In our next installment of “Meet the Staff”, I would like to introduce you to Raul Avila. He is the Shipping and Receiving Manager for Sew What?, and is by far one of the hardest working individuals in both companies combined. His amazing work ethic, his intelligent decision-making skills regarding the extremely complex logistics here at Sew What? on a daily basis, and of course his infectious upbeat personality, all make him one of our “MVP”s for sure! Please take a moment and read more about why we are so happy to have Raul as an important part of the “Whatters” team.

When did you first start at Sew What?/Rent What? What were you originally hired to do, and how have your duties changed since working here?

I was hired in March of 2003 as a driver for Sew What? From 2005 through 2010 I was the Warehouse Manager, managing the sewing staff and having my hands in practically everything that involved the warehouse. Then in 2010 I became the Shipping and Receiving Manager for Sew What?, where I am currently still today. This encompasses all inbound and outbound shipping for Sew What?, packaging, ordering stock item supplies, obtaining shipping quotes for SW? sales reps, and basically handling everything from purchases coming into the warehouse to all orders going out the door.

If you could take a vacation to anywhere in the world, where would you go?

I would love to go to Jerusalem or Italy. The religious culture of both countries is fascinating to me, and it would be a dream come true to be able to experience it first-hand.

What kind of work did you do before coming to Sew What?/Rent What?

I was a warehouse supervisor working for UPS. I primarily moved ocean freight—loading and unloading containers and trailers for transport on the mainland. It was hard work, but it gave me an incredible education regarding freight, shipping, packing, and everything else I do now to help make my work here at SW? more efficient.

 Do you have a special talent?

(Raul didn’t want to answer this one, but anyone who is lucky enough to be within earshot of him during the workday knows that he whistles like a professional! It’s amazing how well he can whistle practically any song at all, and will even take requests if he happens to know the tune.)

What is your favorite memory from being part of the Sew What? / Rent What? family?

Several years ago Sew What? had a retreat at a local hotel in Newport Beach which was such a memorable and special experience. We got to learn about what all the departments do, and getting to hang out with my colleagues outside of the office in a more “personal” environment was really great, too.

What is your favorite sports team/TV Show/Book/Movie?

I watch the news every day to help keep informed on my world and community around me. I also like to watch the Barcelona Soccer Team, which keeps my blood pressure pumping! I love the movie Braveheart, and my favorite book is El Hombre Mas Grande Del Mundo.

What are some of your hobbies?

I like to read a newspaper every morning—it’s the only time of the day that is just for me. I also like to stay in shape as much as possible so that I’m strong for my job. I love doing strength training and cardio workouts at home while listening to classical music like Francesco Cespedez and Andrea Bocelli. I also love to play basketball and soccer with my 17 year old son. He really keeps me on my toes, that’s for sure!

What project have you worked on recently that was interesting or challenging?

Every single day is a challenge for me—getting the shipments arranged, packaged, and out the door with the right carrier at the right speed going to the right location is all mentally stimulating for me, and keeps my mind fresh. I feel greatly satisfied at the end of every single day, knowing that my job has been completed correctly and that our clients are happy!