Mom's Tea Party

Side note: after the death of Jerry Kreinik earlier this year, his wife Estelle decided it was time to move out of their historic Victorian-era home into smaller quarters out of state. Estelle, a long-time Parkersburg resident, will be missed by everyone in the community, including the staff at the Kreinik thread factory.

My mom came to visit the plant before she moved out of town to her new place.  The employees wanted to honor her with an afternoon tea.  Work tables were covered with linens, tea pots were brought in, we served an assortment of cakes (angel food, apple and banana) along with fresh fruit, and then added lots of stories and laughter.  My mom told about the epic struggle of the first years, and of the hows and the whys of getting into the business. She told them that the banks had no concept about working with small businesses back then, and especially something so strange as the craft and needlework industry.  Their first year, they made $75 in total sales.  It was dismal in the beginning.

She reminisced about making golf club covers with needlepoint faces, needlework backgammon boards and early stitchery kits. Their first trade show was in Cincinnati were they had to fight to be recognized as a resource. Back then, the "manufacturing" was done by hand, and it was a very labor intensive industry: from the manual winders, to applying the gummy labels and handwriting shipping tickets and invoices to all of the bookkeeping. It was a very different business then. We had no computers, no internet, no faxes and no cell phones. The employees wrote down their work times on cards, everyone worked in my parents' house and my mom would watch soap operas at lunchtime.

Those were exciting early days for Kreinik Manufacturing Company. People working for us were all parts of families, and they would bring in their kids, cousins and friends. My parents would leave the factory in the hands of the employees for a month at a time and travel to Europe looking for products. They would come back and things would be on task.  Our employees have always been very dependable and we could not be where we are today if it hadn't been for that loyalty and good feeling of working together.

We will miss mom's smiling face here at the plant, but her traditions of business, family, and friendship will always be a part of Kreinik.

by Doug Kreinik

Post a Comment

Search This Blog

About This Blog

  © Template by Ourblogtemplates.com

Back to TOP