Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Our Industry Is Under Siege…By Hasbro Toys

What’s up folks?  Happy Monday and Happy President’s Day!  As if things in the quilting and sewing industry have not been challenging enough lately, we now have a new enemy knocking down our door and picking on our favorite American past time…sewing.  It’s like we are under siege from all directions…all the time.  Next thing you know it, our dear president will start picking on us too.  In any case, the newest twist, in case you haven’t heard, the people of Hasbro are moving towards getting rid of the thimble. Ahhh!!  This is a real kick in the thimble if you know what I mean.

As if it wasn’t bad enough already that the people of Hasbro got rid of the iron in 2013 in exchange for no other than a……..cat?!?!  Someone really has it out for our industry and we need to defend ourselves before we are no longer represented.  I mean, what about the freaking wheelbarrow? Does anyone even use wheelbarrows anymore?  I haven’t seen one lately in New York City. Or what about that weird looking shoe?  This looks like a shoe from 1935 when Monopoly was invented.  It sure doesn’t look like any shoe that I have ever seen or worn…thank god.  I vote for the shoe and the wheelbarrow to go. I also vote for the iron to come back and I think a quilt should be added.  How about them apples? (Good Will Hunting reference.)

As you probably know, I am all for change, but I am not for this change. As far as I am concerned, if it isn’t broken it doesn’t need to be fixed and this isn’t a broken…it is a classic. What could possibly replace our dear thimble?  A poop emoji?  An iphone?  An electric car?  These things will come and go, but the thimble….never.

Unfortunately, I think it is too late to save our beloved thimble, but at the least, we should let the people of Hasbro know that we are up in arms about this.  I am sure that you can figure out how to protest this on your own.  If in doubt, google it.  Good luck!  Let me know what you do.

Until Next Week,

This is Sad Scott

 

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: Quilt Market Credentials

Dear Quilt Shop Owners & International Fabric Customers,

Happy Monday!  As you may or may not know, ALL quilt market business credentials expired last year.  As such, it is time to resubmit your credentials which will be in effect until December 2019.  I am sure that it is a little bit of a pain to have to submit this, but fortunately this is only necessary to submit every 3 years.  Also, it probably won’t take you more than 5 minutes to collect all the paperwork and submit to the people of Quilts Inc.  If you didn’t receive the email about having to update your market credentials, you can contact the people at Quilts Inc. or you can email me (scott@jaftex.com) and I will forward a copy to you.

We vendors truly need your support by having as many quilt shop owners as possible attend the market.  Don’t forget that we are all in this together. This year the market is in St. Louis which should be a different and new experience as I don’t believe there has been a quilt market there before.  I imagine that most people are excited to be able to explore a new location so that they can enjoy what the city has to offer.  Check out this link to see 25 things to do in St. Louis.

Believe it or not, I am looking forward to the St. Louis market especially as compared to the Houston market.  The Houston market is getting kind of stale and I think most would agree especially being that the place was under construction for the last 2 years.  The problem is that Quilts Inc. has a long term contract with that location and that is also where the Quilts Inc. headquarters is located.  In any case, I am looking forward to the fresh new locale and all that it has to offer.  I am also looking forward to the increased number of school houses that our companies are putting on.  We realize that quilt shop owners put great value on the school houses. As such, we are bringing them.  So please come on down and enjoy!

All that being said, please get your credentials in asap and start putting plans together for what should be an amazing market.  Finally, if you are attending the St. Louis market and want to be eligible to join myself, our stylists, associated licensed designers, other quilt shop owners and sales reps for a dinner on Friday night, please email me at scott@jaftex.com. You must be an existing customer of one or all of the Jaftex Companies to be eligible.  Thank you for your time.  See you in St. Louis!

Have a great week!

St. Louis Scott

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: More Baby Steps For Quilts, Inc.

Dear Readers,

I hope you had a nice weekend.  Also, I wanted to wish everyone a Happy Martin Luther King Jr. day.  Our offices are open today if you need anything.  I will only be in the office until noon as I have the pleasure of attending the Knicks basketball game with my sons, my brother and my nephews as the kids don’t have school today.  In any case, for lack of something better to write about this week, I am back on to the Quilt Market.

This time around, I wanted to acknowledge the baby steps made by the people at Quilts Inc. to try to make the market better for everyone. Recently, all vendors received an appreciation and suggestion email from Quilts Inc. a copy of which is below.  This is yet another step in the right direction, but what concerns me is that they are relying on the vendors to solve their problems.  By asking for ideas, my feeling is that they are going to get bogged down with a lot of the smaller picture issues because I imagine each person that replies will be suggesting something that will most likely just help a few and not the masses.  We really need the big picture ideas to make Quilt Market great again, but I am doubtful those are going to surface as they really never surfaced when I was making my own efforts to improve market.  I hate to be a pessimist, but I truly think I am being a realist here.

In the end of the email from Quilts Inc., they say, “I promise we’ll read them.”  The problem is that reading them and taking action are two totally different things.  I know that I am being literal, but based on my interactions with the big shots at Quilts Inc., I don’t see any worthwhile change coming soon.  They are like deer in the headlights right now which is very concerning for me and should be concerning to you too.  Once again, I urge the people of Quilts Inc. to take some meaningful actions fast because the Quilt Market numbers continue to fade for attendees and vendors.  Time is running short and as each market passes, more and more vendors are dropping out.  For the Jaftex Companies, this will be a critical year for us to determine our future with Quilt Markets.

To our Quilt Market Exhibitors,
As we prepare for another exciting year in the quilting industry, we want to thank you for making International Quilt Market an important part of your business plan. Whether you exhibited at our Spring show in Salt Lake City and/or our Fall show in Houston, your participation and support are very important. Without your taking your valuable time and money to exhibit, we wouldn’t have a Market to support the retailers from around the world who come to do their buying and see what’s new. We know there are many options for you to market your products, and we very much appreciate your making Quilt Market a part of your plans. Thank you from all of the Market team! We look forward to welcoming you back to St Louis this May and/or Houston this October.
In the meantime, if you have any ideas or comments to make Market even better, please do send them to ideas@quilts.com
and I promise we’ll read them!

Have a great week.  And by the way, if you read this far and plan on attending the St. Louis Quilt Market (this applies to customers that did business with any of the Jaftex Companies in 2016), I would like you to email me (scott@jaftex.com) if you are interested in attending the Studioe/Blank Quilting Corp. quilt market dinner with management, in-house designers, licensed designers, sales reps and other customers.  In the email, tell me in a very brief paragraph why you would be interested in attending the dinner aside from wanting to hang out with me (LOL).  I don’t have a date yet, but this will be on a first come, first served basis. Space is limited.  Good luck.

Regards,

Scott

 

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Anyone Going To Join Us At The VDTA Show In Las Vegas?

In an effort to try new things in 2017, we have decided to attend the Vacuum & Sewing Dealer Trade Show (VDTA) at the Las Vegas Convention & Show exhibit space Hall S3.  The show will be from February 12-14.  Cliff Garfinkel, sales manager extraordinaire, & I will be there at booth 855 and we can’t wait to see you. Please contact me at scott@jaftex.com or 800-294-9495 x218 to set up an appointment.  Looking forward to seeing you then.

BELOW IS THE JAFTEX BUYER’S GUIDE BLURB FOR THE VDTA SHOW

Jaftex Corporation is an 87 year old, 4th generation, family owned business, based out of New York City. Jaftex has several well-known fabric brands under its umbrella which include: A.E. Nathan Co., Inc., Henry Glass Fabrics, Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. and Fabric Editions.

The companies predominantly offer coordinated 100% cotton quilting groups that are both licensed and unlicensed. Some of the key licensed designers include: Kim Diehl, Shelly Comisky, The Whole Country Caboodle, Jan Shade Beach, Tana Mueller, Pepper Cory, Dt-k Signature & Sandra Magsamen. In addition to the 100% cotton quilting groups, the companies offer 100% cotton flannel groups, double gauze, yarn dyed flannels, 108” wide quilt backing in prints, solids and flannel too. In an effort to grow and diversify, the companies have started to sell tea towels, which lend themselves to embroidery, as well as pre-cut fabrics such as fat quarters, jelly rolls, charms and squares.
More recently, Jaftex has formed a partnership with Air-lite Manufacturing out of Pontiac Michigan. Air-lite specializes in batting, foam and similar products. Of note is the embroidery batting which is gaining much recognition and fanfare in the industry. Another new partner is Stof Fabrics out of Denmark. Stof offers distinctly different and fresh quilt groups with a European flare.
We are proud to be attending our first VDTA show. The show will be attended by one of the owners, Scott Fortunoff, yours truly. He will be accompanied by Cliff Garfinkel who is the sales manager for most of the Jaftex Companies. Scott & Cliff look forward to welcoming you at booth 855. We look forward to the opportunity to demonstrate how fabrics could be a great complement to your sew and vac offerings.
www.henryglassfabrics.net
www.studioefabrics.net
www.blankquilting.net
www.aenathan.net
www.fabriceditions.com

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Happy New Year! & Blogoblog Revisited

Dear Friends,

On behalf of myself, my family and everyone at the Jaftex Companies, we wanted to wish you a very Happy New Year!  We hope all your goals are achieved and all your dreams come true.  To 2017!  Cheers!

As mentioned in some of my more recent blogs, I wanted to repost some of my favorite blogs.  Here is my blog about blogs a.k.a. blogoblog from June 25, 2014.  Please enjoy.

In anticipation of my school ho speaking engagements at the Shipshewana Show this week, I have been scouring my past blogs (blogsweep) for inspiration (blogspiration) and ideas (blogcepts).  In doing so, I have learned a couple of things (blogifacts) and have made up some new blog words (bloginology) to describe these concepts.

Long blogs stink.  I pledge to keep my blogs short (microblogging) as no one wants to read a long and boring blog (blogasleep).  Going forward, long blogs will be separated into more bite sized pieces (blogobites) so as to avoid the fear of blog disease (bloganoia).

I crack myself up which is funny in itself.  While reading my past blogs in bed (blogsomnia), I have broken out in hysterics (blogsteria), so much so my wife is wondering what in the blog is wrong with me.  I guess I am my own best audience which is kind of funny beca I probably am the only one reads these blogs anyway.  I hope other people are laughing too as laughing is healthy for you, just like quilting.

More photos.  Blogs are so boring without more pictures.  Therefore, going forward, I promise to have more photos (blogdy).  Ironically, I ’t think of any good photos to go with this blog, but so blog it.

This is what I learned from my bloganalysis.  Please let me know if you have some bloggestions as I always love to hear from my blogees.

Blogging off!

Scott Blogunoff

The Blank Blog Bonanza (BBB): Monthly Specials for January & February 2017

Dear Valued Customer,

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

Below are the details for the newest BBBs.  This BBB applies to orders that are taken in January & February of 2017 only.  Please note that all prior BBBs are now done and this is the only one that is in effect.  Here goes:

#1.  PRECUT SPECIAL:  If you buy 2 of any of the same precuts (excluding American Honor & Natural Treasures) at full price i.e. 2 orders of Splash 5x5s, you will get the third unit of the same item for free.  In other words, buy 2 and get one free.  Please note that the order still needs to meet the 5 unit minimum order and the free unit does not count towards the minimum.  This special applies to orders that ship in January or February only.

#2.   44″ QUILTING COTTONS:

SUMATRA BATIK 2 SPECIAL:  If you buy 10-19 bolts of the Sumatra 2 Batiks at full price to ship in January or February, you will get a free order of the Sumatra 2 Batik strips.  If you order 20 or more of the Sumatra 2 Batiks to ship in January or February, you will get the free strip set as well as an order of the Sumatra 2 Batik fat quarters.

44″ COTTONS:  If you buy any 6 bolts from the same line listed below, you will get the 7th bolt from the same line for free as long as it ships in January or February.  No mix and match please.

#3.  108″ FABRICS:  For every 5 bolts of full priced 108″ fabrics that you purchase to ship in January or February, you will get 10 cents off per yard. That discount increases with every 5 bolts ordered.  In other words, if you buy 10 bolts you get 20 cents off per yard, 15 bolts gets you 30 cents off per yard, 20 bolts gets you 40 cents off per yard, 25 bolts gets you 50 cents off per yard, 30 bolts gets you 60 cents of per yard and so on.  The maximum is 50 bolts for $1.00 off per yard.

#3 & #4 CAN’T BE COMBINED

#4.  108″ & AIR-LITE BATTING COMBO:  As you probably know by now, the BQC sales reps also carry other lines which includes Air-Lite Batting. In an effort to continue to get the Air-Lite products in to as many stores as possible, we are offering a combo BBB.  If you buy any 6 bolts of 108″ fabrics at full price to ship in January or February, we will give you free freight on any batting order placed at the same time.  The orders must be submitted together.

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

 

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Baby Steps For Quilts, Inc.

Before I say anything of such immense importance (you know how I roll), I wanted to wish you a very Merry Christmas.  I hope all your wishes come true and Santa brings you all the gifts that you asked for.  I hope a couple people actually have a moment to step away from the eggnog to read this blog.  Speaking of which, I don’t think I have ever even tried eggnog. Maybe that will go on my bucket list for 2017.

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  I have been in withdrawal lately.  From what you might be wondering? Come on and get your mind out of the gutter!  I am not that kind of guy. In any case, I have been in withdrawal from blogging about Quilts, Inc. and the Quilt Market conundrum.  So here goes.

I was utterly shocked to have received an email recently from:  Quilt Market & Festival.  The email read:

A BIG thank you for being a part of our shows this year!  Wishing you a MERRY CHRISTMAS and the HAPPIEST OF HOLIDAYS!

This is progress as I don’t recall ever getting an email like this from Quilts, Inc.  Perhaps they are trying to get in touch with their customers. Or maybe they are realizing that they need to be a little nicer.  In either case, hopefully this is the first of much progress to come in 2017 because you all know that we need it.  Fingers crossed!  Or maybe not.  We will have to see.

On a personal note, I wanted to thank all my blog readers for being so loyal.  I hope that I have been able to keep you fabricly entertained throughout 2016.  I hope that you continue to hang in there with me in 2017 as I know things are going to get C-R-A-Z-Y like this industry!

Regards,

Studioe Scott

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