001 – Eric Sauma of Mood Fabrics – Fabric Family

Fabric stores with Mood Fabrics…

Eric Sauma (bio), co-owner of Mood Fabrics (a family business fabric store with classes which is the number-one shopping destination for fashion fabric in the world with more than 1,200 customers daily) joins hosts Rob Sanchez, Samanta Cortes and Stephanie Benedetto for the first episode of a podcast about materials sciences and processes.

A family business, trends, and the genesis of Mood Fabrics

Sauma discusses the nature of this family business, evolving from wholesale to retail, how the business is all he knows, touching new fabrics from all over the world, and how the business inspires the entire family. At core of business are smaller designers who can’t get materials directly from manufacturers at low quantity, how content and materials are curated, touching and feeling every piece of fabric that comes into the store to marinating quality, buying power allows them to buy variety in smaller increments, working from decades-long relationships with suppliers, a shift/change to the willingness to accept lower minimums, how digital printing allows printing on smaller increments, implementing an ERP system allowed find out patterns of what fabrics are trending, and the ability to anticipate having inventory. What’s trending now, and how technical fabrics are booming. The story of Mood Fabrics with a genesis in giving up in one business creating another, and how it became a family business.

Sewing classes, a generational shift, and Project Runway

Launching a wide range of largely free sewing classes in a variety of cities, the resurgence of a disappearing art of sewing, the new generation’s need for independence and discovering identity, knowledge shift through generations, focus on sustainability and local manufacturing, big ideas coming to row business and get product to more people because of how few fabrics stores there are, and getting fabric into people’s hands because it is a tactile, tangible business. How the Project Runway’s involvement changed the business and came about, the celebrity of the dog “Swatch”, and becoming a tourist destination. The show’s first Snack Time offers up cupcakes and gluten free cookies.

Understanding fabric, wanting a bigger voice, and paying your dues

A new offering, “Fabric A to Z”, the need to understand fabric, the importance of bringing attention to the Garment Center and having a presence on the street and bigger voice of the industry. And personal questions in the segment “Remnants” covers a new baby, a temporary job becoming a career, and playing around fabric as a child.   Plus, growing the business and pushing fabric online, and paying one’s dues for the long run.

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