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Store Creates Quilts from Vendor T-shirts

Finding success as a hardware retailer is all about tying things together. From suppliers to customers, a store can be judged on its ability to match each problem with a solution. For the Ganahl Lumber location in Costa Mesa, California, that task of quilting together different aspects of a business is a more literal translation.

For years, Ganahl employee Tom Roberts had collected T-shirts given out by vendors during events at the store. Eventually the collection grew to the point that he was considering throwing it out, manager Terri Orlando says. That’s when Tom’s wife, Elizabeth, stepped in.

“She thought there was more that could be done with all those shirts,” Orlando says.

The quilt, which measures 6 feet by 6 feet and contains 17 shirts, took Elizabeth three weeks to complete. It now adorns the rafters at Ganahl during events. It was first brought out in January for the first of two tool events Ganahl conducts during the year, and its placement high above the salesfloor ensures everyone can get a look.

“Everyone really gets a kick out of it. Our customers love seeing what we did with those shirts,” Orlando says. “A lot of those shirts are from the same company in different years. The designs change, so it’s a look into the past. It’s memorabilia.”

About Liz Lichtenberger

Liz is the special projects editor for Hardware Retailing magazine. She reports on news and trends, visits retailers, and attends industry events. She graduated from Xavier University, where she earned a degree in English and Spanish and was a member of the swim team. Liz is a Louisville, Kentucky, native who lives in Indianapolis with her husband and two children. She enjoys swimming, reading, doing home improvement projects around her house and cheering on her two favorite basketball teams, the Kentucky Wildcats and the Xavier Musketeers.

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