Lion Brand Notebook

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Being A Part of the Family – My Story by Gabby Blumenthal

February 27th, 2014

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Gabby Blumenthal, 20 year old college student and the daughter of Jack Blumenthal, Senior VP of Lion Brand Yarn Company, shares her story of growing up in the family that started Lion Brand Yarn Company. She recently attended the annual Craft and Hobby Association trade show with her Dad, and talks about her experience.

Family picture.
Family picture taken in 1999.  Pictured from left to right: Dean, David, Isidor, Gabby, Jack, and Reuben Blumenthal.

When I was a little girl, my Dad would come home from work, loosen his tie and tuck me into bed with a story. Now, my Dad’s stories were far from conventional. For one thing, he was terrible at make-believe and couldn’t tell a princess from a portal. So, telling me all he knew how to tell, my Dad would talk at length about his own life-long adventures. I can’t tell you how many times I heard about how he got stuck in an international airport, or when he was babysitting a cat and, not to ruin the story or anything, but the poor cat died.

When these “epic” tales wore thin, my dad started on the family tree. I heard about everyone from Great, Great Grandpa Reuben to my own Grandfather, George, whom I never had the chance to meet and am honored to be named after. I heard about how Dad wanted to go into Lion Brand since he was four years old, always knowing that he was passionate about having a career in the yarn industry.

While on the one hand, to me, Lion Brand means old family stories, it also means long afternoons of making mittens with my girlfriend Krista and holiday cowls for Zach’s mom. I see myself in relation to Lion Brand as one part daughter, niece and cousin, while remaining two parts crafter and customer. Last month I had the opportunity to see the company as part of the team of associates who attended the Craft and Hobby Association trade show in Anaheim, California.

GabbyVannaJack

For the first time in my life, I observed Lion Brand from a professional perspective. Here, I witnessed what happens behind the scenes to make Lion Brand the company that my Dad is so proud to be a part of. I was able to see firsthand the knitted garments from the Lion Brand fashion show, speak to Nathan Vincent the fiber artist about his incredible sculptural process for the 7 Wonders of the Yarn World, and finally, had the opportunity to meet Vanna White. From the moment I walked in the door, to the moment I stepped out of it I was blown away by Lion Brand’s booth presentation, team commitment and overall outreach towards their customer base. It was only then that I finally began to see Lion Brand from the point of view of actually being inside one of those great stories my Dad told. I began to understand how deep the commitment is to a business that rests on generations of people whom we owe so much to.

So now, my perspective as crafter, customer, and member of the family is enriched by experiencing it from the inside. I have a new appreciation for those tales my Dad told about Lion Brand and look forward to hearing them in a whole new way.

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  • Linda Anderson

    Very nice family story. Thank you for your family’s part in in my family. Some of my most special moments are with my daughter, and now granddaughter, knitting and crocheting. I couldn’t help but notice the sweater on the young man who is in the black and white picture. He is the second from the left. I made this same sweater for my husband, early in my knitting “career”. It was one of the first garments I made. I used all Lionbrand products, right down to the bag it was carried in while in progress. My husband still wears it proudly and gets compliments on it every time he wears it.

  • http://lionbrand.com/ Danielle Holke

    Hi Linda, what a wonderful coincidence! Thanks sharing for your story and accompanying photograph, we really appreciate it and our audience does as well.

    The person wearing the sweater is David Blumenthal, Gabby’s cousin once removed — he also happens to be the President & CEO of Lion Brand Yarn! xoxo

    • Meg Olhasque

      I just saw this and would dearly love the pattern. Lovely story, by the way. I’ve been a loyal Lion Brand customer for over fifty years.

  • Patricia

    I love Lion Brand products, your internet site and of course the Lion Brand studio in New York City. Everyone is so helpful and want to make sure that the right product is being purchased for any project I do.

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Petrina

      Patricia,
      Thank you so much for your lovely words. It’s always a pleasure to hear people’s love for Lion Brand products and service.

  • baterista9

    Is a pattern available for Vanna White’s vest, please?

    Nice to meet you, Gabby, and to learn that Lion Brand is a family business.

    • http://www.lionbrand.com/ Petrina

      The sweater Vanna’ White’s wearing is the knit Stained Glass Sweater, which you can find the pattern here.

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