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October 22, 2018 Family Business Awards 2018

Close to Home Sewing Centers & Connecticut Shade and Blind

A family photo of the Gattinella family.

3rd Place — 25 to 75 employees category

Close to Home Sewing Centers & Connecticut Shade and Blind

Headquarters: Glastonbury

Industry: Retail

Year Founded: 1982

Founder: Ron and Marilyn Gattinella

Generation Currently running company: 1st & 2nd

No. of Full time employees: 28

No. of Part time employees: 5

Family members currently employed at company: Marilyn Gattinella, Manager, mother; Ron Gattinella, Marketing Director, father; Marc Gattinella, Owner, son: Paul Gattinella, Owner, son; Ken M., Manager of Home Décor, Paul's brother in law; Montas V., Installer, Marc's brother in law; Denise G-L., Sales, Ron and Marilyn's daughter; Eric L., Sales, Ron and Marilyn's son in law.

Company Website:

Close to Home Sewing Center offers fabric, sewing and quilting accessories, sewing, quilting and embroidery machines, vacuums and an extensive educational program.

Recent accomplishments

The company has won several awards throughout 2018. It was named Dealer of the Year for the Northeast territory by a Swiss vendor. In addition, it was recognized as Independent Dealer of the Year by the VDTA-SDTA, which is the Vacuum and Sewing Machine Dealers Trade Association. The company has also been inducted into the Sewing Machine Dealers Hall of Fame.

What is the biggest challenge in the coming year?

Like any business, large or small, we need to always stay focused on the following: taking care of our staff and customers, growing our strengths, conquering our weaknesses, working at maintaining our customer base, working smarter to attain new customers and continuing to differentiate ourselves operationally from the competition and other businesses.

Our growth in the digital world is of the utmost importance.

How do you remain competitive?

Education, education, education. Our entire adult family graduated from college, so we understand and respect the value of education. We invest heavily in attending five vendor conventions annually to learn about new products, sales, marketing, merchandising, digital marketing and social-media strategies.

In our three locations — Glastonbury, Orange and Southington — we have people assigned to our website, digital marketing and video production. We are developing educational videos offering sewists and quilters solutions to basic problems.

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