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.

  • Visiting the Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club

    For over 30 years working at Lion Brand as a traveling salesperson, it has been one of my greatest joys to witness the growth of the many crafting communities all over the United States. I have always felt immeasurably proud to be a part of a company that enables people to find happiness in each stitch and a sense of accomplishment in every final product.Recently, I was given the opportunity to speak at the Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club, the Connecticut Chapter of the Crochet Guild of America. This group started in 2001 as a bunch of crafters who wanted to get together and share their love for crochet. Now they have expanded to an organization “dedicated to preserving, promoting, and teaching crochet” within the Tri-State Area; it was like looking into Lion Brand's past.At the end of my talk, the president presented me with a personalized honorary membership, for all of the hard work, passion, and inspiration Lion Brand has helped give the crafters of today.  irene-ariel
    Irene and Ariel in a sweater she made.

    Following the event, there was a “show and tell” parade of garments made by members who used Lion Brand yarn, ending in the biggest surprise of all: my longtime, good friend Irene Iannelli had brought her young daughter, Ariel, that day to model some of her own garments!

    Nothing gives me more pleasure than seeing how our product has transformed itself into a handmade sweater thanks to an imaginative crafter. Seeing members of Happily Hooked on Crocheting Club enthusiastically welcome Lion Brand and myself into their community makes visiting knit and crochet guilds across the nation all the more worthwhile.

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  • Meeting a Living Legend of the Knitting Industry

    janet-johnson-stephens
    With Janet (pictured left) and the other ladies from the Guild

    As a fourth generation member of a family-owned business, I've always been fascinated with the "living legends" of the yarn industry since, like me, many of them have been involved in the business for 30 or 40 years.

    At the Knit and Crochet show last month, I had the pleasure of meeting Janet Johnson Stephens, who won the Honorary Lifetime Member award from the Knitting Guild of America. 

    The very talented Janet Johnson Stephens is a particularly influential person. Not only is she a dedicated crafter, but she is an accomplished teacher and designer.

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  • Getting Nostalgic at the Knit and Crochet Show

    Rita Weiss induction into Crochet Hall of Fame.One of my favorite shows to attend has always been the Knit and Crochet Show.  And earlier this month during Crochet Guild of America's Professional Development Day, I got to hear my fellow colleagues and peers in the yarncraft industry speak about what we've all learned this past year.  What always excited me about this show was hearing other people, who were just as passionate as I was about yarn, talk about what they love.

    It always felt like a family coming home for the holidays, reuniting and catching up what everyone has been doing since the last show. It was this experience I always look forward to the most.

    Crochet Hall of Fame

    This year was particularly special because I got to see Rita Weiss be inducted into the Crochet Hall of Fame. It reminded me of the reason why I work in this business and at Lion Brand. She has served as my role model, and was the reasons why Lion Brand got involved with the Crochet Guild of America. How she has become a household name and what she has done for the yarncraft industry is what I hope that Lion Brand will one day become.

    Lion Brand Home Movies

    Not only that but because I travel so much it also gives me a chance to see what Lion Brand has been working on this past year. When videos of my family and I talking about Lion Brand and Vanna White giving Lion Brand’s annual proceeds to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital, it brought a tear to my heart knowing I was seeing on screen what I always want our customers to know about Lion Brand. Just like a family, we are taught to be generous and to care about others, but most of all that family comes first.

    Knit and Crochet Fashion Show

    This year I also got to see I got to see Lauren and Brandyce model for the Lion Brand segment of the Crochet Fashion show. It always impresses me how much our employees go above and beyond when it comes to showing their love for Lion Brand. Whether it’s working behind a desk or working the runaway to model this year’s designs.

    I can hardly wait what the next show will bring but I do hope to see some of you in July...

    Want to check out a Lion Brand booth near you?  We'll be in Hartford, Connecticut for Stitches East from November 10-11!

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