Yarn Thing sponsors XRX, Stitches and Knitters Magazine CEO Benjamin Levisay has BIG NEWS break on our Yarn Thing podcast with Marly Bird!
Benjamin Levisay is a second-generation partner in this 29-year-old company originally started by his uncle, Alexis Xenakis, his father, David Xenakis, and their partner Elaine Rowley. Benjamin has been a part of the fiber industry since his family opened a yarn shop in Sioux Falls, SD when he was a small boy, an enterprise that later evolved into XRX. After a career in the software industry, Benjamin rejoined the company nine years ago as CEO and Director of Marketing & Sales. He is more commonly known as one of the hosts of STITCHES. It is his intention to carry on the legacy of passion and commitment that characterized his family’s contributions to the fiber world.
There’s a picture floating around (I know it was in the Knitter’s Magazine special K100 issue) of Benjamin as a little boy at the loom in that little LYS in South Dakota, which shows that being part of this company has been his whole life long, more or less actively. He’s been really linked for the last ten years when his dad, David Xenakis, began considering retiring. By that time, the Stitches Events had been happening for about 15 years, beginning in New Jersey, and having to make the really hard decisions about what’s feasible in publishing, the live and in person events, as well as social media.
One of those decisions that had to be made a couple of years ago was Stitches East. Rather than drop it completely, and very publicly, it has been reformatted to include not just the yarn arts (knitting, crocheting, spinning, etc) but also including sewing, quilting, embroidery, felting and more. The registration has opened, and the commitment of sponsors, Benjamin says, is higher than before, so clearly the excitement is, too. Benjamin’s concept of a playground where we can ‘play’ with several types of crafts is very enticing for many of us!
Benjamin announced today that they are working with Prime Publishing (known to most of us for AllFreeKnitting, AllFreeCrochet among many others) in creating a package for one person and a friend a very complete package to Stitches United. Details include, 5 nights stay, 24 hours of classes (literally, you could take all of Marly’s classes and not have to pick from among them!) VIP seating at the Fashion Shows (including the Student, which is a ton of fun) and banquets, lunch with Stitches Staff, $500 for travel AND $500 for spending. YES, you’ll wear yourself out but it will be so worth it! Click on this link to enter: http://STITCHES.Events/UnitedVIP BEFORE January 10th which is when the winner will be drawn.
Follow all that the Knitting Universe offers at their website, www.KnittingUniverse.com, check out the tabs for the magazines and books (also offered in e-form in case you’re shopping for last minute gifts!), and the tab to the various Events and Camps! They are also in Facebook, and several groups in Ravelry, one for each of the events.
Previously, Benjamin has visited a few times, if you wish to listen to more of him, check out his visit from March 2011, June 2011, and January 2015. If you noticed a big gap, that can be filled with the episodes of his own podcast, Fiber Hooligans.
In case you missed hearing this live it’s still available as an archived episode: http://www.blogtalkradio.com/yarnthing/2016/12/20/yarn-thing-sponsors-xrx-stitches-and-knitters-magazine-ceo-benjamin-levisay or with your favorite podcast catcher like iTunes or Stitcher Radio. OR you can view Marly’s behind-the-scenes video from the Birds of a Feather Studio that aired on her Facebook page.