Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The Fabric Yenta Is Here!

The fabric yenta?  Yenta is a Jewish/Yiddish word for a person who is a gossiper.  Speaking of Jewish though, I would be remiss if I didn’t say my piece about how disgusting it is that there are cowards making robo-calls to JCCs (Jewish Community Centers) throughout the US.  They are trying to instill fear upon these amazing establishments and all the people that enjoy them (both Jewish and non-Jewish) on a daily basis.  Not only that, but loads of other Jewish organizations are being bombarded with antisemitic threats too. Without going in to too much more detail on my fabric blog, my parting words to these cowardly haters, and all haters for that matter is,  shame on you and get a life you disrespectful freaking losers!  Finally, in case you were wondering what you could do to support a JCC, please check out this link as it contains some good ideas.

Before going any further, I am going to take a quick little victory lap around my little office and pat myself on the back too.  Ewww…that feels kind of nice.  The victory lap is not for the victory, but more for predicting what I saw coming in the quilting industry.  Anyway, it is not a victory because I am not happy to see this happen to our industry, nor am I am happy that this is happening to some of my friends.  But, that all being said, I think this will be healthy for the industry.  What’s going on in the industry Scott?  For a while now, I have been predicting, on my blogs, a contraction in our industry where the number of suppliers and resellers of fabric would be reduced. In other words, it’s like Darwin’s survival of the fittest.
So the fabric yenta is here to tell you what’s going on.  The truth is that what I am going to tell you are facts so I don’t know if spreading facts is considered gossip or not, but that is what I am going to call it.  Ok, ok…I know you can’t take the suspense.  The contraction or shrinkage of our industry has begun.  For starters, we not too long ago lost Hancock Fabrics to bankruptcy and there are now only about 3 real major big box chains selling fabric.  Number two, Kona Bay just shut its doors after over 26 years in business.  Number three, just last week Red Rooster shut its doors and the owners are just sticking with their P&B brand. Number four, I hear on a weekly basis that more and more quilt shops are closing their doors too.  This is probably just the beginning.

There is more though.  Big shots in our industry i.e. the heavy hitters who we all know so well are losing their jobs.  There are many stories like this, but I am not going to name all the names.  I will speculate that companies can’t continue to pay high earners what they are used to making because sales no longer justify it.  It is as simple as that.

I am going to mention specifically what is going on at Fabric-Quilt, Inc. John & Sue, who I am sure you all know and thought owned Fabric-Quilt, Inc. (they didn’t) were let go, fired, quit, separated, retired or something like that. You can classify it how you want, but long story short is that they are no longer with Fabric-Quilt, Inc.  I have to tell you that the timing of that separation was flat out bad in my humble opinion. This is not the time to let go the people that are considered to be the faces of the company and the backbone too.  I guess we will have to wait and see how that decision pans out….my guess is not so well.

There is still more though.  Rumors of companies not able to pay their bills and bouncing checks.  Sales reps not getting paid on time or not getting paid at all. Suppliers cutting their work weeks down to 3 or 4 days. Companies are cutting travel and the expenses that go with it. And of course, people are going to be shrinking their quilt market footprint or they are not going to attend at all.  As for smaller regional shows, those too are struggling.  The list goes on and on and the carnage continues to grow.  People, our industry is in a mini-crisis and the dominoes are starting to fall. Please be careful and try not to be part of the bloodshed. With that, I would say it is time to take a gut check and evaluate if your business can survive what is clearly before us…the contraction.

To wrap this up, I wanted to let you know that you can rest assured that Jaftex and all its companies (Studioe Fabrics, Henry Glass Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp., A.E. Nathan Co., Inc. & Fabric Editions) are in a strong financial position and you can certainly rely on us as a loyal supplier and friend for many more years to come.  Finally, for our competitors that are struggling, you know that you can always come and talk to us about joining our organization as we would welcome the opportunity to add more strong brands to our arsenal as well as your experienced employees.

Until Next Week,

This is Scott Fortunoff the fabric yenta signing off.

PEACE!

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Just One More Reason To Keep Quilting, Sewing & Crafting!

 Happy Monday

I hope that your team won the Super Bowl.  If not, better luck next year. Assuming that all my readers are hung over from all the football, greasy food, chips & dips, betting pools, amazing commercials and perhaps alcohol (but I would guess that my readers aren’t drinkers, or are they?), I am going to delve in to a short and sweet blog that won’t mess too much with your hangover.

This past week I was reading the very reputable (note sarcasm) New York Post on the train ride in to New York City to work.  I came across a short article called Warding Off Dementia based on a report from the JAMA Neurology Journal.  The part that caught my attention was the conclusion that senior citizens benefit from simple activities to keep their brains sharp.  Lo and behold, one of those activities listed to keep the brain sharp was craft making.  This would include:  arts & crafts, quilting and sewing. Amen to that!  Just another of the many reasons why our great industry will not be going away any time soon!

Anyway, have a great week.  I am going to be taking a day off from blogging next week as I will be at the VDTA show in Vegas.  Please come visit me at booth 855 if you plan on attending.

Until Next Time,

This is Scott Fortunoff signing off

 

Tales of a Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Yes!

(reposted from Studioe Fabrics)

As I recently promised, I am going to recycle some of my older favorite blogs.  This is great because, as the year winds down, I am running out of subject matter to discuss.  But really, I am just getting too tired and absolutely cannot wait for Christmas vacation.  I too get tired.  All that being said, this is a great blog to get you thinking about changes for 2017. Maybe it is time to turn in to a Yes (man or woman). No!  No!  No!  That dirty little word has be driving me crazy lately because I have been hearing way too much of it from people that should be saying YES!  YES!  YES!  I am hearing this from suppliers, vendors, publishers, employees, reps and so many others.  I just don’t get it.  I am not sure if the people are just being lazy or that it is just their nature, but from me, I can promise you a YES!  99% of the time.

What kind of business practice would it be to say NO?  A stupid one in my opinion.  The thing that bothers me even more is that when I ask “why not?” the answer is really nothing more than a really lame excuse.  I could live with a legitimate excuse.  I am not big on excuses though and typically ignore them because all they are is excuses.  So in my quest for yes answers, I relentlessly press the NO-sayers to try to get them to a yes answer.  I end up hearing more excuses and it makes me consider whether I want to continue to do business with a NOer (someone who always says NO!).  Who really needs it when I can probably easily find someone else that will say yes without a fight?

I frequently get calls, emails and letters with all sorts of requests and like I said, 99% of the time I say yes.  To say yes is rewarding.  People are sometimes shocked at the lengths I will go to in order to make something happen.  But this is an amazing quality and this will make people want to continue to work with me and continue to do business with my family of companies.  You would truly be surprised how often I get thank you emails, calls and letters.  People even stop me at quilt market and say, “you were so kind to have done so and so.”

Without harping on my successes of being a yes man, I have one simple request:  stop saying no! and start saying YES!  YES! YES!  You too will be thanking me as it is never too late to turn over a new and simple leaf like this one.  You will be proud you did.  Am I right or what?

Yes Man Scott & Studioe

The Blank Blog Bonanza (BBB): Monthly Specials For November & December 2016

Dear Valued Customer,

Below are the details for the newest BBBs.   This BBB applies to orders that are taken before the end of 2016.  Please note that all prior BBBs are done. Here goes with the latest and greatest:

#1. PRECUT SPECIAL: If you buy any single set of precuts (excluding the American Honor Fat Quarter bundles), you will get a second set of the same item for free.  Please note that the order still needs to meet the 5 unit order minimum and needs to ship before the end of the year i.e. November or December. The free unit does not count towards the minimum.

#2. 44/45″ QUILTING COTTONS:

SUMATRA BATIK SPECIAL: If you buy 8 or more bolts of full priced Sumatra Batiks to ship before the end of the year, you will get free freight. In addition, all other items combined with this order will ship freight free.

44/45″ BASICS BLOWOUT: If you buy any 10 bolts of basics from Fusion Illusion, Primitive Basics, Splash, Starlet, Knock On Wood or Headliner, your special price will be $4.95/yard. These basics must ship before the end of the year.

PEARLIZED LINES BY MARK HORDYSZYNSKI:  Take 25 cents off per yard on any bolt of the Mark Hordyszynski ‘pearl’ lines (CrystallinePearl DotPearl Grid or Pearl Grid 108″). These must ship before the end of the year and must meet the five bolt minimum order.

#3. 108″ FABRICS: For the rest of the year, every single bolt of 108″ ordered for at once will earn a 25 cent per yard discount. The total order must still meet the 5 bolt minimum order. Therefore, the only lines that this special DOES NOT APPLY to are: Plush 108″ & Rose Toile 108″. Ask your sales reps which of the 108″ lines are still available.

We hope that you continue to take advantage of the BBBs.

Contact your Blank sales rep to place an order.
Contact customer service at 800-294-9495 x245 (Renee)
To Monthly Specials!
Your Blank Quilting Sales Team