BLANK QUILTING CORP – FLASH SALE!!

 

Dear Valued Store Owner,

Happy Friday!  To thank all of our valued customers for their continued business and support, we are offering a Pre-Thanksgiving Flash Sale on brand new, at once orders, that are taken or received by Sunday November 19, midnight eastern standard time.  In order to take advantage of this opportunity, you must call your sales rep or email him/her.  Here is a link to all sales rep contact information.  If for some reason you can’t reach your sales rep or don’t know who your sales rep is, please email scott@jaftex.com for help.

Here is the list of special discounts:

  • Buy any 6-11 bolts for at once and save $.25/yard.
  • Buy any 12-24 bolts for at once and save $.50/yard.
  • Buy 25 or more bolts for at once and save $.75/yard.
  • Buy over 50 bolts for at once and we will throw in an order of Sumatra Batik Strips.
  • Buy over 75 bolts and we will also give free freight.

To take advantage of this special:

  • Terms customers must be up to date on payments.
  • Credit card customers will be charged at once.

This opportunity cannot be combined with any other specials or promotions.  In addition, this opportunity does not apply to new lines that started shipping in November which include:  Faithful Friend by Danielle Murray, Goal Kick by BQC, Morning Mist 3 by BQC, No Kind Left Behind by JLN Designs, Sunrise Ridge by Jean Plout or Urban Legend by Tana Mueller of Western Denim & Dirt.

Here is the link to The Blank Quilting Corp. website.

Thanks again for your business this year and every year.  We hope you find the time to take advantage of this great offer.  Wishing you a Happy early Thanksgiving.  Thank you in advance.

Regards,

Scott Fortunoff and the entire BQC Team.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Scott’s Free Sewing Machine Update

Happy Monday everyone.  I am not sure how it happened, but all of a sudden I have lots of new followers to my blog and all of my company social media sites which is definitely a good thing.  I am just joking, I know exactly how it happened and so do you.  I woke up one day and was like, “I should start giving sewing machines away for free to people suffering through tragedy.”  And that’s where it all started….let’s call it:  Scott’s Free Sewing Machines.

3 generations of Fortunoff’s. From left to right (backrow): my nephew (Oliver), my brother (Greg), my other nephew (Benjamin), my dad (Robert) and yours truly. Front row (left to right): my youngest son (Brett) and my older son (Aaron).  Missing my sister (Jill) and her kids (Julia & Evie).  My dad, brother, sister and I are all currently in the business working in harmony.

Speaking of where it all started, I thought this would be the perfect time to plug all of the fabric companies run by my family in case you want to support my family business by buying our beautiful fabrics or by asking your local quilt shop to carry our fabrics if they don’t already.  Please note however that I am not looking for anything in return for the sewing machine giveaway at all, but I would be remiss if I didn’t put it out there for the world to know who is making sewing machines rain from the sky over the US.  Also, when I called some potential free machine winners over the weekend to chat, I was dismayed to know that a few didn’t know much if anything about our companies.  Therefore, I thought it was important, at the least, for everyone to know about our companies and our unique family business.  As you could learn from my blog moniker, I am the fourth generation in the family business which is 87 years old.  Yes, 87!  These are our companies:

  • A.E. Nathan Co., Inc. specializes in flannel fabric and more moderately priced fabrics in general including cotton prints and fleece.  Products are sold in quilt shops and chains that sell fabric.  I am the President.
  • Fabric Editions, Incspecializes in pre-cut fabrics as well as kits.  In addition, Fabric Editions has a line called 3 Wishes and Quilter’s Palette.  Products are sold mostly in the chain stores, but the 3 Wishes and Quilter’s Palette lines are sold in quilt shops too.  The company is in Greenville, S.C.
  • Henry Glass Co., Inc. caters to quilt shops only and is our strongest and most well known brand. Hopefully you know this one!
  • Studioe Fabrics was spun out from Fabric Editions when we purchased it  years ago.  We moved it to New York and I became the President.  Studioe sells to quilt shops only and the brand is gaining in popularity.
  • The Blank Quilting Corp. was purchased in the last 3 years.  Like Studioe, Blank sells to quilt shops only and I am the President too.  I am working hard with my team to grow this brand and make it a household name.
  • Lastly, you should know that our exclusive sales force sells these lines too:
    • Air-Lite Batting.
    • Oasis Fabrics.
    • Stof of Denmark.
    • Sykel Fabrics….think NCAA, Real Tree, etc.

I am feeling so good about Scott’s Free Sewing Machines that I have determined that the giveaway will go on indefinitely.  I hope to giveaway about 40-50 machines this year and next year a minimum of 1 machine a week.  AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!  YEAH!  In my humble opinion, sewing machines are the essential ingredient that will help to grow the fabric industry so at the least I am helping to continue to keep sewing alive for many more generations of Fortunoffs among others.  It’s like the movie Field of Dreams….”if you build it, they will come.”  In our industry, if you bring the machines, they will sew and quilt.  I also believe that sewing begets more sewing and these machines will certainly contribute to the continuity and growth of our great industry.  We need to keep this industry alive, thriving and flourishing.  I am one person, but I am trying to do my part just a little bit at a time.  I challenge my competitors in the fabric industry to do their part as well in helping to grow our industry.

Before I announce the winners for this week, I wanted to let everyone know that I had a chance to test drive the EverSewn machine that I am giving away.  It is so smooth.  You should feel how it handles the turns.  It just purrs like a kitten.  Just messing with you, I don’t know how to use a sewing machine, but I have heard from a bunch of people that they love theirs.  I understand that this isn’t the best or most expensive machine ever made, but I couldn’t be happier about the quality of the machine and I wanted to thank EverSewn for working with me to get these machines in the hands of so many great people.  Thanks!

I am sure everyone is anxious to hear about the free sewing machine winners.  The crazy thing is that I never realized how hard it would be to give away free machines.  I spent much of my weekend between my kid’s sports and birthday parties calling potential winners.  The biggest problem that I am running in to is that a lot people have machines or have access to machines…which is a good thing.  However, for this year, I am trying to focus my energies on giving free sewing machines to people with no access to machines whatsoever.  So if you have a machine that isn’t working at full capacity, that is still a machine in my eyes and it is a lot more than others have. I hope everyone can understand where I am coming from on this front, so please only submit a request if you don’t have a machine at all.  Ok, ok….the winners.

These are the people that touched my heart and I feel most compelled to give a machine this week:

  1. Trish Jurkowski for her daughter Amelia.
  2. Lisa E. Jones.
  3. Morgana Laucer for her mom, Susan.

To be honest, I intended on giving away 7-10 machines this week, but like I mentioned before, so many had access to a machine already and the weekend is only so long.  Many of those people will be getting some fabric from me as a consolation prize.  Finally, finally, I am still searching for Linda Yarrow who was my second winner so that I can get her a machine for the Freedom House where people are rescued from the slave trade.  If you know her, please have her contact me at scott@jaftex.com.

Have a great week friends and keep being kind to others and keep on sewing and quilting!  As someone said to me, “May all my gifts be appreciated and used.”

Free Sewing Machine Scott

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: I Can’t Believe The Stories I Am Hearing

In spite of not wanting to be the President of Giving Away Free Sewing Machines, I think that kind of happened naturally. I am proudly overwhelmed with everything that has transpired since I offered out free sewing machines.  The last couple of days I have been glued to my phone and computer in awe of the sad stories I am hearing.  I have been carefully reading what so many of you are saying and I have also tried to reply as much as possible….and yes, it is actually me who is replying…not anyone else.  There are so many compelling stories and I am going to do my best to giveaway a lot of machines to those that need it most.  The truth is that giving the machines away is like a drug for me.  It is euphoric to be able to help people who are down on their luck.  Not only that, but just imagine all the beautiful things that will be created by those who receive free sewing machines.

The problem, which really isn’t a problem, is that your requests are a little bit allover the place now i.e. they aren’t only on the blog as was supposed to have been the plan.  It has spread to our company Facebook pages.  This is all fine and well, but if you are planning on sending in a plea that you want to be considered by me, I would greatly appreciate it if it came through in the comment section on the Studioe Fabrics’ blog where I introduced the giveaway originally.  This is the easiest way for me to manage the madness so to speak and not lose my regular day job.  Here is the link to that original blog in case you were wondering where to find it.  Go to the way bottom of the blog, even past all the comments, and hit post comment and then you can post your comment.

I am absolutely floored by so many of the stories that I am hearing.  These are stories that you can’t even make up and situations are going on in America that I never even realized existed.  The world can be cruel sometimes unfortunately, but it can also be kind.  In this case, I am trying to be the one bringing the kindness especially to those who are enduring undeserved cruelty and suffering, whatever it might be.  I am saddened by these stories, but they are absolutely eye opening for me and I will be glad to know that I did a small part in helping just a little bit to brighten the world.  If I can get someone to smile for a second or feel good about themselves, even for just a minute, I will have contributed to making someone’s life just a little better and that is definitely a good thing.  Everyone does deserve some happiness in life!

Please keep the requests coming and make sure to share the message with anyone who might be eligible.  Try to only send in a request if you do not have a machine at all as those are the people that I am really trying to focus on at this time.  However, sometimes the emotions overrule everything else and someone does deserve an additional machine.  I plan to carefully review many of the requests that I have received and I hope to send out a couple more machines by the end of this week.  Before I wrap things up though, I wanted to give a quick shout out to the first winner and also wanted to name a second winner.

The first winner was Mary Burnette who does God’s work at The Polk County Texas Quilts For Comfort where she teaches sewing to some woman that are down on their luck.  She was definitely worthy of the first machine.  She was also fortunate to have been the first one to send in a request and had good timing because I was anxious to show everyone that I really was going to send out machines and that I was not messing around.  Congrats to Mary and the people of Polk County, Texas.  We can’t wait to see the picture of your face when you receive your new sewing machine and can’t wait to see all that you create.  Please post on Facebook for everyone to see and like.  Keep up the good work!

As I mentioned above, sometimes the emotions overrule everything else and right now I am going to name another winner (but I will have to confirm all the info is legit this week) because when I read her plea, I wanted to breakdown and cry because you know I can be an emotional guy.  This request came from Linda Yarrow of Conroe, Texas.  She made a request for Freedom House which is (HEAR THIS PEOPLE!) the first place young women are placed after being rescued from the SLAVE TRADE.  OMG!  Did she say SLAVE TRADE? I can’t even imagine, but I feel sick to my stomach nonetheless.  In spite of the Freedom House having machines already, I would have to imagine that everyone would agree that this place is deserved of another machine and probably so much more.  Linda, you will be hearing from me this week (email me your phone number to scott@jaftex.com) and I plan to make you my friend and do so much more for your great organization besides the machines.  These poor souls deserve everyone’s help.

So friends, in closing, I want to tell you all that no matter what happens here with the sewing machines i.e. whether you win or not, you should know people are being helped and you should never give up your efforts to help others in need.  In the end, some good things will have come out of tragedy and that is the best we can do.  Hoping that everyone facing tragedy and adversity is starting to get their lives back in order.  You are in our thoughts and prayers.  So we say together “AMEN.”  Have a great week and be safe.

With Love,

Sewing Machine Scott

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FREE SEWING MACHINE CONTEST FOR THOSE MOST IN NEED (ESP. TX & FL)

Good morning!   How are you today? I hope you are withstanding all the crazy storm madness which has thankfully slowed down a bit it seems. This too shall pass, so hang in tight and don’t forget to breathe.  Can you hear me alright? Okay then, let’s get this contest going.

People keep asking me what I am doing about helping those in Texas, Florida and surrounding areas who have been adversely affected by the storms. That is a great question that I too keep asking myself and I think I have finally found the answer. Yeah, I could make donations as I have already done. I could send blankets and food which I have already done too. But most anyone could do those sort of things. But you know me, I like to beat to my own drum and do my own thing. With that, I am going to go out on a limb and try something, well…..unique. Call me crazy, but here goes.

As I mentioned in a very recent blog post, I was going to give away the sewing machines that my good friend Joanne Hubbard donated. By the way, Joanne is my BlogFF (BFF). I digress. So yeah, the sewing machines. Aside from offering the machines from Joanne, Brewer is generously donating a machine for the giveaway from their Eversewn brand. But that just isn’t enough for me.  You know what I am saying? That would be around 5 machines and I want to do more….way more. Why the heck not? People are suffering and I want to do what I can to ease the pain, even if it is just a little bit and helps to put a smile on someone’s face. I am sure you are wondering what am I going to do. So let me tell you already and stop blabbing away.

I called my new friend Philip Ueltschi, the Brand Manager of Sewing Machines at Brewer, and he kindly agreed to sell me machines at a special discounted price for my self proclaimed great cause. These are machines that retail for $200-$400. After I give away the 5 or so machines that I already have, I am going to start giving away BRAND NEW machines on a weekly basis for an indefinite time period. Yes, you are hearing me correctly. Now hear this one more time! I am going to buy machines, a lot of machines, and give them away for F—R—-E—-EEEEEE to people that lost their machine in the storms, never could afford to buy their own machine in the first place or a young person that wants to learn how to sew. I am open to other reasons as to why someone should earn a new machine. One more time, let’s say it together because it sounds soooo freaking good. Free. I can’t hear you. You can do better than that. One more time. FREEEEEEEEEE. Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!  Now you got it!

For starters, I am seeking requests from people in Texas, Florida and surrounding areas who have been adversely affected by the storms. I would like the pleas to be short and to the point. Maybe 200-250 words maximum as to why I should gift you a machine. I unfortunately don’t have time to read a novel so keep it tight. Or, you can even send me a photo with a caption that you think demonstrates why you OR SOMEONE ELSE should earn a free machine. Please enter all pleas into the comments section of this blog post. If you could figure out how to attach a picture to the blog, please do so. If not, email me the photo in some form with the caption. The top pleas will be selected by me and I will reach out to that person to confirm all the details and make sure all pleas are legit….no offense of course, but the scams are endless these days. By the way, this is not a scam, joke or trick. Make sure to include your city, state and email address so I can contact you for other info.  This contest is for people in the US only.  Make sure to be careful to enter all the info into the computer correctly because if your email address is wrong by even a single letter….NO SOUP FOR YOU! (Seinfeld Reference)

In addition to the free machines, I will be sure to include some other goodies…..maybe some fabric, maybe some notions, maybe some batting, it will be a surprise, but it will be “beast” as my son likes to call it and that is a good thing no doubt.

With that, let the requests start flowing in. And yes, please have fun when submitting your requests. Send any and all questions to scott@jaftex.com, but please don’t drive me crazy because I do have a regular full time job and it isn’t President Of Giving Free Sewing Machines Away if you know what I mean. No phone calls. You will be sure to know through our social media venues and my blog who the winners are as I announce them. Please know that this is my contest and I make the rules and all the final decisions. That’s just how it needs to be.  I am also giving myself permission to post details of all requests and pleas so if something is very private or you don’t want your name used, please make sure to let me know.

Good luck! Please make sure to share this with anyone you know who might be eligible to win especially in Texas, Florida and surrounding areas.  The last thing I want to say is that I can’t wait to see the faces of the winners when they find out that they are getting a new machine from me. That to me is priceless. Therefore, if you happen to be a winner, make sure to post a picture of your smiley face and your new sewing machine on any or all of my company’s (Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. or Henry Glass Fabrics) Facebook, Instagram or other social media arenas.

Sewing Machine Scott

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Thinking Of Texas & Worried About Quilt Market

Happy Labor Day!  Today we honor the labor movement and all the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws and well-being of this great country.  Enjoy the day off!

Speaking of well-being of the country, I wanted to give a shout out to everyone who has been affected by the devastating floods and storms. Please be safe and careful.  You are in our thoughts and prayers.  If there is anyway that I can help, please comment in the comments section and I will see what I can do to lend a hand.

This storm situation is giving me flashbacks to Hurricane Sandy when I was grounded in Houston for 3-4 extra days after quilt market.  That was not a fun time and the feeling of being helpless was very discomforting. I am sure many people affected by the storms are also feeling helpless too and probably way worse, but just know that this too shall pass.  Be strong, smart and take one day at a time.

Speaking of Quilt Market and the storm devastation in Texas, I must say that I am extremely concerned about the quickly ensuing Quilt Market.  I think this just provides one more big excuse for people not to attend. The timing could not be worse for us. Unfortunately this is a fairly legitimate excuse because it is going to take time to clean up the mess and who is really going to want to venture in to the unknown.  I just don’t think that is the nature of our industry.

In my humble opinion, the people at Quilts Inc. should bite the bullet and cancel, collect on their business interruption insurance (hopefully they have that) and look forward to the next Quilt Market.  I would just hate for this market to be the nail in the coffin for all future Quilt Markets due to a really poor show since a lot of vendors are already on the fence about continuing to attend market.  Not to mention the companies that have already abandoned market.  In any case, it doesn’t seem that the people at Quilts Inc. agree with me.  I just went on to the Quilts Inc. website and this was the message:

Hi Everyone,

An update to let you know that our offices will continue to be closed for the time being, but we will post information about when they will reopen once we know.  In the meantime, please know that there is no reason to change any plans you’ve made to attend this year’s Quilt Market in Houston.  The show will go on as scheduled …and we hope you will plan to be there!

I am happy to know that everyone at Quilts Inc. is ok.  It is frightening to me though that they could say, “There is no reason to change any plans.” Hmmm…no reason?  I can think of some reasons.  No one knows how long it will take to clean up the mess.  Also, no one knows how bad the attendance will suffer.  But, I guess the show will go on.  The other thing that concerns me is that they say they “hope” we will be there.  I just don’t know if hope is going to get the attendance numbers up.

I am sure we will hear reports and rumors about Quilt Market being on and off, so get ready for the roller coaster ride.  In the meantime, based on everything that is going on, do you plan on attending?  I want to know.  As of right now, I am still attending, but with much trepidation and skepticism. Thanks.

Skeptical Scott

 

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Bits ‘N’ Pieces Is Back

Dear Readers,

I realized that I haven’t done a bits ‘n’ pieces blog in awhile.  Nor have I done a fabric yenta blog either.  Don’t you worry though, the fabric yenta will be back real soon with a brand new series called “Big Macher.”  With that, let’s focus this week on some bits ‘n’ pieces.

First off, it is great to have my son home from sleepaway camp.  The first summer was a big success.  I could go on and on about his summer in detail, but that would be too boring.  Instead, I wanted to mention how much he learned.  What did he learn?  He learned some very important things that will help him be a huge success in life….NOT!  On the car ride home from the bus stop, he asked us if we knew the a, b, c, d, etc. curse words.  Uh- vey!  Can’t wait to hear what he learns next summer.

Second, I thought you should know that my family took a short summer vacation last week.  We went to Toronto and I gotta say, it was pretty awesome. The flight was short which was a big plus.  The weather was great.  There was so much to do.  Here is some of what we saw and did in the short time (I need a vacation from my vacation):  Blue Jays game, Niagara Falls, CN Tower, aquarium, zoo, winery, Toronto Island, swim, foot massages, eat, eat, eat and did I mention…eat.  Highly recommended.

Third, I wanted to let everyone know that my local JCC no longer needs any sewing machine donations.  Thanks to the generosity of the following people and companies, we have met and exceeded our quota.  Standing ovation.  Thanks so much to:

  • Mr. Philipp Ueltschi, the brand manager of sewing machines for Brewer.
  • Mrs. Diane K. Plunkett of Qbee Quilting Lodge in Jay, New York.
  • Mrs. Joanne Hubbard who is my friend from the fabric industry, an amazing quilter, my most loyal blog reader and commentator, a super knowledgeable quilter, a judge and just one of the most kind people I have ever met.  (Joanne, you are not allowed to comment on this blog!)
  • Mrs. Kathy Aust who is one of our amazing sales reps.  I was shocked by the kindness of Kathy’s gesture to buy 2 machines for the JCC.  Amazing!

God bless you all and thank you so much.  It’s great to know that kind people still exist in this crazy world and I didn’t even have to beg.

Finally, I wanted to elaborate on the machines that Joanne attained for the JCC because she truly went above and beyond.  She went to a local school that was selling all their old sewing machines and she bought them so they could be donated to my local JCC.  She was very clever and fixed up a couple machines and sold them off to pay for all the machines that she bought.  Very resourceful if you ask me. This boy from Long Island wouldn’t have thought of that one…that’s for sure.  The problem is that now she is stuck with some extra machines that she doesn’t need.

Joanne and I were discussing a plan of what to do with the extra machines.  She mentioned that some of them needed to be fixed up and I said I would pay for the fixes.  After they are fixed, we agreed that we would offer them (not sure how many are available yet) as a free giveaway to someone in need of a machine that lacks the resources to get one.  With that, keep your eye out for a future blog where I will ask you to give me some suggestions of people who deserve one of these machines and why they deserve it. And the winners will get machines.  How about them apples?  (Quote from Good Will Hunting.)

That’s all the bits ‘n’ pieces that I have for you this week.  Please people, make the best of what remains of summer.  Take the time to re-energize yourself for the rest of the year.

Scotty Bits ‘N’ Pieces

 

 

 

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Stop The Trash Talking

Growing up, I often heard this from my mom, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.”  I too say this to my children because it is one of those sayings that is always spot on. You may be wondering where did this come from and why is this blog titled Stop The Trash Talking?

It recently came to my attention, from very reputable sources, that some people or a person in our industry is talking smack about the Jaftex companies and other fabric suppliers to try to make their own products and company look better.  Not only are they talking smack, but what they are saying isn’t even true.  In other words, they are lying.  To me this is such an underhanded and weak way to try to sell fabric.

When I sell fabric, I sell based on the positive attributes of the products that I offer for sale.  That makes sense, right?  A great design, a popular designer, excellent quality, beautiful projects and so on and so forth. Those are reason to buy a product.  I never put down my competition to try to make my product or me look better. To me, that is just immature and so unprofessional.

At the same time, I believe that the fabric buying audience is not stupid either.  They don’t need me to tell them that this technique of bad mouthing another company to try to benefit themselves doesn’t really work.  In fact, it probably backfires and it makes the speaker look bad and reflects poorly on his company. Moreover, the audience probably wonders about the positive attributes of the speaker’s products because they tend to leave that out by spending so much time bad mouthing others.

I know times are hard people, but let’s cut this nonsense and start calling out the culprits on the spot.  Next time you hear someone bad mouth another company to try to make their own company or products look good, you should call them out and say WTF (WHAT THE FABRIC?).  Not only that, but you should consider not doing business with people who are so unprofessional.  Just saying.

Have a great week.  My big guy gets home from camp tomorrow which unfortunately means that the summer is coming closer to the end.  WAH! Wish me luck.

No Smack Talking Scott

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: All The People I Meet

I hate when people cancel on me, so I rarely ever cancel on others unless I have a legit reason.  It’s just not my thing and drives me absolutely crazy. With that, I kept my promise to speak at the fabric retreat thrown by Scarlett Wells of the Fabric Cobbler in Forsyth, Illinois. Scarlett did give me the “out” when she heard my uncle passed away, but I didn’t want to let down all the attendees or my friend, Scarlett.

Once and awhile it’s nice to be the only guy in the room.

Above you can see the great picture that was taken with myself, Scarlett (red head to my left) and the rest of the Cobblerstock Crew of 2017.  The thing about the fabric business is that my customers and the ultimate consumers are spread out all over the country and world.  So it isn’t like when I was in finance and all the people that I worked with were a stone’s throw away.  That makes it really hard to build relationships as I am sure you can imagine.  That being said, when I attend events like this, I truly bond with all the people in attendance.  By the end, we are exchanging info, joking around and connecting with each other on social media and such.  When it is all said and done, I hope to have made a lasting impression on each and everyone of the attendees.

The people are shockingly listening to everything I am saying. It’s amazing what the offer of some free fabric can do to get peoples’ attention. Works every time! Too bad my kids are not that in to fabric.

This isn’t very different from when I attend quilt market.  Year after year, I meet people at the market where we work together and bond over our mutual interest of fabric.  Perhaps the customer and I have a meal together, run in to each other at a schoolhouse, say hello in passing, grab a drink together at the bar or see each other in the am at the gym. However, it is sad to say that this may be the only interaction that we have with each other during the entire year since most of the customers have their own sales rep for their territory.

The thing is that I wish I could be in touch with all the people that I meet in the fabric industry because they are all truly so nice to me….especially as compared to those Wall Street guys from my prior life. The kindness was clear from all the cards, emails, blog comments and social media comments from people expressing their condolences when my uncle died. Also, when I recently blogged asking people to help me to collect sewing machines for my local JCC. I was absolutely floored about how many people stepped up.  There were so many offers that I think we will have too many sewing machines and nowhere to store them. Go figure.  Thanks for your kindness.

The bottom line is that the fabric community is full of kind and special people.  I appreciate you all and hope you appreciate me a modicum of how much I appreciate all of you.  With that, I would like to challenge you and I would like you to challenge me to try to stay in touch more throughout the year instead of just at quilt market or at a speaking engagement.  An email, a call, a note, a social media interaction what have you.  I will take what I can get and I will appreciate it.  It’s so easy to communicate nowadays, so let’s make this happen because I am not going anywhere any time soon (I am turning 45 in December and my grandpa worked until his early 90’s.  Even if I work until 70, that is still another 25 years.  OMG!)  In other words, the sooner we start, the better.

Stay In Touch Scott

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Speechless

Not so happy Monday folks.  Today I am taking a break from being happy boring Scott.  It is not by choice, but rather out of circumstance, so hopefully you will understand and can make an exception this one time. Last week’s trip unfortunately didn’t turn out as planned.  A little wrench was thrown at me when my uncle (Michael Brod) finally passed away from brain cancer.  I knew it was coming (as did my loyal blog reader’s), but who is kidding who, one is never fully prepared for the death of a loved one.

The thing is that for me (excluding my grandparents), this is the first death that has rattled me to my core and really hit home.  I mean seriously, I am an emotional wreck every time I think about Unc or Uncsy as we liked to call him.  All the memories.  All the love.  And now the void. I am totally speechless.

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: On The Road Again….Illinois & The Fabric Cobbler

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had a fabulous weekend.  It’s been a little while since the last time I got my butt out of my chair and hit the road to visit customers on sales calls.  Shame on me! I guess I have just gotten so bogged down with paper work or maybe I have just been lazy and avoiding the dread of travelling these days. The truth is that the office stuff is boring. There is nothing I love more than being out on the road selling, meeting customers and seeing all the different quilt shops out there. Needless to say, I am looking forward to this trip and whatever it might bring.  Stay tuned.

With that, I wanted to tell you what I have going on this week. Wednesday night I will be flying to Chicago.  Thursday and Friday I will be travelling with my local sales reps to about 3-4 shops.  I truly look forward to meeting some of her customers as I have not traveled to shops in Illinois in a long time.  And you know as well as I do that the shop owners can’t wait to meet this famous schmata salesman and blogger extraordinaire.  I mean, come on.  I think I am up to like 25 avid blog readers and I am ranked in the top one million blogs on Bloglovin.  Fame is all relative.  I digress.

Now the really exciting part.  Without going in to too much detail (feel free to read this story with more background about Scarlett “S”), several quilt markets ago I met this truly amazing quilt shop owner who also happens to be a vet. A vet who defended our United States Of America. Her name is Scarlett Wells and she owns the Fabric Cobbler in Forsythe, Illinois.  Since that day at market when we met, we have formed a lovely friendship and work relationship. So when Scarlett invited me to speak at a customer dinner that she was hosting, I of course had to oblige.  You know me, Scott the “yes man.”

The truth is that I am excited to speak at this event as it has been a little while since my last speaking engagement in North Carolina last year. When I partake in speaking engagements, I usually don’t like to give a long boring speech where everyone will fall asleep.  I prefer to give a little intro and then let the conversation develop based on audience member questions and participation.  So for all of you Fabric Cobbler fans attending the dinner, please make sure to bring your questions related to fabric, family businesses, selling, buying, marketing, social media, 4th generation and so on and so forth. Please don’t be shy because the better the questions, the better and more informative the night will be for each of you.  In other words, we are all in this together.

I can’t wait for Friday night and I sure hope that my glossophobia (fear of public speaking) doesn’t kick in.  Finally, for anyone else who might be interested in inviting me to speak at a fabric related event, make sure to send me an invite because there is a good chance that I will surprise you and actually say “yes.”  The good thing is that I usually come bearing gifts.

Public Speaking Scott