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Author Archives: Jack

What do you do at Lion Brand? My title is Vice President. I do marketing and sales. When did you start working for Lion Brand? March 1, 1983 What’s your favorite thing about working for Lion Brand? My favorite thing is to have an idea, to discuss it in a meeting and then see it in a store 6 months or a year later. What do you do when you are not working? I Collect sports memorabilia and autographs. When I travel and I’m in a hotel I can spot a professional athlete from across the room and I’ve gotten a lot of autographs that way. I have an autographed Sandy Koufax jersey and a ball autographed by Koufax and Drysdale. I also coach my son’s basketall team and take him to little league games. What is your work area like? My work area is fun. I have a 1954 working Coke machine and a bubble gum machine from the 50s, a collection of Norman Rockwell plates of people knitting, articles by my Dad of a book he wrote the introduction to on knitting from 1953, a needlepoint made by my second grade teach showing Lion Brand on a pushcart, The Simpson family, sitting in front of the T.V. with Marge knitting. This was a cover of T. V. Guide. When I called them and told them I was in the yarn business they sent me the original artwork (called a cell). I have a tin that we used to give to stores in the 1950s, a photo of my son modeling a Lion Brand Sweater, a French poster of a girl knitting from 1928, a Red Cross poster from World War II that says, “our boys need socks, knit your bit”, a cover of Life Magazine from 1941 with a woman knitting (Life was 10 cents), a cover of New Yorker Magazine with a big ball of yarn, about 40 images of Lions counting stuffed animals, needlepoint, and framed images. A collection of books, some autographed, by Vanna White, Kate Jacobs and Debbie Macomber, all famous knitters or crocheters, a Build-A-Bear of a Lion, a picture of Wallace and Grommet knitting, a poster of an old catalog cover that was a take-off of American Gothic with two Lions knitting and crocheting, a clock with the Lion Brand logo, a framed 1946 Saturday Evening Post from with a picture of a dog sweater being knit. I have lots of photos including my father with Henry Kissinger, photos of me with Jackie Mason and Mohammed Ali, a picture of my Uncle Isidor, A picture of my parents in front of the Taj Mahal from 1971, picture of Warren Buffet knitting (his daughter had a knit shop), color card books from the 60s to the 90s, license plate holder, that says “license to knit”, What is your earliest yarn memory? When I was 5 I took a paper bag with spools fo thread, I went to my parents friends on the street and to go door to door selling spools of thread for a nickel a spool.

  • Attending TNNA (The National NeedleArts Association)

    tnna

    Last weekend I attended the TNNA Summer Trade Show in Columbus, OH. I have attended shows given by The National Needlearts Association (TNNA) since 1984. What I like about these shows are the smaller companies who come up with new ideas every year. They have a drive and inspiration to make unique gifts and accessories that our customers will enjoy. I attend the show with the intention of finding new products to sell in our two retail stores, the Lion Brand Outlet Store and the Lion Brand Yarn Studio but always come away with a greater understanding of the trends, colors, and textures of the season.

    I was happy to see cake yarns represented at the show. They are not only in craft stores now but also smaller local yarn shops. A few other popular items I noticed were thick yarns and new yarn kits.

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  • Close to the Heart: It's All About Crochet

    I sometimes feel crochet is closer to my heart than knitting. Maybe it’s because I was on the board of directors for the Crochet Guild of America for 4 years. Lion Brand even won the award for Most Crochet-Friendly Yarn Company given by the Crochet Liberation Front. Knitting is at the forefront of people’s minds when they think of yarn crafts. Even when discussing crochet, how many times have you heard the term “crochet needles”?

    Crocheters use our products just as much as knitters and it is time to show them some love. If you haven’t noticed, crochet has been infiltrating the fashion industry more and more lately. I have seen it in department stores and on designer runways. It is not just for granny square afghans anymore!

    I always compare knitting and crochet to cooking and baking. They are similar but different. Some people can cook, but not bake. Some people can bake but could not cook dinner to save their lives. Others can do both. If you are a knitter that wants to learn to crochet or a crocheter looking to find like-minded crafters, here is a list of local crochet chapters. If you are in the New York City area, why don’t you come to the Lion Brand Yarn Studio for a class?

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  • A Visit With the Grossmans

    barb grossman

    Recently, I had a visit from my friend Barb Grossman and her sister Ann. Barb coordinates the Pittsburgh Knit & Crochet Festival. We had a wonderful time together as we toured our corporate headquarters and the Lion Brand Outlet store in Carlstadt, NJ. We then made our way to Manhattan where we visited our design and marketing teams before finishing up in our flagship Lion Brand Yarn Studio.

    I was surprised when I received a beautiful card and homemade cake from her and her husband, former Pittsburgh Steeler (and 4-time Super Bowl Champion), Randy Grossman. This is certainly the first cake I have ever had that was made by a professional football player! If I am being honest it was the nicest gift I had received in a long time.

    Thank you, Barb, Ann, and Randy, for thinking of us. The team here at Lion Brand devoured your delicious cake!

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