On today’s episode of the Craft Industry Alliance podcast we’re talking about the quilting industry with my guest Jaren Gibson.
Jaren joined Grace Company as its first manager in 1998, soon after graduating from Weber State University with a degree in Communication. At the time the company had approximately 15 employees.
As President of Grace Company, now with 25 years of industry experience, Jaren has helped transform Grace Company from its beginnings as a woodworking firm in the quilting industry, to a manufacturer of quilting and sewing machines, computerized quilting systems, and other related products.
This episode is sponsored by Search Press.
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We begin this interview by discussing the beginning of Grace Company with founder, Grace Bagley. Jaren explains who Grace was and what she noticed in the quilting world that needed improvement. We discuss the early years of Grace Company where the product was wooden quilting frames.
Next, we talk about the art and craft of longarm quilting. Jaren explains what longarming is and Grace Company’s shift into creating machines and products to support this new approach to quilting.
We discuss collaborations Grace Company has undertaken with some of the largest sewing machine manufacturers and the benefits of collaborating with established companies in creating and selling new machinery.
During the pandemic, Grace Company really pivoted to growing a robust online consumer community and Jaren explains those efforts and how (and why) Grace Company is continuing to pursue them now that the world has opened up again. We also discuss:
- Creating an ambassador program
- the Little Rebel machine
- Grace Company’s new facility
- future plans for the company
And, of course, I ask Jaren to recommend great stuff he’s enjoying right now. Jaren recommends:
- Reading (especially about China)
- Attending baseball games
- Enjoying Indian food