Craft Focus - Page number 82 - October/November 2021 (Issue 87)

82 The American dream Brad Krieger, President of Checker Distributors talks to Craft Focus about their vast craft and quilting offering and their reputation for great customer service - worldwide Tell us a little bit about the company. Where are you based? When did the company start? Checker Distributors was founded in 1948 by Bob Krieger and Jerry Van Walbeck to promptly supply zippers, threads, yarns and ribbon to J.C. Penney, Woolworth and Kresge stores in Northwest Ohio, USA. We’re family owned and just real people helping independent shop owners to be successful. Now with our Consolidated Shipping Programme to Europe and shipping worldwide, our incredible selection and the customer experience through our website and customer service reps we believe we can’t be beaten. How has the company evolved? We’re always exploring innovative ways to continue to improve the customer experience via technology and customer service. Our customers are our business focus and we’ll do all that’s required to provide the very best of service and selection! This includes ensuring our valued employees are treated to the best work environment and have the tools required to meet our goal of top customer service. As a family business what are your company priorities? Commitment to our employees and customers is paramount in everything we do. What do you specialise in? Checker is true one-stop shop. Offering more than 120,000 quilting, sewing, and craft products, we’re the world’s leading supplier. The independent shop owner and online retailer are our target customers. Shopping at one source saves time and gets your ordering tasks done quickly so you can focus on what’s important – your customers. Talk us through the current products you’re particularly excited about. Do you have a favourite? We’re excited to offer products that are exclusive to us and our customers. Choose quality products from The Gypsy Quilter®, Iris Threads, Cut Loose Press™, Batting By The Bolt, Print N Fuse, Steamfast Irons, and Rulersafe. We’re also the exclusive distributor for Basic Palette Bargain Fabrics, Leilani Arts, Marcus Fabrics, P&B Textiles, Penny Rose Fabrics, and Wilmington Prints. Do your products suit all levels of crafters? Yes. How often do you launch new ranges? Checker buyers actively search for new products and ideas that benefit independent businesses and online retailers. New products are introduced every day on our website. They can be found by selecting a category and sorting by: Newest to Oldest. How would you advise a retailer who is interested in stocking your products? Meet with our knowledgeable sales reps for one-on-one help for making smart