Sunday, March 27, 2011

Meet the Colonial Family!

The Colonial Needle Company is the sole source of English hand needles in the United States. All the English needle brands you know--Richard Hemmings, John James, Milwards--come through this family-owned company in White Plains, New York. Primarily selling to distributors and wholesale, Colonial doesn't have much of a public face. I thought you might like to meet some of the people who make all those needles available to us and get a glimpse of what Colonial's offices are like. The little violet needlepoint picture hangs on the wall above a file case. In fact, almost every wall, with the exception of the warehouse, displays needle-made artwork.

Jim Collingham is the CEO. While I'd love to picture his office, Jim has blackmailed me NOT to show how messy his desk is. Here's his wife Terry, president and general overseer of the office, as she greets Jimmy the mailman who delivers the mail dressed for nasty wet weather. The quilt hanging behind Terry was made by her mother Ralphie and is hand-pieced and hand-quilted.

Jim and Terry are often in conference. And since Jim's office is totally jammed, this means they meet in hers.

If you call the Colonial Needle Company, the cheerful voice you'll hear might be Denise Rivera who often seems like she has more than two hands as she juggles phones and paperwork.

In the desk in the warehouse, Mike Fitzmaurice is the one who will fill your order.

And then there are the needles--millions of them! This is needle heaven.

In the next blog posting,  I'll introduce you to more of the Colonial Needle Company family such as Tom Collingham, Jim and Terry's son, who heads up the Lee's Needlarts division plus show a few more pictures of the beautiful artwork around the company offices.