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TNNA honors Bryson with 2013 TEN Award

Friday, June 28, 2013   (0 Comments)
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For Immediate Release
June 27, 2013

Media Contact:
Heather Gooch, Gooch & Gooch LLC

TNNA honors Bryson with 2013 TEN Award

COLUMBUS, OH — On June 21, during The National NeedleArts Association’s (TNNA’s) Summer Market, Jim Bryson was presented with a Tribute to Excellence in NeedleArts (TEN) Award. The TEN Award recognizes individuals who represent, or have represented, the finest in the needlearts industry and who personify and uphold TNNA’s mission statement.

Bryson, owner of Eugene, OR-based Bryson Distributing, gave a moving speech that included heartfelt thanks to his employees.

Bryson started his work career as a newspaper boy in Detroit. After high school, he put himself through the University of Michigan by working on the assembly lines of Detroit, working for Ford, Chrysler and General Motors.

As he describes it, he "stumbled into carpentry and swung a hammer until 1980. When interest rates reached 18%, there was no reason to swing a hammer except in anger.” Expecting his building sabbatical to be short, Bryson went to work in his wife’s yarn shop, Soft Horizons Fibre, and learned to knit.

The slump in the building industry was prolonged, and Bryson had an opportunity to become an independent sales rep for several yarn companies. He had planned only to work until building became more robust, but by the time the housing market improved, he says, "the needlearts had taken me hostage.” During this time, an opportunity to design color palettes and early products for the Brown Sheep Co. arose. With great enthusiasm (and no experience), Bryson accepted the challenge and had a great time with color swatches and a wool carder.

Market changes in the late 1980s forced a number of yarn companies and distributors out of business. This is when Bryson decided to go into distribution. "I have always believed that you can fail in good times and succeed in bad,” he notes. "By delivering the products, the quality and the service that your customers expect, you can survive the tumults and thrive in the good times, and you can always have fun.”

The first TEN Award was given in 1986, to actress Loretta Swit for her work in promoting the needlearts industry. Since then, it has been given out annually to deserving nominees. See a full list of past winners and learn more about nominating someone for the 2014 award at

About TNNA
TNNA is a non-profit trade organization established in 1974 and is dedicated to the advancement and promotion of needle arts, through trade shows, educational seminars, special events, public relations and professional programs that continue to meet the needs of the industry. For more information, visit

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