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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.

  • Lion Brand Loves Vanna White

    Many years ago I was watching the Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson. Vanna White was on and Johnny asked her, a bit suggestively in a Groucho Marx style, “What do you like to do in your spare time”? She replied that she was an avid crocheter. I almost fell out of bed when I heard that!

    I went into work the next day and told my cousin David about the interview. At his suggestion we sent her a yarn care package and about a week later we received a hand written note from Vanna. She thanked us and informed us that this is the yarn she goes to the store to buy.

    This note can still be found in David’s desk today. It marks the beginning of a beautiful relationship between our company and the lovely and talented Ms. White.

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    I can’t believe it has been 24 years since I met Vanna White. Working with Vanna is an absolute delight as she is a true professional in every sense of the word. She carries herself with such poise and treats everyone she meets with warmth and kindness.

    Over the years she has visited our NYC office as well as our NJ outlet and we have worked with her on many creative projects from fashion shows to lines of yarn. We have also collaborated with her to raise over one million dollars for St. Jude’s Children’s Research Hospital.

    We here at Lion Brand have had the pleasure of sharing many lunches and dinners with Vanna, getting to know her on a personal level. I can attest she is as lovely as she appears to be on television.

    vanna-white-jack

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  • Do You Have a Craft-Related License Plate?

    license-kntgal

    Traveling for business is not always as glamorous as it seems. There can be down time on the road and it is up to me to keep myself entertained. While I have many interests to keep me occupied, one thing I like to do in particular is to hunt for personalized license plates. When possible I will even snap a picture of the ones that catch my eye, especially when they relate to yarn! Here are some of my favorite shots.

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    Do you have a knitting/crochet/yarn themed license plate?

    I’d love to see it. Leave a photo in the comments to show off your crafter’s pride!

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  • Getting to Know Pam MacKenzie

    Last month I had the pleasure of running into one of my favorite writers, Pam MacKenzie, at Vogue Knitting Live.

    For those of you who don’t recognize the name, Pam writes a great blog and weekly article on mycentraljersey.com, both titled, “In Stitches”. She’s a local (raised in NJ and went to college in New York) with a big heart.

    We started reading her work because of her interesting take on industry topics but what kept us engaged was the way she links knitting (and crochet) with charity. Lion Brand has had the opportunity to work with Pam on charitable endeavors in the past and we look forward to many more collaborations in the future!

    Here’s a look back of some of the highlights of our time getting to know Pam.

    Outlet tour with Jack - April 2013

     

    Summer Chemo Cap Project – August 2014

    Pam organized the project which culminated with a finishing party here at the Lion Brand Outlet.

    Stitch ‘n Pitch – August 2016

    Pam distributed the donated Lion Brand yarn to all the knitters and crocheters who participated at the Stitch n’ Pitch event.

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