Germantown: Point Guard in a Fabric Shop

Tony Nelson marks up the finished roll of fabric.]

Tony Nelson sets up a roll of fabric on the measuregraph.

Staying ahead of the curve can be a tough task for small businesses everywhere, but Gaffney Fabrics manages to do just that with the help of employee Tony Nelson. Handling all of the various projects that come through the store, Nelson regularly commits a good percentage of his time and effort, working days and weekends, to Gaffney’s. In addition, Nelson also works alongside owner Joe Gaffney in managing the structure and ensuring that the store, located at 5401 Germantown Ave.,  is running effectively.

“Everything here is contained, so if a problem arises, you have to be able to control the situation, evaluate the problem and figure out what needs to get done to fix it,” said Nelson.  “I’m over here running at the point guard position!”

Having worked in the fabric and design industry for a number of years, Nelson uses his prior experience at one of the area’s largest wholesale and wool companies, Fleischmann’s, at Gaffney’s everyday.

When Nelson was first introduced to Gaffney in 2002, the owner asked him if he knew anything about the 70-year-old measuregraph that resides in the shop. Nelson responded, “I’ve worked on this machine for years, I know it inside and out!” With that, Gaffney was sold.

Tony Nelson inspects a roll of fabric running through the Measuregraph.

Since then, Nelson has been handling the bulk shipments that come in and working with them on the measuregraph to evaluate the material, measure it out and check for any imperfections or flaws. Recently, Nelson found himself working on a shipment of silk for a local church. Once done, the final total of suitable rolls of material came in at 40. If not for the measuregraph, the church would have found itself working with five extra rolls of poor quality material.

The entire project took him three days to complete, but “I would have been done in a day if not for all of the other projects going on around the store that I help out with,” says Nelson.

Tony Nelson marks up the finished roll of fabric.

That, Nelson said, is what helps to keep Gaffney’s as one of the area’s go-to shops for any and all of your fabric needs. “We’ve got one of the most experienced staffs working in here and we’re proud to have two designers in store as well. By bringing in this level of talent, we are able to give our customers one of the most complete experiences as soon as they walk in.”

Sometimes all it takes to stay ahead of the curve is something simple.