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3 09, 2015

From the Treehouse to the Goldfish Bowl

By |September 3rd, 2015|Authors, Company, Digital Printing, Projects, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

When I first started here at Sew What?, my cubical was located on the second floor of the building, otherwise known as the Treehouse.  Every day it was so exciting to look out the window and see the works of art that are being created in the warehouse.  One day it might be all Black Encore Drapes, another day it’s Black and Red Vinyl, and there were always very interesting digitally printed backdrops in the mix.

One day as I looked out, I saw these beautiful brightly colored digitally printed panels, ready to be sewn into a custom band backdrop for the Sublime with Rome Tour.  I couldn’t resist taking a picture!

Sublime-Digitally-Printed-Backdrop

I love to find pictures of our backdrops being used, and when I found this on Flickr, it was especially fun to compare it to the picture I took from my “Treehouse” window.

Sublime With Rome | The Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion | The Woodlands, Tx | Woodlands Monocle | © 2015 Ray Kuglar Photography

Recently, I moved to a cubicle on the first floor, but I still have a window into the warehouse, only this time it is at eye level rather than from above.  Now I feel like I am in a goldfish bowl.  I still get to see what’s going on from day to day, just from a different view.

pinning-custom-stage-curtains

Instead of looking down into the warehouse from the Treehouse, now I’m looking straight out, which is especially nice in the mornings when everyone comes in past the window and waves or says good morning as well as evenings when everyone waves goodbye!

 

3 08, 2015

Meet the Sew What? and Rent What? Staff, Part 16: Carol

By |August 3rd, 2015|Authors, Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|4 Comments

In our next installment of “Meet The Staff”, I am very happy to introduce you to one of our recent hires, Carol Noe. She is an Account Rep for both sales and rentals, and has been a very busy and productive member of our team from the day she arrived. Her incredible background in event planning and management and her ability to think “outside the box” to help our clients’ visions come to life all make her a truly valuable asset to our entire team. Please read on to learn a little more about Carol and see why we are so lucky to have her as part of the “Whatters” family!
Carol

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

I started at Sew What? in February of 2015.  I was hired to be a Sales/Rental Account Rep and that’s pretty much what I’ve been doing ever since–with the exception of writing an occasional blog post.

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

It would involve the beach since that’s my favorite place to be. I’ve always wanted to go to Bora Bora and Australia so I’d probably combine the two if money was no object!

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

Prior to Sew What? I was in the “event planning” world. Most recently I mostly worked on the Super Bowl.  I was an Event Coordinator at a limousine company where my first event was the Oscars and surrounding parties on Oscar Sunday, and I worked 23 hours straight and could barely see after that!  I also worked at another event company where we did movie premieres, Golden Globe Parties, and Grammy Events, just to name a few.  This is also where I met Megan almost 18 years ago!

Do you have a special talent?

I enjoy sewing when I have time.  I can’t sew clothes but I have made some beautiful quilts and cool beach bags.

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

My first multi-media backdrop will always stick out in my mind because it was such a cool one, and it was such a learning experience quoting it and working on the design details of it with

[SW Owner/President] Megan.

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

Currently I am into American Ninja Warrior and America’s got Talent.  When The Voice is on I’m glued to the TV.  I also enjoy the Nightly News with Lester Holt, formerly Brian Williams.  Don’t really watch too many TV series—I’d rather be either lounging by the pool or out being active doing something fun!

What are some of your hobbies?

I’m very excited to start riding my new bike, I used to be really into it but after riding my bike from San Francisco to LA many years ago I shied away from it.  I love to go to the beach, swim, go shopping and do anything artsy crafty.

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

I love the Foo Fighters so I really enjoyed working on their recent project with Sew What?, and the client was also really easy to work with.

Anything more about your time here at SW?

I truly enjoy working here. The atmosphere is wonderful and the team that is in place is absolutely fabulous!! And who can’t love working where there are cute office dogs always coming around looking for treats and head rubs?

28 07, 2015

Made In The USA – Supporting our local economy “one stitch at a time”

By |July 28th, 2015|Authors, Company|1 Comment

At a time when so many goods are being produced overseas, American theatrical drapery manufacturer Sew What? Inc. is making the point that Made in America is still a good thing. We believe in delivering top value to our customers while doing all we can as a company to support the national economy by selecting local fabric mills right here in the U.S.

All of our stage and concert backdrop fabrication is done here in Rancho Dominguez, California, and we use American-made materials produced by American mills to the maximum extent possible. Only when a particular product is not made here do we look to find it offshore; and even then we try to get our local suppliers to produce it onshore if they are able.

Made In USA--label

As a U.S. soft textile manufacturer, we take pride in applying “Made in America” labels to our stage backdrops and theatrical drapery products, showcasing that they are all-American-made.

I feel it’s imperative that we as Americans make the effort to support and purchase products made in America by an American labor force. Every time a U.S. mill closes, the chances of another U.S. mill opening in its place are slim to none. So it’s up to us to make every effort. It is either act now – or cry later.

We have spent many years calling upon the entertainment industry, our primary source of business, to rally behind the effort to buy American-made products and support U.S. companies as much as possible. There was a time when “Made in America” really meant something, but sadly it’s come to mean products that are more expensive. We all hope that the efforts of Sew What? to buy and continue manufacturing in the U.S. will be duplicated by others in our category, as well as elsewhere. We are working diligently to keep our pricing in line as much as possible – so that the global marketplace is not made attractive due to buy price alone.

In addition to encouraging local suppliers to produce materials and fabrics that are currently only available abroad, we have even spoken with several overseas manufacturers about the possibility of producing their fibers here in the U.S. The global economy and the financial incentives of buying offshore have made U.S. production more fragile than ever. At least in our little corner of the world, we want to do something meaningful and supportive, and we’re proud of it.

Starry-Fabric

11 05, 2015

Megan Interviewed on Rock Rage Radio

By |May 11th, 2015|Authors, Company, News|2 Comments

Want to learn all about how Sew What? began, directly from Megan?  Well, here is your chance!  Tomorrow May 12th from 5pm to 6pm Pacific Time, Gina Van Epische, the Psycho Seamstress, is airing an hour-long interview with Megan on Rock Rage Radio.

rock rage radio

Megan talks about how Rock n Roll brought her to the United States from her native Australia, how she started Sew What and grew it from one person (herself) to a thriving company with more than 30 employees focusing on custom band backdrops and stage drapes, her other business projects and much more. I think you will really enjoy hearing her story.

So set your alarm to tune in tomorrow.  You can listen to Rock Rage Radio on your computer or mobile device or download the Rock Rage mobile app for Android.  Links for all three listening options are available on their home page at www.rockrageradio.com.

6 05, 2015

I’ve Got the Blog Blues

By |May 6th, 2015|Authors, Company|1 Comment

I’ve got the blog blues.  It’s not because there is nothing to blog about – rather that there seems to be so much to blog about. My dilemma is how to choose what, and when, to pen? Know what I mean?

This morning when I was on my way in to work I was addressing a query over the telephone.  It related to how many drapes would fit into a hamper for a client – and what the cost of shipping the drapery set was when IN the hamper versus shipping the drapes in boxes.  Of course the boxes were cheaper for shipping – but the risk of damage to their $30,000 drapery package during transport was greatly increased by removing the protection of the hampers.  It reminded me of saving a penny but in turn risking a grand.  Know what I mean?  And so I was planning to write a post today about the importance of selecting appropriate packaging and shipping methods and weighing up the risks versus the savings before shoving drapes into a cardboard box and hoping for the best………

RW-hamper

But then I got to the office and had a client with questions about fashion fabrics. Their desire was to use some rayon/nylon mix materials with unique texture and patterns, that they had found in a store (intended for garment use) and wanted to know the costs involved in treating said fabrics with flameproofing chemicals for use on stage.  Did you know that getting high rayon content textiles to meet national flammability standards is darn close to impossible – and might I add cost prohibitive.  We found the $5.00 per yard fabric would cost an additional $9.00 per yard to flameproof, and would only be available as a 100 yard roll from a supplier who typically runs a 6-10 week leads time.  FUNNY! This won’t exactly work for a concert that hits the road next Friday.  So I thought that I might instead want to write a blog about why narrow fabrics milled with the intent for use in the apparel and upholstery marketplace so rarely make it into the concert scene……

But then the phone interrupted me, and it was a client that was yelling down the telephone, at someone else, not me – but at any rate I sat and waited while they finished and then he informed me that actually he was too busy to talk now and would in fact have to call me back.  So as I pondered this, I thought that it would be wonderful to develop a blog piece with the concept of helping clients know what details to include in an email query so that we can be of the most use without having to take up time on the phone with them while they are busy at the gig doing load in – or load out – or trying to catch some shuteye between venues.  Surely there is a better way. With all this technology……….  I honestly think that I am able to offer far better service when not under pressure on the phone to “put numbers to it real quick”. Last heard as I cried over the loss report was that “I put the wrong numbers in”………..

But before I could put pen to paper…… or fingers to keyboard as it in fact is………..then the sewing room buzzed me.  Rush order on the sewing room shop floor – due today – and the fabric has arrived with some flubs and flaws. !!! S.O.S. How to handle it?  It is like a veterinary office here.  CONSTANT triage.  Move the van here – now redirect the driver there – quick, overnight this.  Now change gears, stop what you were doing – and rethread the machine with black instead of grey thread.  LOVE all the action – its go go go.  What a great story it would be to share a day in the life of the sewing room – to perhaps follow one or two staff thru their scheduled projects and get to see firsthand the challenges they encounter.

Decided – a blog about the sewing room triage it would be. And as I finally sat to begin writing, an emergency chocolate chip cookie delivery made it to my office. (Thank goodness as all this contemplation about which of today’s situations to write about was really draining me and I was about to have a low blood sugar moment.) Thank you Carol – oh angel of the cookie delivery.

I have fully recovered – thanks to the cookie and the accompanying caffeine. And so the blog post for today is broad.  I got the blog blues.  So much to write about and a rotten case of ADD to distract me.

Feel free to weigh in on what you would like to read more of – and I gladly oblige!

Ok back to the drapery mines…………