Martha Creasy‘s A Touch of Thread is a quilter’s dream store. They carry a wide variety of sewing material, threads, books, patterns, machine accessories, and kits, along with brand name sewing machines such as Baby Lock and Bernina. They are a Gammill Quilting Systems distributor with several large quilting machines set up on display for customers to see and try before purchasing. They also provide classes on a regular basis in their training room.

The SBDC worked with Martha when she first opened up her business for a short period of timed in March of 2003. Recently she attended a seminar where the SBDC was presenting and requested to meet again and help with the transition of management from herself to her son. Martha is working to transition her son into a management role within the company, in hopes that she can reduce her own role in the organization.

The SBDC is currently working with A Touch of Thread on their Leadership and Management skills. This includes organization, focus on priorities and completing tasks, time management, delegation and human relations. Martha has a tendency to be scattered and loses her train of thought easily. She struggles with staying focused and on track with her goals. When speaking with Martha, it is evident that over the years she has created herself a job working in a business, not managing it.

With the SBDC’s guidance she has her goals listed out, with actions steps. She has identified who needs to complete actions with a time line of competition. She is currently working on each of their job descriptions so that she can create a sales position, making sure that gaps are filled in qualification from what the current staff has. Her employee manual is up to date and evaluation process identified. She is letting go of much of the daily office work, handing it over to her son.

We discussed where her best fit would be within the company, the answer – overwhelmingly – was on the sales floor, selling the Gammill quilting machines. So, that is where she is spending more of her time now. Her sales last year were almost $850,000. This year she is projected to do over $1,200,000 in sales. It is clear that the transitions they are making within the company are leading them in the right direction. Martha stated that the SBDC has helped her focus and stay the course. She couldn’t do it without the constant assistance that the SBDC provides to her.

Third Quarter – 2018