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12 08, 2019

Meet The Staff–UPDATES! Marilyn

By |August 12th, 2019|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|0 Comments

Next in our Meet The Staff—UPDATES! Blog series is someone who has been an incredible addition to the company from her very first day here—Marilyn Moss. Having worked in the theatrical drapery and supply business for decades, right here in Southern California, she is an expert in anything and everything related to theatrical fabrics and customization. She’s an enormous help for both our clients as well as her colleagues, offering insights and suggestions for all kinds of production and concert tour stage designs. Please take a moment and learn a little more about this invaluable member of the Whatter’s family, Marilyn!

What were you originally hired to do, and how have your duties/job descriptions changed since working here?

I was hired as a sales representative for Sew What? back in 2015. Even though my job description hasn’t technically changed, I am just amazed at how much I still–almost daily–learn and discover new aspects of theatrical drapery manufacturing even after being in this crazy (yet fulfilling and fun!) business for so long. With many of our individual projects being unique within themselves, we unquestionably absorb a lot from sharing their details with one another. Plus, we also learn from the jobs themselves–what to do again next time, as well as what maybe NOT to do.  It is really wonderful to work for a company where everyone helps each other out so readily and easily. And also to work in a place where the entire staff seems to want to share their knowledge, ideas, recommendations, and experiences in order to achieve the common goal of making sure that the customer is not just satisfied, but also blown away by their purchased and/or rental drapes, as well as our overall customer service.

What are some favorite memories from being part of the Sew What? family?

I like that occasional surprises of Ice Cream Days, or when a Taco Truck comes by, as well as when the whole company gets together for holidays to share some good food and hearty laughs. It’s never a dull moment around here when we all get together to eat! And of course I absolutely adore our little company squirrel, Miss Trixie, with all of my heart…There is just something so endearing about her sweet expression, and seeing her waiting for me to hand her breakfast every morning when I come into work is an absolute highlight in my day. I mean, just look at her lovable face!

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

The most recent project that I worked on that was both challenging and interesting was when I was asked by my client to build them a larger than life, IFR Textura multi-piece drapery set….which they wanted to also use it as a double kabuki drop.  Not only did each leg–stage left and stage right–have 3 distinct parts to them, but one of the segments was also a huge custom-built swag.  Fortunately for me, the style of swag was something we had done before. However, the real challenge was more about making sure that this swag fell into place beautifully and properly after the first of these kabuki drops.  A big “thumbs up!” to the workroom on this one….as it looked completely spectacular!  

9 07, 2019

Meet The Staff—UPDATES! – Rosalie

By |July 9th, 2019|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Next in our Meet The Staff—UPDATES! Blog series is someone who has been here for quite awhile, Rosalie Zigman. Even though she is physically here only part time, she still manages to get more accomplished than most people would in a full work week! We just love her to pieces, and appreciate all of her efforts on behalf of entire company every single day. Please take a moment and read a little bit about this exceptional member of the Whatter’s family, Rosalie!

What were you originally contracted to do, and how have your duties/job descriptions changed since working here?

I was originally contracted in March 2010 for a 6-week research project by Megan (Duckett, President and CEO of SW? Inc.). She wanted me to find and test new flame retardant fabrics for digital printing for the rapidly expanding company. I stayed on past this project though, and quickly moved into more “operational” duties by preparing customer flame certs and maintaining vendor (manufacturer) flame certs, so that everything stays completely up to date for our customers. The tours and productions (in particular) need to be sure that all of their shows’ drapery fabrics are up to code and have certification to be able to show to on-site fire marshals and venue staff whenever needed.

By mid-2017, I then segued into HR and Payroll duties, too—I love this role especially because I always get a lot of smiles when I hand out paychecks!

What are some favorite memories/circumstances/events from being part of the Sew What? family?

Not a single holiday or special event goes by without a celebration: usually involving food, and frequently gifts and festivities as well. “Whatters” love a good party, and Megan sincerely seems to enjoy seeing her staff happy. She is continually very generous with all of her employees, helping make everyone feel appreciated.

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

In any business there are tasks that fall by the wayside, or ideas that cannot be implemented because there is not always enough time or appropriate personnel… That is where I come in! Whenever there is a special project or assistance needed to accomplish a unique task, I am usually asked to help. From updating our rental drapery databases with current inventory, helping prepare quarterly sales tax reports, and everything in between—the variety keeps me on my toes! Whether it is getting fabric for our custom drapes tested and certified as flame retardant for European tours, or maintaining our US certifications for hundreds of rental curtains, borders, and other soft goods on a yearly basis, we take flame retardancy very seriously around here. And it shows…with the proper care and the meticulous procedures that we implement for each and every soft good that goes out our warehouse doors. I am very proud to be a part of this extremely important responsibility for our customers.

Anything more you would like to add about the development and evolution of RW/SW? Inc.?

Whatters are valued for what we bring to the table… and not just regarding food (although we DO love a good pot-luck!). When a position (a role or function) becomes available, Megan seems to utilize the attributes of her staff–their talents, skills, and interests–to provide opportunities and promote from within whenever possible. That is why there are still employees at SW? that have been working here for 10 years and longer!

It is the very idea that we are part of a family that seems to radiate into all aspects of the company’s business model, and thereby provides our customers with everything that is exceptional (“extreme” service, products, experiences, etc.), too. This makes SW?/RW? a successful and trusted source in this highly competitive industry, and also makes it a genuinely fun place to work!

7 05, 2019

SW Staff Kick Start Into Spring With Holiday Celebration

By |May 7th, 2019|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

As you very well may know by now, the SW? family truly enjoys celebrating each and every holiday that comes around. We’ve found that it’s not only an excellent way for us to connect and bond with one another in a more social environment, but it’s also a great way to blow off some ‘mid-day’ steam, too! And what better way to do that than playing games with our colleagues and having a mouthwatering dessert?

We were recently ecstatic to celebrate Easter with one another right here at the SW warehouse in sunny Southern California. Fabulously arranged by our new receptionist extraordinaire, Nicole Smythe, we were offered an assortment of the most adorable spring-time holiday cupcakes you could ever imagine. Looking almost too cute to eat, we found out that they were also absolutely scrumptious, too.

Sitting in a circle, Nicole then had everyone chose a colorful, festive plastic Easter Egg–round and round–until they were all gone. Much to the staff’s delight, each little holiday egg was filled with either delicious candy or $2 bills— both of which everyone was thrilled to receive, with some employees laughing and trading their spoils with one another to get the treat they wanted. What a fun way to spend part of our afternoon, and a great vibe to start off a beautiful holiday weekend with loved ones.  

2 04, 2019

Trixie (And Friends) Have A Brand New Sign

By |April 2nd, 2019|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

Seems like our resident company squirrel Trixie is growing up more every single day. And with growing up, she has also become quite the demanding and tenacious (yet still completely adorable) individual! We have given in to the fact that we will be pretty much catering to all of her requests for a delicious morsel of nut, seed, fruit, or treat that she can get her tiny—yet efficient—little hands on. This daily (sometimes hourly or more) accommodation of fresh and delicious food has compelled Trixie to come to the main entrance of the company and make her desires known to any and all humans that she can make eye contact with. She does this by peering at us through the main large glass door right in front or through any and all windows that face the parking lot, letting us know that she is patiently waiting for her meal to be hand delivered to her… “anytime now!”

Everyone at SW? knows Trixie and her buddies (and competitor squirrel friends) Trudy, Stumpy, and Bobby, and so no one is surprised at all to see them traipsing around the entrance waiting for a new snack to come their way. But our visitors are sometimes taken aback by what they assume is a wild woodland creature walking right up to them, waiting for the person to share a tasty treat with them pronto. We are used to explaining who Trixie and her chums are, and how they came to be in our Whatter’s World… But we also thought it might be fun to make it a little more apparent to those who were curious about these cuties. SW President and Owner Megan Duckett has a huge soft spot for animals of all kinds, but she has an even bigger one for Trixie and “her crew” especially. (I mean, c’mon, could you resist this endearing sweetheart?)

So she decided it would be fun to create a sign in the front window facing both those entering and those leaving the building, showing everyone that it is completely normal for this cute and charming squirrel to be hanging around so close by. And as you can see by the photo, Trixie even allows a few fortunate individuals to hand feed her…and this sign shows that Trixie and her friends are all actually officially part of the SW Family now, too. So now when people come through our main front door, they are both intrigued and excited to see that this friendly squirrel is formally the head of our welcoming committee. And that she is also usually very happy to accept a small “bribe” from most of these delighted folks, too (in the form of tasty peanuts—always two at a time!).

26 12, 2018

Holiday Cheer, To Help Usher In The New Year

By |December 26th, 2018|Company, Rent What Team, Sew What Team|1 Comment

As I’m sure you’re aware by now, everyone here at SW? Inc. LOVES to celebrate all of the special occasions, holidays, and—well, days that end in“day”— occurrences of the year with a delicious meal together, and some really strong belly laughs. This past week all of us had an absolute blast at our yearly “White Elephant Gift Exchange” and brunch event here at our warehouse. Consisting of what is ultimately one of the most competitive, debaucherous, and hilarious games you can play with this mischievous group of individuals, everyone (in chronological order) chooses a gift from the ones brought in by all of the employees. Then the next person can either choose a new gift or “steal” the first person’s gift. This continues until everyone has a gift, and each specific present can only be “stolen” three times before it’s finally safe with its official—and thrilled—recipient.

As you can imagine, the adrenaline kicks in as gift after gift get unwrapped,and everyone decides exactly which one they want to have, which ones are still available to grab, and which ones are locked in with their new “owner”. Just when you think you’re safe, someone else comes along and steals your prize, and then the whole game starts again for you. With some truly entertaining and enticing options, this is always one of the most uproarious experiences we have the entire year! This event was made even more enjoyable by following it with a scrumptious brunch buffet—made of a heaping platter of “bionico” (a Whatter’s favorite), delectable Mexican sweet breads, a delicious homemade breakfast casserole (from our very own general manager Lynda Vaughn), and an array of fresh fruit juices to help wash it all down. Then our company head, Megan Duckett, treated the entire staff with custom made backpacks and thermal pouches for the entire staff—with the SW logo emblazoned on them. What a wonderful surprise!

We are so unbelievably lucky to work in an industry that is always captivating,ever-evolving, and filled with some of the most amazingly creative people around. Our clients continue to wow us with their design visions, and we are always humbled when asked to be a (large or small) part of their incredible stage designs. But it is HARD WORK, and getting to let loose from time to time and appreciate one another as friends and colleagues is a great way for our entire team to recharge our collective batteries.Then we can be fully ready to continue dazzling our clients once again with the most stunningly beautiful rental and custom theatrical stage curtains around.

We honestly hope that you and yours have had a fabulous holiday season so far, and a VERY Merry Christmas this week. From our family of misfits to yours, we wanted to wish you a genuinely wonderful, healthy, and happy2019 to come. We would not be able to do it without you!