Excitingly we have Scott Fortunoff joining us from time to time .. whether you are a fan or not of the fabulous fabrics, I am sure you will just love what he has to say! [adapted from his personal blog with his express permission].
Who knew? Who knew that my world was going to be turned upside down because of this deal? Who knew that my work life would never be the same again? Oh, if you haven’t heard, Jaftex (my family business) purchased FreeSpirit in the deal of a lifetime, said I. Who knew that my phone would be blowing up with so many congratulatory calls? Who knew how hard it would be to keep up with the outpouring of positivity, excitement, encouragement, relief and love. I am not kidding. Let’s hug it out!!!!!! (I hate when people put a million!!!!!!! in a row).
Our shareholders, meaning consumers and shop owners, have given a resounding thumbs up to this purchase. The outpouring is unreal and it just crystallizes the importance of this deal for my family and for the entire textile industry. This is the transaction that we have been waiting so patiently for. FINALLY! Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
As I have also said, this industry needs consolidation and perhaps this will be the start of a new wave. I think a fabric merger mania Monday is in the cards so to speak. When I was a stock trader, CNBC Business News would often have merger Monday as most deals are hammered out on the weekends and announced Monday. Ahem. How ironic? Makes sense? Recall that we announced our deal on a Monday.
We have definitely been looking for new targets (eesh that sounds so violent), how about new partners? That’s not correct either. A seller? Yes! This opportunity came out of nowhere when we got the email that FreeSpirit was closing. We had heard rumblings, as I am sure you probably did too, but there is always so much rumor and nonsense being spread in our industry. I am sure it is not unlike other industries. Fake news!
Anyway, my dad made the call to the FreeSpirit management and that got the ball rolling. The rest is history. Here’s one for you dad: I guess you haven’t lost your touch in your over 50 years in the textile industry. Love ya man! (My dad totally reads the blogs. He likes to say that he “caught up on my blogs over the weekend.” Then my mom calls to say that my dad showed her the blogs and she loves them yadda yadda. It’s classic).
Everyone has so many questions as do I. I love it how people presume that within a day of doing this deal that I immediately know which way is up including every small and large detail about FreeSpirit. As my dad always likes to say, “we don’t even know where the bathroom is yet.” Don’t forget that I was away when this deal was amazingly consummated by my brother and dad. I will be heading to the office this week and will also be at the VDTA show in Charlotte so I will get to visit two times in the coming weeks. There is a lot to learn and I look forward to meeting all the new people and all the new challenges. We are excited about how many employees have decided to stay with FreeSpirit. This should greatly help to keep the transitional tumult to a minimum. Thank you in advance to the new team at FreeSpirit. I look forward to the our future together.
If you have questions, I suggest that you contact the same people or person as you would have in the past. Don’t be shy people because we want to make this transition as quick and painless as possible.
What I can tell you is that all the January released lines are moving forward except the Sprout line by Joel Dewberry. The reps should have their next samples under the new ownership around quilt market.
All the sales and distribution channels shall remain the same for the time being. We of course need time to evaluate all the existing partners that FreeSpirit has to see how strong they all are. As you know, I am all for change, but that change has to come for the proper reasons. As such, this deal is a work in progress and I expect it to take about a year before all the details and kinks are smoothed out. At that point, the business should be able to more or less run on auto-pilot. And then, we will be ready for the next deal!
Thanks for your time. Have a fabulous week.