Wednesday, February 25, 2009

thoughts on a bad economy


The turret is the hanging desk that i call home for the balance of the work day. On this desk sit a laptop connected to a monitor, a slew of papers, cup of coffee from Uncle Jon's and a bunch of other miscellany.

Here at the Turret for the past couple of weeks I've been having conversations that often include 'we're just going to wait it out -- get to the the other side [[of the recession]].' The last man standing type of thing.

Is it possible that this '..get to the other side..' idea is a responsible plan, ( considering it's offered almost unanimously)?

Can't be. It violates a simple rule I'd like to call the 'don't do what everyone else is doing' rule.

First of all there are a couple of broad stroke assumptions that, if wrong, screw you -- Let's not talk about 'the other side' as if we're crossing the delaware and there's a storm a brewin'.

Please.

What we're talking about is a future that may or may not resemble what we so resolutely believe it should be.

Second: i'd argue that the risk profile of 'waiting it out', likely is higher than the exact opposite, possibly defined as a situation where one does everything possible to influence the outcome.

In this case it is the people that take broad proactive steps to affect their future that may have the best possible chance of being in decent shape over the long haul.

The calls i'm taking seem to me one of the best indicators that now is the time to swing big. If you don't define the 'side' that you're struggling so hard to get to ... perhaps it doesn't exist.
charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Pirates -- data -- Pirate Data!


charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

Thursday, February 19, 2009

we're hiring


Reply to: see below
Date: 2009-02-16, 2:25PM EST

The Merrow Sewing Machine Company is a world leader in the design, manufacture and marketing of quality, high-performance, industrial sewing machines. Established in 1838, the Merrow brand is one of the most recognizable in the industrial sewing industry.

We are currently looking for a part-time or full-time bookkeeper. Candidates must have strong organizational skills and an ability to handle varied responsibilities.

Responsibilities for this position include, but are not limited to:

- Accounts Payable
- Accounts Receivable
- Collections
- Journal Entries
- Bank Reconciliations
- Processing Invoices

Qualified and interested candidates, please send resume and cover letter to owen@merrow.com.

Merrow is located on Bedford street in Fall River. 15 minutes from Providence.

We offer a great working environment and business culture. Please visit our website for more detailed information. http://www.merrow.com/
charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

Monday, February 16, 2009

Custom Building 70 class sewing machines & tables


This week we're working on 70 class production.

The product line is designed to join fabric together and in an effort to create a full service line we offer a custom built table and will sew off whatever fabric will be used.

Each machine is hand-built and then sewn off on the appropriate table using the specified thread and fabric.

Below are some of the pictures of the stuff we're working on.


charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

Merrow Newsletter - February 2009



Monthly Newsletter - February 2009
a review of Merrow.com

This month we've been profiled by Kathleen Fasanella of the Fashion Incubator. Her headline 'the best (sewing machine) site on the internet' got our attention!

"I’ve been meaning to tell you about the Merrow website for a long time. This is the best example of what any industrial products website should be like as any I’ve ever seen. The landing page is friendly and accessible as you can see below."


merrow webshot

"I hope you enjoy learning about overlock sewing machines on their site as I have (maybe you’ll even buy one). I haven’t gone through but a tiny portion of the material because I keep getting side tracked with just how well all of the features are so nicely and intuitively done. The cut to the chase summary is if you ever have a question about overlock machines,
Merrow should be your stop. All sites should be this nicely done."

______________
for more of this review please jump over to the fashion-incubator


Merrow on Twitter
twitter
A few weeks ago we started 'tweeting'. It's great. The feedback is interesting and it gives us an opportunity to shed some light on the goings-on here at command central. Follow us on Twitter!

70-D3B-2 Production

February has been all about the 70 class machines. The service plan, new production, and custom set-ups have really kept us busy.


Merrow agent CRM software -- beta release--
Over the past several months we've developed new software for our agents. (that's right -- this is Merrow built!) We've integrated email automation, google maps, our own CRM structure -- and have begun rolling it out on a limited basis.

Basically we let our agents see where the customers are, what equipment they're running and have access to loads of email statistics relating to the last email campaign in XYZ country.

If you're interested send us a note

Here's a sneak peak:
merrow crm sneakpeak


Communication

In order to keep everyone talking we're integrating Skype with Asterisk & Merrow CRM. You can get started by hooking up with us on Skype. our username is:  merrowusa

skype logo

In Case You Missed It
Here are some new articles and Merrow features we recently announced on the Merrow Blog:


Best,

The Merrow Team
Overheard onTwitter

kfasanella @merrow_machine You have the best internet site in the entire garment industry. I'm writing a review of it today.
---

meechele7 @merrow_machine Love Ugly Betty, I think that sewing machine looks a bit scary though.
---

arkadyrose @merrow_machine I'm in lust. I am also crying at the price.
---

sleenie @merrow_machine For those who prefer not to sew much, pre-edged blanket fabric would be a welcome choice vs fringed fleece. Great idea!
---

zugsterbags @merrow_machine The little sewing machines are so cute! (the dog too)
---

violetteclark @merrow_machine Wow..sure could have used your wonderful machine on my handmade clutch to serge the edges - http://www.violette.ca/blog...
---
Random Quote:
from QuotationsPage.com

"If you have a harem of 40 women, you never get to know any of them very well." -- Warren Buffett



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charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

Thursday, February 12, 2009

merrow // technology // our role in the community



this morning i had a note on my desk, it read:

If you produce a clothing line, you'll want to see the best sewing machine site on the internet http://bit.ly/NYp2w

today we're going to repost a blog post from the fashion-incubator. Why? the glowing review of merrow's website has something to do with it...

...but that's not all. We believe that at our core we're a member of a large community, and that our job in that community is to interact with this group and bring awesome sewing machines with us. The judgment of the community matters. When you write about us we're going to pay attention --

In 2009 our website is our public face, the days of being able to visit the community are largely passe. However interaction with the community remains critical -- and perhaps even more important considering the amount of information that is available today.

That's why we use Twitter, and I spend much of my time writing code, wrestling with SQL & PHP.

Merrow has built every piece of technology (or adopted & modified) that you see. And there's a lot you can't see that our agents & distributors use.  

Merrow is a sewing machine manufacturer. We do not forget that. But our community needs more from us than a sewing machine... in many respects our job is to illustrate not just 'how' to do something but 'what *else*' can be done. 

We need to represent why Merrow equipment and Merrow itself creates opportunity for people and companies who design and manufacture sewn products.

In 2009 we will work harder than anyone in our industry to do this -- to enable people to make things, and hopefully along the way use Merrow machines to do it. We believe that we can change the dynamics of this industry by employing technology, listening to the community and building great sewing machines. 

Regards,
Charlie Merrow
Merrow Sewing Machine Co.

With no further ado: the article from the fabric-incubator (reposted from this link http://www.fashion-incubator.com/archive/the-best-sewing-machine-site-on-the-internet/ )

The best (sewing machine) site on the internet

Posted by Kathleen Fasanella on Feb 11, 2009 at 4:23 pm / Machines & Equipment / Trackback
Many web sites that serve the production needs of the apparel industry are awful. It’s not something most of us complain about as we’ve become accustomed to being grateful that they have a site at all when untold others still don’t. Until recently, the site amenities of the largest supplier in the industry was limited to pushing a button to make a globe spin or shoot off fireworks; the height of web site programming circa 1993.

I’ve been meaning to tell you about the Merrow website for a long time. This is the best example of what any industrial products website should be like as any I’ve ever seen. The landing page is friendly and accessible as you can see below.
Merrow manufactures industrial sewing machines; the only ones still made in the United States. If you’ve heard the term “merrowing” or merrow stitching, the speaker is usually referring to an overlock or serge stitching. Joseph Merrow was the inventor of the overlock sewing machine. Merrow had an interesting life; the family’s business was producing knit fabrics. When the family’s mill burnt to the ground in a gunpowder incident (Merrow’s dad had a gunpowder patent), Joseph went on to develop crochet sewing machines. Talk about making lemonade out of lemons.

Today, Merrow is owned by Joseph Merrow’s two great great nephews Owen and Charlie Merrow (Joseph never married or had children). They are also, coincidentally enough, great grandsons of Lena Bryant who is better known as Lane Bryant. I suppose with a family history of innovation, it’s not surprising their site is so great. By the way, the company is really tiny with only 26 employees. The owners are also quite young, in their early to mid thirties. I can only imagine their youth is one reason the site is literally designed with today’s entrepreneurs in mind. In addition to the multi-faceted site with podcasts and videos, they have a ning forum, blog and they even twitter! I’ve never been wild about ning forums, they’re pretty but not as functional as other options but all in all, I’m not about to argue about it since no one else does anything approaching this magnitude of accessibility.

With most suppliers sites, you really have to wade through cryptic menu options to find out anything, or even to discover whether the information is to be had at all. Or what you even need, or what the thing does. For example, have you ever tried to find a sewing machine manual on a supplier’s site? It is the biggest headache ever but not so on Merrow’s site. Here’s a screen capture from their site with instructions on how to locate a manual:
I hope you enjoy learning about overlock sewing machines on their site as I have (maybe you’ll even buy one). I haven’t gone through but a tiny portion of the material because I keep getting side tracked with just how well all of the features are so nicely and intuitively done. The cut to the chase summary is if you ever have a question about overlock machines, Merrow should be your stop. All sites should be this nicely done.
charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The spanish sensation -- with free stuff



Sometimes it feels good just to give it away.

In spanish.
charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

Monday, February 9, 2009

Stewart + Brown goodness


lot's going on this week. seems that this time of year is about planning, traveling and software development. All good stuff. In the midst we might take a moment to admire some made in the US S+B merrow hemmed hotness.

Stewart+Brown: back tie dress - Mozilla Firefox 3.1 Beta 2
Uploaded with plasq's Skitch!

we dig. we dig.
charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

when i grow up I want to.... wait. what?


So we are big fans of the blogs. And twitter -- and every once in a while we turn a corner and BAM! something we couldn't have anticipated.

Like this new blog
http://aniadesigns.blogspot.com/

Self Described as:
A fashion designer and business developer with an aim to fight injustice in the world and to help the orphans and the widows. 

 We wake up every day and try to do well. Sometimes a good day, sometimes not. But our bar, well how shall we say this.... might not be as high as Ania Designs.

We genuinely hope she clears it  -- and if we can help with a little purl stitching...
charlie merrow Merrow

Merrow has manufactured sewing machines since 1838 and remains one of the most interesting companies in the textile space