(If you follow us on Facebook you know I'm supposed to be in Hawaii sitting at the beach with a drink in my hand writing this post, but instead here I sit at my home computer due to tropical storm Flossie. We did reschedule, but I figured I would send this from home and not wait two more weeks.)
So last week I was talking to Robin, the newest member of our online team, asking her for a bio for our newsletter. She told me she went online to look for mine and couldn't find one. It made me realize I haven't properly introduced myself to everyone out there.
I will keep it short. I came to Michael Levine, Inc. from the television industry. I grew up on sets, as my dad was a gaffer (lighting) and I knew from a young age I wanted to be in that world. I loved the excitement of it. After I graduated from college I worked my way up the ladder and eventually became an associate producer. I worked on many sit coms over the years, but the one that I worked on the longest was Malcolm & Eddie.
After 5 years the show was cancelled. During my time on that show I got married, had a baby, and was thinking of having another one. I just couldn't imagine working on a new show again. The hours would be crazy and I knew I didn't want to miss any more of my little girl's big moments.
I was lucky that my husband's family needed help in their business.
While I never imagined I'd work with fabric, and I may not be the most fashion forward person you will ever meet, I have always loved to shop for clothes and had a passion for home decorating. If you look in my closet, beside it being organized in color order, you would notice the pieces I own are pretty timeless. I buy a few items every season that are on trend, but I on the whole I like to stay true to what works on my body & what will be able to live in my closet for more than one season. I figured I would bring this knowledge to the table, as well as my organizational skill and see how it went. That was over 11 years ago so I'd say it has gone pretty well. During my time at Michael Levine I have worn many hats. I have done HR, payroll, assisted with buying new product, and reorganized various departments, but getting our online/social media off the ground has been the most exciting. Coming out of the television industry I love work that is fast paced and always changing and that is exactly what this online business has been.
They first year I came into the online division, lowpricefabric.com, it was all about setting up systems to get product online and to get connected to the buyers out there. Once we mastered getting the fabric online relatively smoothly, though not always fast enough, I thought we should enter the social media world. Over the last 9 months we have been working on making a presence for ourself on Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, our blog and Instagram. I have to say it is a lot harder than I imagined. Trying to think of new things to blog about or new ideas and products to post is not always easy. It is a world that never sleeps. Everyone wants new information right now. I am trying to learn how to balance those demands with my the other aspects of my life. I am working on setting limits for myself so that I don't become someone who has to be attached to her phone all the time. With a teenager in the house, who just got a phone last month, I am trying to model the importance of face to face time as opposed to text/screen time, so I want to set a good example. That being said, once the kids go to bed I am up until all hours working at my desk.
Sorry I digressed. So I have been at Michael Levine, Inc. for over 11 years and have had two more children. I work part-time in the office and part-time from home. When I came to Michael Levine, Inc. all those years ago it was really important for me to spend the afternoons with my children. I didn't want to look back and feel like I missed being with them. My oldest, now a teenage, is a high level gymnast. Besides needing to be driven to the gym and have food prepared that 30 minutes is a great time to connect with her. I love that I get to have that. The younger two have homework and various activities, from soccer to baseball to art and while the afternoons are crazy, I wouldn't trade them for anything. If I had stayed in the television world spending that time with them would have been impossible. Since we have gotten our online store up and running my part-time job has quickly become more like a full-time job and I couldn't be enjoying it more. I still only work from the office until 2pm, but I work many hours every evening to stay on top of everything. Sales are growing, we're connecting with amazing bloggers, and bringing more people on board so we can do projects for our blog as well as get more fabric onto our site. We're in the middle of revamping our cotton section and next will tackle the apparel section. We will be looking at our in-store notion department and getting more of those products online as well. It is a long road, but one that is so worth traveling. I love the challenge and can't wait to see where we will be in another year and than another year after that, and so on. Thank you for following us and buying fabric from us. We really appreciate your business and look forward to meeting your fabric needs for many years to come.