Hello! I’m Laraine and I started working for Crafts Americana Group in 2001, back when there was a small retail store.
At the time, I was a tole and decorative painter who knew nothing about quilting. (I remember having to ask what a Fat Quarter was!) That didn’t last long, however. I don’t think you can work around fabric and creative people without catching the “quilting bug”. Before the end of that year I had made my first quilt–King size to fit my bed!
Since that time, I’ve worked with all three of our divisions in the purchasing field and now am quite happy in my role working with our fabric and thread vendors. I spend much of my day surrounded by paperwork (both electronic and real) as well as doing data entry. This might not sound all that exciting to you, but, being a detail person by nature, I can truly say I love my job!
I enter the information needed about our fabric and thread and upload it to our system. Once the details and amounts have been decided on, I send the actual purchase orders to our vendors making sure all the little details are attended to: Will it fit in a container/truck? Is all the paperwork filled out correctly? And most importantly, WILL IT ARRIVE ON TIME?! Occasionally something does happen that causes a shipment to be delayed. That’s when you’ll find me in the background biting my nails and sprouting grey hair! Someone joked that part of my title should be “Professional Worrier”.
As we get closer to our catalog launch date, I look over each new collection and make sure the images and details are ready to go. Finally, when launch day arrives, I get to turn on all the fabrics and kits so they show on our website.
Other parts of my job include entering all the components for each of our kits, working on a cutting schedule with our fabric team in Ohio, pricing clearance items, coordinating special sales, helping proof catalogs and book reviews, and a myriad of small things that pop up during the day. We work in a very collaborative environment since many aspects of our job flow into each other. Working around so much creativity everyday helps keep me inspired. I consider my co-workers friends; we have a great team which makes coming to work everyday something I look forward to.