036 – Timur Yumusaklar of Schumacher – Style, Taste, and Innovation

Timur Yumusaklar

Fabrics, wall coverings, trimmings, furnishings, and floor coverings from Schumacher

Timur YumusaklarTimur Yumusaklar, CEO of F. Schumacher and Co, a 128 year old company offering fabric, wallpaper, trims, rugs and carpets (and according to Wikipedia “the only supplier of decorative textiles from the 19th century”), still privately owned and managed by direct descendants of its founder, joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia Studios powered by Sennheiser.

A long-standing design company, linen and wool, and success in the face of a changing industry

Timur YumusaklarYumusaklar discusses the importance of looking beyond customers, understanding how far fabric can go, the love of an incredible fabric that didn’t sell, and being one of the longest standing design companies in America, from the Roosevelt’s to the Kennedy’s. Being a global business and helping people understand textiles in a digital sphere, working with decorators, Belgian linen, alpaca wool, the best wool, customization and pricing in the face of changing spending habits and political and economic climates, and how these are impacting Schumacher.

Inspiring conversion, focusing on trends, and Made in America

Timur YumusaklarBalancing conversion and a reputation for luxury, and the value of not being pushed through a sales funnel but instead just inspiring them. A focus of looking for trends, getting them right, not having to always get into detail of numbers. Why it is important to bring trades back to USA, Made in America, storytelling, luxurious fabric and textiles, and embroidery on wallpaper.

Impact, curiosity, and red vs. blue

Thinking about new considerations with fabric and interiors and materials. Wanting to make an impact, a German upbringing, rational things and psychology, red vs. blue, curiosity, and why we shouldn’t take ourselves too seriously.

Happier, Healthier, Better – 2018 Ford Trends Report with Sheryl Connelly

Sheryl Connelly

Big picture global macro patterns and behaviors, with Sheryl Connelly…

Sheryl ConnellySheryl Connelly, Global Trends and Futuring Manager (a.k.a. Corporate Futurist) for Ford Motor Company, talks with MouthMedia Network President Pavan Bahl about the insights and implications of the 2018 Ford Trends Report. Recorded at the MouthMedia Network studios, powered by Sennheiser. Read the 2018 Ford Trends Report here.

Data for all, giving younger people purpose, and seeking solutions

Connelly reveals how the report previously was kept proprietary and inside Ford, but now it is cascading it widely, as it is functionally agnostic. The brief is that the more it was shared that Ford received more insights. She discusses how trust is a trend that can’t be overestimated. She reviews the personal note to the reader, and how disorientation, disparity, and inequities cannot be ignored anymore, that people want to explore them and look for solutions and how the world is committed to looking for solutions. Being thoughtful in how to engage young people to give them purpose, working in emerging markets, endeavoring to be sure Ford is meaning the same thing around the world, elevating to truly a global space. How the whole landscape of automotive industry is evolving, and Ford is playing a leadership role.

An activist awakening, mental and physical health, and the Ford Hub

Sheryl ConnellyUncertainty and confusion globally, an activist awakening, discovering the degree of intolerance of opposing viewpoints, and the understanding of the impact of individual actions on change. When thinking about solutions, whether women can feel safe and have accessible options, a societal cultural shift, how mental well being goes along with physical health, creating a culture of curiosity that opens the door for innovation, the impact of sleep on health and weight loss, disconnecting from work in order to grow and explore, and mending the mind. Retail, and pop up retailers such as Story offers evolution in use case and agile experiences. And the Ford Hub brand experience in the World Trade Center Oculus in New York City.

Managing data, autonomous vehicles, and the changing family

How the younger generation doesn’t care about giving personal information, and how brands can be distinguished by how they act as stewards of info. Autonomous driving features/autonomous vehicles, how we are already driving a semiautonomous vehicle, so the building blocks are already there. Bringing autonomous vehicles widely into reality will be partly dependent on legal, municipal, and other influencers, and how with this comes a greater level of responsibility for Ford. In 2021, when Ford brings its first autonomous vehicles to the streets will they be ride hailing and package delivery vehicles. Ford is “all in” with major investment and commitment, and it is something definitely coming. What it looks like offers various possibilities, addressing concerns of jobs going away. In the past the biggest fear with automation was what we’d do with our leisure time, but that didn’t happen. A lot of data in the “singled out” section—a lot of data on what average family means, for first time in America’s history there are more single people than married. Yet people maintain that single people are treated differently, and the definition of the nuclear family has changed. What kind of vehicles does that now mean, understanding how shifts might change affects how and where production is determined.The future plays out in ways that are tough to imagine. The resilience of the human spirit, and awe inspiring, head scratching data.

035 – George Kalajian of Tom’s Sons Pleating – Writing the Book on Pleating


The art and mastery of pleating fabric…

pleatingGeorge Kalajian of Tom’s Sons Pleating International Pleating (a pleating contractor in New York City working in textile pleating and fabric texturizing) and author  joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

Three generations of pleating, a unique company, and relevance of the garment district

pleatingKalajian shares how the company has been around since 1931, offers third generation pleating expertise, and how his great, great grandfather had a textile mill. His parents came to New York after escaping a civil war in Lebanon, and how only for the past 5-6 years the company stopped making clothing and is now doing only what they do best — pleating. How the company is unique, there’s no other garment manufacturer that became a pleater, and they can offer clients so much more than just pleating. There are considerations, and the complexity of systematic folding of fabric, with many variables. The importance of being in a single location for specialized fields like pleating, and how there’s no way to share what designers need to see over great distances.

The best fabrics for pleating, writing a book, and why his father is like Google

pleatingHe discusses his uncle’s clients in Lebanon, and a family history and legacy in pleating. How synthetics are best for pleating, polyester the best of them, and pleated silks actually last if you don’t wear them. Humidity and body heat releases fibers and pleats. Plus–the oldest garment ever found was a pleated garment. How an introduction to his new book “Pleating” includes forward by Jack from Mood Fabrics, and why it took four years to complete. The challenging and complex task of writing about something that had never been written before or codified, pulling from a sea of data in his father’s brain, and why his dad is like Google. Why he wrote the book, and how it relates to him being the only person who could have written it, as no one else has a father who grew up in factory, an uncle’s mill, a sewing school and pleating school. Why it was not the book he intended to write, and a race against clock to get the info from his father.

A production app, a wedding dress, and Superman’s cape

pleatingAn app My Production Pal, the mathematical and geometrical parts of pleating, and how there is no “language” for pleating. Kalajian also reveals how an important component of his family business is top secret, while he concentrates on teaching what do you do with the pleating. How Kalajian hand pleated his wife’s wedding dress, finishing only in the last moment. How his first memory of pleating is when he got in trouble with a red satin Superman cape, finding something you are passionate about, a basic purpose in life to make something beautiful, working with family, and following passion and bliss.

034 – Jessica Schreiber of FABSCRAP – Trash Nerds Getting Scrappy

Textile recycling for business in New York City in fashion, interior design, entertainment, and more…

Jessica Schreiber, Founder of FABSCRAP (a one-stop ton-profit textile reuse and recycling resource in New York City), joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser.

A massive problem, a protecting proprietary material, and the challenge of spandex and leather

Schreiber reveals the origins of the company, working at the NYC Sanitation Department, the creation of a working group when working through problem was private, clearly defining what the problem was, creating a central way brands can transport waste and meet minimum requirements, protecting proprietary material via sorting, delivering bags, brands filling the bags, proprietary leather and spandex going to landfill (can’t be recycled), and everything else being recycled.

Fiber-to-fiber tech, compliance, and transparency allows market share

Holding fibers that are 100% cotton, wool or poly for fiber-to-fiber technologies, due to developing tech, and then hoarding stock now in anticipation of relationships. Why proprietary spandex and leather can’t be recycled into new textiles, compliance with NYC law, how until recently there was no reporting requirement for companies, and the opportunity for a transparency on what you’re throwing out and what you’re recycling. The road ahead with an opportunity to put out industry cumulative reports, how people are checking for recycling info and corporate social responsibility statements with products.

Volunteers, bringing fabric to the people, and Project Runway

Working with volunteers with a monumental task of helping to sort through fabric (they get 5 lbs. of fabric for volunteering), hoping to mechanize that process, and working on ways to bring fabric to people — such as pop up shops. An appearance on a Project Runway show, resulting successes, and the strategies in trying to get more people to know about the mission and organization. A round of personal questions with “Remnants” covers a dinner with Bethany Frankel, Bill McKibben, The Obamas, and fighting the family pattern.

033 – Pete Santora of SOFTWEAR Automation – Robots and Bananas

Autonomous sewn good worklines for home hoods, footwear and apparel…

Pete Santora, Chief Commercial Officer for SOFTWEAR Automation (an Atlanta-based machine vision and robotics startup), joins “Fashion Is Your Business” hosts Pavan Bahl and Marc Raco along with guest host Veronika Harbick (CEO, Co-founder & 3D Knitting Programmer for Thursday Finest) in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. Harbick also offers an announcement about her company. (Santora’s profile)

Genesis with DARPA, robots vs. jobs, Made in USA, and finding your wife in Whole Foods

Santora reveals the genesis of the company, being started by DARPA, and in accordance with the Berry Amendment, requiring the Department of Defense to give procurement preference to domestically produced, manufactured, or home-grown products. Giving attention to the fact that manufacturers are aging out of seamstresses, the growing need for automation in sewing, and the new the ability to scale the creation of goods, anywhere in the world, not just where you can find labor. How apparel manufacturing is manufacturing, fielding questions about loss of jobs, automation vs. robots, and fighting a cloud of fear about robots. How the majority of labor will not be replaced for decades, robots are just tools, and a real timeline of change and adaptation of new set of tools. The requirement to be in the US for SOFTWEAR, and how that stance is working, and bringing manufacturing here, the challenges of change because of generational people and legacy thinking, and how they can be slow to adapt. The tipping point of sustainability is at hand, and personal concerns vs. corporate concerns. Plus, snack time inspires a story of Santora meeting his wife in Whole Foods, his time as a professional soccer player, consuming bananas to play sports — and a droid makes an appearance in the studio.

How the SEWBOTS work, what a brand is, and deconstructing the automation chain

Being a ten-year-old startup with 8 years of R and D, focusing on how to survive as a company, using technology to build a company that works no matter the economic climate, and Alli Baba’s gigantic technology fund as an indication that something major taking place. How the SEWBOT technology works, the way it was conceived coming fro professor, the role of Georgia Tech in wearables with the first wearable tech shirt and much of the IP around wearable tech. Accomplishing proof of concept for machine vision, how goods go through entire process fully, allowing on demand and local production. Determining what a brand is these days, what the pieces are. The need to make in America while keeping quality, implanting sustainability and remaining competitive, and losing the guilt of not buying Made in America. Plus, the Sourcing Summit, having the job discovering how the company could fail, and deconstructing the automation chain to make sure brands can make goods the way they want to while keeping it sustainable.

Soccer, droids, and why kids should run toward robotics

Personal questions with Off the Grid cover remote control airplane assembly, and not getting it to work. Being crushed, joining a robotics club, soccer teams and the profound unbalance of Italy not making the soccer playoffs, women’s soccer vs. men’s soccer, why the U.S. doesn’t have a style, soccer tennis, a robotic film costar, and automation integrating with the lives of kids. Also, running towards robotics, and a desire to meet crazy people.

Thursday Finest

Plus, a special announcement from Veronika Harbick about a new chapter for Thursday Finest.

032 – Stacy Flynn – Shapeshifting Materials with Three Beakers and a Dream

Transforming textile waste into pristine new fiber at a molecular level…

Stacy Flynn, CEO/Co-founder of EVRNU (fiber technology transforms textile waste into pristine new fiber. Evrnu has invented the only regenerative fiber made from post-consumer textile waste) joins “Fashion Is Your Business” hosts Pavan Bahl, Rob Sanchez, and Marc Raco at the 2017 WEAR Conference in San Francisco. Powered by Sennheiser. (Flynn’s profile)

A wake up call, impacting the system’s lynch pin, and a prototype

Flynn shares how working in a cloud of pollution gave her a wake up call, realizing a generation of kids who don’t see blue sky, realizing she was linked to the cause of the problem, and how 90% of all clothing is made from clothing or polyester, and we throw away 14 million tons of clothing waste a year in the US alone. She discusses the goal of taking waste and turning it into high quality fiber, impacting the lynch pin of the system, and how the surprising result turned out versatile and beautiful The vision of intervention with minimal disruption, how the first prototype took a t-shirt from solid to liquid to a solid, and the journey of how Target signed on as an early adopter.

The holy grail of transformation, early adopters, and micro-manufacturing models

Separating cotton and polyester on a molecunetorking lar level, how the holy grail is taking a blended garment, liquefying it, separating it then using the individual components, and new processes vs. repurposing existing processes. How the process is actually shapeshifting material, realigning molecules, and the process of pushing through spinnerette determines the final qualities. Samples, licensing, early adopters Levis, Target and seven more not public, and how marketing campaigns need proof now. The difficult truth that a colored t-shirt requires 700 gallons of water to make, helping brands with sell-through rates and sustainability, and why the ability to network helps now, looking at micro-manufacturing models, with small manufacturers linked together to become power manufacturing chains as a localized, globalized model.

Reciprocity, the human spirit, and the Redwoods

Finding ways to build business, saving the environment while honoring designs. The three part adopter program, and how reciprocity creates human solidarity. There is no algorithm on the power of the human spirit to solve a really big problem. And Off the Grid Questions covers the Redwoods, a heavy moment, and accidental eyebrow shaving.

Hear more MouthMedia Network shows at www.MouthMediaNetwork.com.

031 – Jason Robinson of UPS – A Force of Change

How UPS strategically partners with businesses, from shortening routes, improving supply chains, developing delivery by drones, sustainability and humanitarianism, and data and analytics…

Jason Robinson, Director of Marketing for the North Atlantic Region for UPS, joins Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes in the MouthMedia Network studios powered by Sennheiser. (Robinson’s profile)

Empowering competition, drones, and Orion

Robinson shares his love of the complexity of movement, how he fell into his job after growing up in UPS out of high school and worked his way up, and being in a new role only around since 2010. What UPS offers businesses to compete with large platforms, the impact of same day delivery, and how UPS creates challenges and forces change, the need for partnerships, and keeping the finger on the pulse. Drones, related regulations/policies, testing drones after the hurricane in Houston, logistics, weight limits, restrictions, how drones can help in rural areas, and challenges of introducing a new technology into existing infrastructure and fully deploying quickly. And the incredible tool Orion, which shortens the routes of drivers, saving millions of dollars on fuel.

Education, reducing the carbon footprint, and the UPS Package Lab

Industry training business about consumer expectations, asking consumers about behavior online, time in transit, custom shipping, the increase of mobile and loss of tablet activity. Sustainability and humanitarian focuses, increasing efficiency and safety by saving mileage and fuel by minimizing left hand turns. Material and packaging options for recycled materials, looking. And the UPS Package Lab has an eco packaging program, which can help with marketing.

Data and analytics, fly fishing, and being a strategic partner

Robust data and analytics from UPS and making those available to businesses, giving the delivery driver the opportunity to go into houses with a doorbell program, and the impact of residential vs. commercial. Personal questions cover fitting in family time, fly fishing in the Catskills, hiking trails, bucket list cultural experiences and wishes, Norway, and New Zealand (and, again, fly fishing). And UPS My Choice, and being strategic partners instead of a vendor.

030 – Marni Leopold, Lucia Palacios, and Mary Marino – Peru, Guatemala, and Africa

Material and textile matchmaking in other countries…

Marni Leopold (Luxury Sales & Management – ‎Trade Commission of Peru), Lucia Palacios (Marketing and Promotion Director of Vestex, Apparel and Textile Association of Guatemala), and Mary Marino (Trade Linkage Consultant, USAID Contractor at East Africa Trade and Investment Hub), join Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes on location at Sourcing at Coterie. Powered by Sennheiser.


Marni Leopold (Luxury Sales & Management – ‎Trade Commission of Peru) discusses her role as a matchmaker, making introductions between USA designers and brands with Peruvian manufacturers, materials and market. How the attraction to Peru starts with quality, some of the best raw materials in the world, fibers, fabrics, and Peru has a free trade agreement, so materials are duty free. Promoting manufacturing, a trade show, how Leopold became involved, a focus on Hema Cotton and Alpaca, and a love of ceviche.

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029 – Clay Hickson of WRAP – Sweatshop Watchdog

Watchdog for ethical manufacturing…

Clay Hickson (profile), VP of Strategy and Business Development at WRAP (Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production), a non-profit organization “sweatshop watchdog” making sure manufacturers are ethical manufacturers, joins hosts Stephanie Benedetto and Samanta Cortes on location at Sourcing at Coterie. Powered by Sennheiser.

Certification and education, demands for ethical sourcing, and a history of concerns

Hickson discusses how materials are building blocks and sources of information, and how WRAP provides certifications and educational activities, doing it last year in more than 2500 factories in more than 40 countries. He reveals who pays for the costs and how many stakeholders and customers are demanding ethical sourcing including socially responsible investors. A look at child labor, forced labor, and structural integrity of building, along with the history of ethical sourcing concerns.

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