrics. You can mix-and-match Peppered Cottons with fabrics from your stash with the assurance that they’ll stand up to use.

Sewing With Peppered CottonsBefore cutting patchwork pieces from the fabric, give it a light mist of spray starch and press. This step gives the fabric even more body. Align selvedges, especially if cutting with the grain, and cut pieces as usual. When sewing, use a good quality #50 or #60 100% cotton sewing thread and use your normal stitch length. Either match the color of thread to the fabric or choose a blendable shade such as taupe, grey or khaki.

Applique Tips. I like to spray-starch shot cotton yardage twice (spray both sides) when doing applique. Since applique requires a lot of handling, a little extra body never hurts, especially when doing needle-turn applique by hand. When sewing machine applique, sample a block first so you can adjust stitch type, length of stitch, and your preferred weight of thread. In most cases, either  #50 or #60 weight thread are good choices for machine applique work.

Pressing.  Always use a clean iron. I prefer a lightweight nonstick-coated iron and I seldom use steam. When ironing shot cotton yardage and sewn patchwork, set your iron on Wool the setting just below Cotton. A too-hot iron can cause crinkling at the edges of the cut patchwork. There’s no need to work at any hotter setting than Wool.

Quilting. When machine-quilting, use a new needle and again, a thin strong thread. I like a flat look in my quilts so prefer a thin cotton or wool batting–almost the flatness of flannel. For quilt backing, choose a quilting-weight cotton fabric, rather than more shot cotton, to give more density to the quilt.

Working With a Professional Quilter. If you hire a professional quilter, be willing to work with him/her in the event they have had no experience with shot cottons. Tip: take the quilter a sandwiched block (top, batting, backing) using the same shot cottons used in your quilt top. This sample is so she can test her stitches. Make the bottom layer (backing) of the quilt sandwich a regular-weight cotton. Shot cottons are easy to quilt but sometimes a professional quilter uses the same size needle for all tasks. FYI: you can tell when a too-large needle has been used in machine quilting–when the finished quilt is held to the light, tiny pin-holes appear through which light shines. Hopefully, these miniscule holes close up after use and washing. But to be sure, when quilting a shot cotton quilt, ask that your quilter use a new, slightly thinner needle and thinner thread for the best combination and plan on a non-shot cotton backing fabric. Work together with the quilter so you can achieve the finest final product.

Quilting by Hand. When quilting by hand on shot cottons, use a good quality thread. Thoroughly baste the three layers so they do not shift while working. The usual weight of hand quilting thread is #40. Since quilting stitches show so well on the surface of Peppered Cottons, this is a great opportunity to experiment with contrasting colors of thread or even try Big Stitch quilting using a #8 or #12 perle cotton.

Finishing and Binding. After quilting but before binding, run basting stitches completely around all sides of the quilt, especially if there any cut bias edges that might stretch. Stitch in from the open cut edges of the quilt 1/8th inch. Basting can be done by either machine or hand. Leave basting stitches in place. After basting (which “closes up” the sandwich of top/batting/backing) decide if you want to trim the quilt exactly to its cut edges or leave a little batting/backing to plump up the binding. Cut binding either with the straight of grain or on the bias. If using shot cotton for the binding and cutting bias, another light spray of starch will help you handle the stretchy bias strips better.

We hope you enjoy working with Peppered Cottons and find them a great addition to your quilting palette!

-Pepper Cory

TALES OF A FOURTH GENERATION TEXTILE EXECUTIVE: JACKSON HOLE-E COW “I AM CURED”

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive:  Jackson Hole-e  Cow “I Am Cured”

Notes from Day 2.

My Jackson euphoria has faded away fast, but the memories remain ingrained.  Now I am back to the real world.  With that, it is 5:30 a.m. and my daddy duties were in full effect last night.  Poor Ace got sick just as my wife and I fell asleep.  We spent the next hour in the laundry room gagging from the stench and stuff.  It was kind of funny.  I hate to gross you out, but it shows that there is more to life than just selling fabric and working.

Family is so important and I love my two boys (the 5th Generation)and my wife.

It was hard to fall back asleep after the excitement of the night, so I took a 5:43 a.m. train into Manhattan.  When I arrived, it was dark, but the air was fresh like in Jackson Hole.  Speaking of Jackson, day 2 was full of adventure.  At 9 a.m. Thad, the guide, picked me up to go fly fishing.  You know what they say, when in Jackson, you have to go fly fishing.   We first got a mandatory fishing license and then drove to a takeoff spot.  On the way, I saw a coyote which was neat.  It was now just me, Thad, our boat, oars, the river, my life vest, the cold air, wildlife, fishing poles and lures.  Thad taught me all the basics of fly fishing and before I knew it, I was catching fish.  He knew his stuff and I learned a lot from him, not only about fishing, but about wildlife, Wyoming politics, life and more.  In all, I caught 5 fish….Whitties and Cutthroats.  5 miles and 5 hours later, we were done.  In a word, awesome!

I was so tired after the fishing that I took a 2 hour nap….NOT!  Life is too short to nap…especially in Jackson Hole.   I showered up and got dolled up for the rest of the day’s events.  I wore grey pants, a clean white button down and my lucky blue sport coat.  I always say, if you want to be important, you need to look important.  I headed over to “Stitch ‘n Time” and hung out for a bit.  It was hopping at the shop as classes had just let out.  A lot of people were chatting with me as everyone knew who I was.  At around 5:15, I gave Kim, the shop owner, the sign that it was time to go for dinner.  It was me and 5 lovely guild members.  I forget the name of the restaurant that we went to, but they had a wicked good lamb chop.   After dinner, we went to the Teton Valley Fair Building for the big event.

The big event was the Evening Social.  It was a big event for me because it was my first real speaking debut.  As my blog followers know, I am not fond of public speaking (recall glossophobia), but I have to do it because it is a fact of my life and it is important to help me grow as a businessperson.  To be honest, it is so much easier to just write a blog and take the easy way out.  After a warm introduction from Janet, a guild leader, I was handed the microphone.  At that moment, I had a bad flashback to my Bar-Mitzvah, December 7, 1986.  Like that day, I felt queasy, nervous and sweaty, until I uttered my first word.  That was all it took for me to calm down…..one single word.  Imagine that?  In all, I spoke for about one and a half hours with some breaks.

Since I came with minimal prepared comments, the “speech” took a life of its own.  It was amazing to see nearly 100 people watching and listening to me so intently.  I covered so many different topics and as time went on and became more and more comfortable speaking.  Believe it or not, I think I might have cured my glossophobia in Jackson Hole.  Who would have thunk?  It only took 40 years and the perfect audience to overcome my fear.

The truth is that I don’t remember everything that I spoke about, as it was kind of like an out of body experience for me, but here are some things I do remember.  Many of the topics were things that I have covered in my blogs.

  • The Peppered Cotton Challenge!
  • Work travels to the south, India and throughout the U.S.
  • The roots of the family business.
  • How lines are created and developed.
  • Licensing.
  • Selling.
  • Different fabrics.
  • All the countries where we buy our fabrics and the difference in quality and pricing.
  • I showed old photos from my grandfather’s scrapbook of our offices in the 1930’s.
  • How we owned plants in the past, but not anymore.
  • How goods are double and rolled.
  • My life and how I got to where I am today.

That is the gist of it, so if you want to know more, you will have to come and see me the next time I have another speaking engagement.  Looking forward to receiving more invites to speak in front of guilds…bring it on and keep on quilting.  Don’t forget that Studioe customers are the best!  Make sure to come and visit me at booth #328 at the quilt market in Houston. The secret password to get my attention is “Let’s Go Fly-Fishing”

Stay tuned for Day 3 in Jackson Hole.

Sayonara,

Dadde Scott (as my son calls me)

TALES OF A FOURTH GENERATION TEXTILE EXECUTIVE: JACKSON HOLE -E- COW DAY 1

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive:  Jackson Hole – Day 1.

Jackson hole-e cow!  Sickest work trip ever!  I am so not used to a work trip that is actually enjoyable and not so much work and definitely no hard work for certain (don’t tell my boss-dad).  I could get used to this.  The wonderful fresh air, beautiful views, traffic-less streets and some of the most friendly and warm people are in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  This sure ain’t New York!

Arrived late Wednesday night and unfortunately didn’t get to enjoy the views at that time because it was so dark.  But that made it that much better when I awoke early Thursday morning and looked out into the mountains as I sat and ate breakfast.  In a word…breathtaking.  In another word…heaven.  Call my wife and kids and tell them I won’t be making it home for dinner….ever again!  I am cracking up just picturing my wife’s face.

I had some time before my first Jackson Hole Quilt Festival “event”, so what did I do?  I made like a cowboy and went on a horseback ride.

Scott the cowboy

 

One of the festival organizers hooked me up at a local horse ranch and I got a free ride….yippee–kye–yeah.   My horse Pepsico and my tour guide Oren were both great, but unfortunately the only wildlife I saw were some chipmunks and cattle, but I am not complaining, I am just saying.  Oren did say he saw some bears the day before…I was way jealous.

 

Next, I took a rather ambitious ride to Rexburg, Idaho to see some customers.  I would say that the solid hour and a half ride was boringly beautiful, if you know what I mean by that.  I traveled through some tiny towns that seemed like they were from another era, but they were precious.  One of the signs said population 160…holy tiny.  That is like the number of people in my passenger car on the train to work.  It’s another world in the Mid-west compared to what I am used to in New York, but I love it if you haven’t figured that out yet.  Change is good once and awhile and this was the kind of change I needed to experience to get me re-invigorated about my job and ready for what I hope will be a successful quilt market.

After Rexburg, I headed back to Jackson for a meet- and-greet at the quilt shop in Jackson…”Stitch ‘n Time” on Alpine Lane.  The owner, Kim Kerr, is the organizer of the Festival, which is in its second year.  Her shop is one of the largest I’ve seen in awhile.  It was very spacious and interestingly I learned that the openness of the shop was to cater to people in wheelchairs.  Wow! Isn’t that thoughtful?  Damn, those Wyominginians (is that a word) are considerate!  The place was rocking because the daily classes had just let out.  It’s always awesome to see people line up at the counter and to see the quilt shops flourish as I am always rooting for my customers.  It was even more awesome to see that a lot of people were buying up the new Studioe shot cottons.

A small crowd gathered and I then had the chance to chat and to show them the new lines being released at quilt market.  The customers enjoyed having this rare glimpse that quilt shop owners everywhere experience so often.  As always, it was insightful to hear comments about the lines.  After a couple hours of that, I was invited to dinner at a little Mexican joint with 3 of the guild members. They were so inquisitive and interested in all aspects of the fabric business and me as a fourth generationer.  After a quick bite and some conversation, we headed over to the Snow King Hotel for an evening class by Kelly Gallagher Abbott of Jukebox Quilts in Fort Collins, Colorado.  She gave an excellent lecture on long arm quilting, among other things, as she is a Gammill quilting machine dealer.  It was kind of Spanish to me, but everyone was really into it and what I did follow was neat.  Day 1 is done.  Stay tuned for day 2.  In the meantime, happy quilting.

Yours Truly,

The Driver Of The Studioe Ship

TALES OF A FOURTH GENERATION TEXTILE EXECUTIVE: LET THE JOURNEY BEGIN

As promised, I am making all efforts to blog it up a little more consistently.  So, here I am sitting in seat 24c on the way to Denver for a layover and ultimately to a place that I haven’t been to in awhile.  Let me give you some hints….Reggie, Michael, Jesse, Kendall, Andrew, Latoya and Jermaine to name a few.  If you haven’t figured it out yet, all these people have the last name Jackson.  I particularly like Kendall, the wine guy, as I imagine, or hope, that you quilters enjoy a nice glass of wine or two or twelve while working your magic on the sewing machine.  I am not condoning quilting and drinking, but I am not speaking against it either.  Just be smart.

Anyhow, so if you haven’t figured it out yet, I am headed to the beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming.   Why you might ask?  As I often do, I received an email request for a fabric donation for what is to be the Jackson Hole Quilt Festival.  I emailed the person in charge and long story short I agreed to sponsor the event on behalf of Studioe and Henry Glass (not sure if I mentioned this, but Henry Glass Fabrics is under the JAFTEX umbrella too).  I got to talking with the woman in charge, and before I knew it, I somehow volunteered to be the guest speaker at the Friday night social. I guess I was just in a good mood that day.

Allow me to digress.  Glossophobia, the fear of public speaking.  This is a phobia of mine and like my previous blog where I was nervous about dressing up as a woman, once again, I need my therapist to increase my Xanax dosage.  This phobia started in law school after enduring some serious grilling during a trial that I wasn’t well prepared for.  The fear is improving slowly though as my job and life do require me to publicly speak more frequently than most and much more frequently than I like.  That being said, the best way to get over the fear of public speaking is to public speak.  So I am going to man up and enlighten the social attendees about the fabric industry and anything they want to know about it, and me.  Since I hated law school so much, I thought I would structure the social like a law class…..spite is a beautiful thing.  That is, not with a boring preplanned lecture, but rather, I am almost totally unprepared and will see the direction that the crowd wants to go in based on their questions.  Wish me luck as this should be interesting.  Considering the glossophobia, I am not sure how this will work out, but I will be certain to let you know upon my return….if I make it.

Back to the subject at hand, I am very excited about this trip as I will have some free time to see the sights.  The problem is that since our government is so dysfunctional that the parks will be closed and I will probably miss out on some beautiful sightseeing, hiking and fishing.  How unlucky!  I will make the best of it though as I am a creative guy.

In any case, the plane is going to land soon and the second leg of my trip will begin.  I can’t wait to report back to you, my dear blog followers.  Stay tuned.  In the meantime, I wish you happy quilting and hope you are praying for my survival of the social….1 hour and 100 people…yikes.

Yours truly,

SMF

TALES OF A 4TH GENERATION TEXTILE EXECUTIVE: WHAT A WILD SUMMER IT HAS BEEN!

Please try to read this entire blog as there is a hidden Facebook contest within.

Before I start to blog, let me preface this blog, and every blog that I write, by saying that everything I write, and say, is all in good humor and not intended to offend anyone, anywhere.  This is all for laughs….so put on a smiland try to laugh with me or at me or something.  Let’s have fun and stop being so serious all the time….life is too short.

Hi everybody,

I can’t believe that the Summer is over.  I need to apologize for my lack of communication. So please forgive me quilters as I have sinned, it has been over 5 months since my last blog!  Ugh!  Actually, now it is going on 6 months.  The stress to get this done is absolutely killing me.  I need to call my shrink and have her up my meds (there you go…a joke…1,2,3 laugh, or not).  I am fairly new to the blogosphere and promise to do better going forward.

So here goes.  I am sure that you are all (hopefully there is more than one person reading this) wondering who the lovely blond lady is in the photo with the beard and boa.  Well, that is me, yours truly, Mr. Studioe, Scott M. Fortunoff.  So what’s the deal, you might be wondering?  Well, when I am not out wearing my Studioegarb, I am wearing an A.E. Nathan outfit and no, it is not always a dress silly.  Just so you know, although this blog is tied into the Studiowebsite, this blog is really a compilation of my tales as a 4th Generation Textile Executive…a.k.a. my blog.  As such, if you didn’t already know, I am the also the President of A.E. Nathan (AEN).  If you don’t know about AEN, please check out the website at www.aenathan.com as we sell some great products (nice plug, eh?  Free advertising).

So back to the story.  Two years ago, a large AEN customer invited me to attend a show of theirs for store personnel, the purpose of which was to explain the details and benefits of the AEN products.  There was a lot of pressure from the buyer for me to make an excellent presentation and a lasting impression too.  Ugh!  Oh the pressure! Who would have thought that this business would be so stressful?  It is starting to feel like I am back in law school or trading stocks again.  I am just joking as I thrive on this type of stress.  It is an opportunity to shine.

In preparing a plan for my booth at the show, I had some clown costumes made with the AEN costume satins.  My plan was to put the costumes on mannequins.  As I packed my bags for the show, my son Ace and I decided to try the costumes on for fun.  A little dress up time with daddy.  Lo and behold, one costume fit me like a glove (see photo).  So Ace and I jumped into the car and went to Party City.  A car was picking me up soon to take me to the airport, so we had to put a move on.  At Party City I bought a wig, glasses, a big red nose, clown shoes and makeup…I spared no expense.  I thought that this would knock their socks off and I could shine.

When I arrived at the show for set-up, I laid out the fabrics on the table and dressed the mannequins.  Everything looked good, but now it was time to go over the top, Superman style.  So like Superman, I ran into the restroom and put on my costume.  When I came out, the crowd went wild.  No one knew what was going on.  Mind you that this was the first show of its kind.  Needless to say, the buyer was pleased, I did leave a lasting impression, on everyone, and I came home with some orders to boot.

Scott the clownWho ever said clowning around doesn’t pay off?

Fast forward to the second personnel show of its kind this past August.  How was I ever going to top the clown outfit?  I had a plan.  I had a dress made with some of the AEN polyester prints and I really went for it this time.  So what did I do?

 

You guessed it, I transformed into a lady overnight as best as I could.  I did drop the ball though because I couldn’t find any comfortable heels in my size.  As I tried on shoes at TJMaxx, I learned fast that it ain’t easy being a lady.  Not only that, but I totally forgot to shave my legs.  I didn’t shave the beard either because I thought that would be ironic…and my wife likes it too.  But seriously, once again, I felt a lot of pressure….to be a lady.  A clown…no problem.  A lady, on the other hand, I was having second thoughts and even struggled to sleep the night before.  But I had to do it, for the love of fabric and for the love of the three generations of textile executives before me.  So, like Superman, I came out of the men’s room, but this time I probably should have been leaving the ladies room.  This is getting weird…time to wrap up.  Needless to say, the buyer was pleased again and I came home with orders.

So you may be asking yourself, what is the point of this all?

  1. Have fun doing your job.
  2. I, Mr. Studioe, Scott M. Fortunoff, go all out for my customers.  What can I do for you?
  3. Dressing up is liberating and sometimes nerve racking.
  4. Everybody should quilt with Studiofabric.

That all being said, if you made it to the end of my blog, God Bless You.  So here is the Facebook contest.  Answer each of these questions at the StudioFacebook page in 100 words or less and the top 3 answers will get some nice fabric presents from me.  Like us on Facebook too please!

  1. Did you like me better dressed up as a clown or a woman?  Why?
  2. What should I wear next year?  I was hoping to use fleece and flannel for next year’s show, so try to work with that premise.

Happy Quilting!

Mr. Studioa.k.a. Scottie

 

P.S.  Check out the Peppered Cotton Challenge. peppered-cotton-challenge-btn

JUST ANNOUNCED – COLORFUL PEPPERED COTTONS CHALLENGE!

COLORFUL is the word most often used to describe the new “Peppered Cottons” from Studioe Fabrics. The word was used so often and with such enthusiasm that we decided to name the new challenge COLORFUL!

The Colorful Peppered Cottons Challenge was just announced yesterday. We are just looking for creative projects and we put no restriction on what it is….your project can be anything!  Just have fun and bring the creativity.  The only restriction is that the project does need to use the Peppered Cottons fabric for at least 75% of it and recognizable Studioe fabric for the rest or all Peppered Cottons for that matter.

Peppered Cottons are Studioe Fabrics’ version of the ever so popular shot cottons, but with a twist. The twist is that the manufactured weight is a quilters’ cotton weight which gives it the hand of a soft cotton. The reason that colorful is so often emphasized is that the first 25 colors of the line are an amazing blend of on trend colors with fun names like Saffron, Begonia Leaf, Morning Glory, Paprika, Rain and Fog. The colors are just as rich as they sound. The line was the brain child of veteran quilt guru, Pepper Cory, in conjunction with Studioe’s lead stylist, Megan Downer.

With the quick sell out of the first full print run of 25 colors, the next container of goods could not get here soon enough. They be arriving at the warehouse in Seneca, South Carolina around the end of September so get ready for them to hit your store. In addition, there will be 10 NEW colors launched at the October Quilt Market in Houston with those goods shipping before the end of the year.

Scott Fortunoff, our fearless leader, was not surprised at the success of Peppered Cottons, but was a little bit surprised at the rapid sellout of the first run. At the Spring Market he made calls to get started on the next shipment and it doesn’t arrive soon enough especially with this contest brewing.  Unlike reprints of a quilting line, the time it takes to produce the Peppered Cottons is long….almost 2 months.

What is so fantastic about this challenge is that the first prize is $500 in cash and $250 in retail value of Studioe fabrics. We know that appeals to everyone and the bonus is that quilt shops and online stores can win too! We will ask consumers where they bought their fabric on the entry form and if they are one of the top three finalists, the shop will also win up to 15 bolts of Peppered Cottons. This is a win-win all the way around. We hope it will inspire shop owners to encourage their creative customers to enter the challenge since they will become the beneficiaries indirectly if their customer wins.  Spread the word!

Studioe Fabrics will also host a gallery of the entrants on their website so everyone can see the creative uses of the fabric. To get more information on the challenge, visit www.studioefabrics.com and click on the Colorful Peppered Cottons Challenge icon at the top of the page.

Coming soon….Next Installment of Tales of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive.