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TEN Award Winner: Q&A with Stu Berg

Posted By TNNA HQ, Thursday, July 27, 2017
Updated: Thursday, July 27, 2017

TEN Award Winner: Q&A with Stu Berg

The Tribute to Excellence in Needlearts (TEN) Award is given to an individual each year who represents, or has represented, the finest in the needlearts industry and who personifies and upholds TNNA's mission statement. This year, Stu Berg was presented the TEN Award. Read about his decades in the needleart industry.

TNNA: How did you get into the needlearts industry?


Stu: I used to be a life insurance salesperson, which I did not like in the slightest. My wife worked for a large company a textile company that owned five or six subsidiaries and Bucilla was one of them. It was a young needlepoint stitchery with a big showroom in NYC at the time. We saw an ad in the paper and I sent a resume. I got the job and transcribed orders for salesmen who were doing business with department stores. Department stores were very involved in the industry at that time. I learned the craft of selling by sitting in a showroom in those early years. Eventually a territory opened up in the Southeast, we moved to Jacksonville, Florida, and I went on the road in the yarn business.

TNNA: How did it progress from there?

Stu: I then transferred to New York and worked for Paragon Needleworks. After that, I received a call for a better deal from Brunswick Worsted Mills and I covered the Northeast territory, including New York for 25 years. I broke a million dollars in sales during that time. Following Brunswick, we moved to Colorado Springs from Long Island to take a vice president role at Pinguoin Yarns. I also began carrying Unique Colors (Collinette) in 2001, Muench Yarns, Prism Yarns in 2009, Malabrigo in 2006 and others. Now I am currently with Trendsetter Yarns, Prism Yarns, Malabrigo Yarns and Knitting Needles Plus.

TNNA: What’s one of the most memorable moments from your career?

Stu: Winning the TEN Award is definitely top of the list. No sales rep has ever won in the past. Other memorable moments include just getting to know owners from all over the world. I do knitting cruises with Trendsetter, and I’ve gotten to know the owners of some mills in Italy. The people I’ve met over the years is the best part. Every day is a possibility of meeting someone new.

TNNA: What was the hardest thing to overcome in terms of the yarn industry throughout your career?

Stu: Being away from my family was always a major challenge over the years. I unfortunately missed things due to traveling, but now if there are major things I am home.

TNNA: Since you have been in the industry for decades, do you have any predictions about where the industry may be heading?

Stu: The online market is huge today, but that’s the frightening part for many owners today. I think yarn shops should have an internet presence even if they have a brick and mortar shop. The industry also always seems to do fabulously when there is a trend like a specific yarn, color or style. Whenever there was a big trend, it always boosted sales. Now, if something exciting is going on in the industry we need to be able to draw the younger generation in. Some yarn shops are not marketing to younger people, but the ones that are more innovative and have different types of styling and displays will come out ahead.  

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