#JanoME project: how I became brand ambassador of Janome Italia

Let me tell you a story. It’s about a dream in a drawer and how, one day like many others, an email changes everything.

Today I’d like to tell you the story about the #JanoME project and how I became brand ambassador of Janome Italia. This is the beginning of a dream coming true.

#JanoME project: how it all began.

October 2016. I’m at a craft fair in Vicenza for a special project. It’s almost opening time, I see the crowd waiting at the gates, take a look at my watch: still 10 minutes before all the madness begins. I’ve just bought as many Madeira sewing thread as I could for my winter collection plans but I’ve got one more thing to do. I look around for the Janome stand, it must be close. There it is. The logo of the JanoME project is widely displayed on the wall, I’ve heard about it just few weeks ago. I follow La ragazza dello Sputnik on Facebook, so I know she’s one of the brand ambassadors chosen for this year together with other two makers. I’ve seen the presentation video for the project, it seemed interesting but I’d like to know more. I’m in front of the stand, looking for someone to talk to, I’ve barely got 5 minutes and then I have to run back to my own stand.

I find Carla, aka La ragazza dello Sputnik, there, pretty and smiling. We introduce each other, she asks if I’m “The Yellow Peg”, I say yes. It always amazes me how we often know each other by our nicknames, it’s understandable how I know hers but I’m wondering why she knows mine. I ask her about the project, just a few minutes to the opening, no time for the little chat I was hoping for. She tells me it’s a great opportunity and I should really apply for next year. Just the time to open the web page she suggests on my phone and I’m gone followed by hundreds of eager housewives.

Sunday afternoon is quiet at the fair, the audience is mostly people looking for something to do with no motivation for buying or discovering, so I take the chance to go back to that web page, fill up the form and click on apply. In these things, I learnt not to have expectations, after all dreams are dreams as long as they keep that bit of unattainability that makes for the challenge, for the encouragement to give more, improve yourself and try to open that drawer. They say the names of the 3 new brand ambassadors will become official next June. June 2017?? That seems forever, I might even forget about it.

#JanoME project: when an email changes everything.

Time passes by, Christmas is approaching and sometimes I let myself dreaming of that little dreams that might become true “what if I became the next Janome’s brand ambassador?”. Then you push that crazy thought away ’cause it’s better the surprise of winning than the disappointment of loosing.

2017. That’s a year of big changes at The Yellow Peg house: I try to move a step forward in this big bet of mine. I get a VAT number, a new studio, I’m so much absorbed by the move, the new collection and all the thousands things to do that who’s thinking to the JanoME project and that dream in the drawer?

Then here is comes June and the dream is already forgotten. It’s been a few weeks, though, and I’ve been having that weird feeling in the morning that something big is going to come up. Something that changes everything. I check my email everyday and my heart beats faster everytime my phone beeps. But who even thinks to the project and that application far away in time?

Then, one afternoon, I’m in my studio working on a new order and I hear my phone buzzing, new emails to read. I take a quick look, ready to delete the usual ton of spam emails I receive every day but I keep staring, freezed, reading that email title: “Congrats, you’re one of the 6 finalists of the #JanoME project!“. I read that email again and again, I can’t believe it. My heart beats faster but my mind tries to keep it under control ’cause, after all, there are only 3 spots available and it’s no time to celebrate yet.

The email says to call Pietro, I dial the number, so excited but I try to keep calm. An happy voice replies on the other side with a clear Tuscany accent I find so funny. He tells me about the project asking if I’m willing to participate to a series of activities. In my head, there’s me jumping around in my studio screaming “yes, yes and yes!” but luckily my try-to-be-normal filter is on and I reply, being as serious as I can afford that “It seems all reasonable and interesting and I’d be happy to participate”. Uh, how difficult to keep all that enthusiasm under control!

But hold on! It’s not done yet: as a matter of fact there’s 50% probability you’re going to stay home watching a dream – that was about to become true – flying away.

You can imagine the next 7 days. Waiting for some news you know could change everything or nothing at all is electrifying… for the first 24 hours. Then is a mission impossible! Until, the following Friday, wisely hidden by Google in the Promotions tab, there it is, the email saying: “CONGRATULATIONS! 🎉 You’ve been selected for the JanoME project“. My mouth opens in a huge smile, my heart can finally enjoy (and my mind lets it), it’s done: I’m one of the 3 brand ambassadors of Janome, for real!

But what’s the #JanoME project?

It’s been a long run but I finally got to the finish line. Being brand ambassador of one of the most important companies selling sewing machines worldwide is really a dream coming true. But who is Janome Italia and what is the #JanoME project?

Janome Italia is the only distributor of Janome sewing machines and accessories in Italy. If you’d like to find out more, here’s their official website.  What I can tell you is that I had a Janome sewing machine way before I knew of Janome Italia and the #JanoME project and I literally fell in love with it!

When I started sewing I had no idea of what sewing machine to buy or even what to look for. Back then I was following with enthusiasm Tilly and the Buttons’ blog and she was suggesting Janome’s sewing machine and particularly the DC7100 one (or DKS100, UK model). That’s how I decided to buy my first Janome: a mid-range electronic machine that helps me in every project ever since then.

And how about the #JanoME project? 

This project’s goal is selecting 3 crafters to become brand ambassadors of Janome in Italy.

But what does it mean being brand ambassador for Janome?
It means spreading the love for sewing thanks to easy-to-use and reliable sewing machines, that will be our allies in all our sewing projects! And you know what? Great news is you don’t have to be a professional to approach the sewing world, you just need passion and lots of creativity!

Why #JanoME?
To prove sewing is not dark magic. There’s a growing number of young people who feel attracted by the sewing world but they’re often overwhelmed and they quit even before to begin just because they don’t know where to start. As Janome brand ambassadors we want to prove that sewing is for everyone, you just have to rely on the right tools: a good sewing machine and some accessories that make your life and learning easier!

So, what I’d like to honestly share with you is that I see #JanoME as a mission, a philosophy, not a mere marketing move. If you too want to learn more about sewing and Janome, don’t miss any news on their Facebook page or Instagram feed.

#JanoME: my adventure companions.

Among the things I love the most about sewing is the opportunity of building a community, to share. And this is one of the best things about the JanoME project: there’s 3 of us, so deeply different but complementing each others and sharing the same great passion: sewing.

When I learnt I was selected I didn’t know who the other 2 girls were. What I knew is how important is being a team and this is only possible if  there is immediate harmony and synergy.

What I found in the other girls is even more: humility, will to learn and share and grow together, friendship, kindness. Like meeting a new family all gathered around a table: the sewing table! :)

So let me introduce them.

Sara – Dadamour.

We share the same homeland: our beloved Sicily. Sara is from Palermo and sewing is her great passion. At the moment that’s a hobby trying to conquer space in her busy working life but she’s a dreamer and she’s got the resolution to turn her dream into reality! If you meet her, she appears like a simple girl, a bit shy, but she’s got a real rock soul on the inside. Oh yeah. She’s got her personal blog and she makes funny accessories which you’ll love. Go find out more on her Facebook page.

Francesca – Maison Tada.

Originally from Modena, she lives in Rovigo for love. Francesca is pure energy. She sees herself as a wild crafter, she totally lets herself go when a creative idea calls and whatever comes out is simply adorable. Mom of 2, she makes cute things for babies and mommies. You can learn more about her here.

#JanoME: the learning experience in Florence.

My adventure with Janome started the past July 3/4 in Florence with two days of intensive learning.

Here’s what happened.

Day #1: do you really know your sewing machine?

I get to Florence by train, it’s 9 in the morning but it’s already pretty warm. Yet all I’m focused on are my expectations, my hopes, my curiosity and enthusiasm. I’ll meet Sara and Francesca, I’ll meet with Carla for the first time after that day at the fair and she’s going to be our wonderful sewing coach. I’ll meet Pietro, my first impact with a dream coming true and Silvia, heart and soul of Janome Italia and #JanoME.

Silvia shows us around the firm: offices, machines, break area and our room for the next 2 days, where all the magic happens. I like the pleasant environment I see, everything gives a good vibration: that’s my first feeling. In the magic room our Janome 8077 machines are waiting for us together with 3 wonderful bags filled by Silvia with all the most amazing things,  some Clover tools and our Madeira thread box. Some of us woke up at 4 that morning to get to Florence, but we’re all charged with adrenaline when listening to Carla who explains all the nice pressing feet for Janome machines. She shows us how to use them and we give them a try: zipper foot, hemmer, gatherer, free-motion foot and so on. I realise how little I know about my own sewing machine and how I’m really not using it to the full extent of its capabilities. I’m sure it happens to you too: standard stitch, zig-zag and that’s pretty much it. But knowing how does a sewing machine work and which are the accessories that can make our work easier and faster is something that opens hundreds of new opportunities!

In the afternoon it’s time to go to our hotel and rest a bit before dinner. We dine at a nice place in the garden and there we finally meet Pietro too. The night goes on talking about thousand things: the project, the opportunities and most of all web marketing, social networks and branding. I’ve always been the “no work-talk at dinner, please” kind of person, but when it comes to your passion, work and free time often blend together and I’ve never been so enthusiast!

Day #2: the “buttalà”, the video e future projects.

The day after we meet at 9 for a new exciting day. Silvia and Carla tell us about future projects that have the 3 of us completely captured and dreamy. Now, I can’t wait to tell you all about it, but we still need a little more patience, ok? I can only tell you it’s going to be worth the waiting!
We record a video where we talk about ourselves and between a joke and lots of laughs, here comes the time for the buttalà technique (literally throw-it-there). Would you believe you can create your own fabric from scratch? How? Water soluble Freudenberg interfacing and everything you could imagine from wool to fabric scraps to trims and tulle. Just one rule: letting yourself go in the creative process!  (Ok, I’ve got to work on this a bit as my inner engineer made me choose all the materials and line them up on the table thinking to the final result while the other girls were fully embracing the buttalà style. Want to see yourself? Watch the live video!)

Back home.

Time to go home and I leave with such a great experience! Not only professionally but also at a human level. The past 2 days really exceeded any of my expectations! On the train back to Verona I think back to these days and what amazes me is the overall friendly and positive environment I could appreciate in Janome Italia, thanks to Sara, Francesca, Carla, Pietro and Silvia.

I could learn more about who’s behind La ragazza dello Sputnik, and if you wonder if she’s really as simple and true as she appears, well, the answer is yes, and even more. Her humility and will to share are amazing and I’m sure that with her help we’re going to do great things together!

I had the honor to meet Silvia Del Vecchia, her hospitality was spectacular. She made us feel home, as part of a family. After all the only way a big firm as Del Vecchia Group can create such a positive environment is through good people who are dedicated to their work with honesty and passion. So thank you Silvia for making this possible!

#JanoME project: next steps.

As you may have guessed this is just the beginning of the #JanoME project. There are still going to be many many wonderful surprises both for us and for all of you who will follow this adventure. We can’t wait and we’re already diving in our projects for next Fall. Are you ready to discover them? Stay tuned!

XOXO

Simona

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