Richfield-based June Tailor Inc., a manufacturer and distributor of premium home décor and quilting and crafting tools for the craft and creative industry, has introduced a new stand-alone fabric-cutting kiosk it invented.
The company says the patented product will lead to the creation of at least 19 full-time manufacturing and customer service jobs over the next three years and revolutionize the way independent and major hobby retailers sell and manage their fabric inventory.
Economic Development Washington County is supporting June Tailor’s growth and production of the kiosk with a $300,000 low-interest loan, which was closed on Thursday.
“Our company has existing relationships with the major players in this space, and we are working with them to install prototypes in stores throughout the country,” said June Tailor chief executive officer Fran Yogerst. “Based on the initial feedback we have received, we are anticipating rapid growth for our company.”
Five kiosks have already been made, but the main production is anticipated to begin in early 2015. June Tailor expects to make approximately 500, and they should first start appearing in stores in the first quarter of next year.
So far, the kiosk has been tested at Hancock Fabrics in Marshfield, where it has received an “overwhelmingly” positive response.
“The kiosk is extremely intuitive for the customer and offers us an opportunity to promote products on the display screen that directly relate to their purchase,” said Cheryl McDonald, senior vice president of store operations for Hancock Fabrics. “We also have a better grasp on our inventory than ever before and can respond quickly to purchasing trends.”
June Tailor introduced the kiosk at the International Quilt Market trade show in Houston late last month, which resulted in substantial interest from quilt shop owners in addition to growing dot.com companies that sell fabric by-the-yard online.
“We were absolutely thrilled with the response we got to the introduction of the kiosk,” said Jill Repp, vice president of sales and marketing for June Tailor. “Many customers told us the kiosk was ‘the talk of the show’ and the most innovative new product released.”
Repp said June Tailor received 30 strong leads from the trade show, and among interested parties are Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Stores and Hobby Lobby.
Prior to the kiosk, people would have to take a bolt of fabric up to the counter at a craft store and wait in line for a store associate to measure and cut it.
While the EDWC enjoys working with numerous growing companies in Washington County, EDWC executive director Christian Tscheschlok said June Tailor has been an especially exciting project.
“The kiosk that the company has created is a real game-changer for the entire textile industry,” he said. “This is a homegrown innovation for Washington County that our communities can take pride in having fueled.”
Established in 1961, June Tailor consists of over 210 unique products and maintains several trademarks and patents.
To see how the kiosk works, click here.