December 5th, 8:00pm:
Greetings from North Carolina! It has been many years since I have been in North Carolina, perhaps close to a decade in fact. I can't decide what I miss more, the charming southern accent, the tantalizing sweet tea, or every lady over 50 calling me sugar. Let's just call it a tie. Either way, it feels good to be back in the heart of the south.
Besides touring the mill and soaking up every ounce of textile geekery possible, on my to do list is to visit a Waffle House and eat Popeyes fired chicken. Yum. Also, to hear someone with a thick southern drawl call me sugar, and if she happens to also serve me a glass of sweet tea you might find me in Yankee heaven. If I was staying through the weekend, I'd also want to visit a southern baptist church and wave my hands during morning worship.
December 6th, 6:30pm:
Hey sugar. The mill was a blast! Warping, weaving, design, colors, yarn, fiber, time-lines, strike-offs, prototypes. You name it we covered it, saw it, did it.
Getting to finally meet the sales & development rep I've been working with, also the lead designer and even CEO of the company was probably the highlight of the tour, but seeing the looms in action would have to come in at a close second.
Colorways for Harlequin have been chosen for our official launch in January as well as for Herringbone, from our Signature Collection. Here is just a little reminder of what our first design from the Americana Collection hearkens to:
That's right, a bandana themed wrap is in our near future!
Our designers are busy working to achieve just the right layout so we're able to highlight the motif without losing too much detail. Also, placement of each "square" will be key, as we have to work within the parameters of the loom and a pre-set repeat for width.
Later that night:
I went to eat dinner at a local chain restaurant called "Fatz", it was in close proximity to my hotel and I was offered a discount for showing my key card from the hotel, ((sweet!))
The waitress was so kind and my food was delish. After the meal, noticing that I was there alone, she sat down across from me in the both and asked if this was my first time visiting a Fatz restaurant, where I was from and what I was in town for.
I said yes, to which she replied that this earned me a free peach cobbler! Peach cobbler?? I wasn't really hungry anymore, but who can turn down peach cobbler? Not this gal. Before my dessert arrived, and manager came by and said hello, He was also very kind and asked how my food was, where I was from, etc., In conversation I mentioned that I was a veteran and he asked me which branch of the service. I said, "Marine Corps". His eyes lit up and he said that he too is a former Marine. He asked me a little about my business and my family.
We shook hands and parted with "Semper Fi", the Marine Corps motto which translates to "Always Faithful". I love running into fellow Marines on my travels and adventures. We are a brotherhood and sisterhood unlike any other, and I feel honored to be among such great company.
December 7th, 5:05am:
Sad to report that I was only able to cross off two of my three bucket list items for visiting the South; drinking sweet iced tea and getting called sugar. Popeyes will have to wait till my next trip beyond the Mason Dixon line, but that Peach Cobbler on the house pretty much made up for it! Southern hospitality is alive and well my friends.
Back to Vermont and my fab five kiddos I go, happy trails!