For business owners Wally and Beryl Emberson-Nash, traveling across the country for sewing and craft trade shows is a rewarding experience — but it’s also nice when the shows come to their very own home in Puyallup.
The couple’s business, Bo-Nash, is a small, family-run company that sells products related to sewing and quilting, clothing care, care care, cleaning and exercising. They are one of the many businesses that will be attending the Northwest Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival at the Washington State Fair Events Center Thursday (Nov. 17) through Saturday (Nov. 19).
“We have to fly everywhere,” said Beryl Emberson-Nash about the shows she attends. “I probably visited virtually every state in America. It’s good fun going away and meeting all the ladies, and it’s so nice to do the Puyallup show. We get to go home and sleep in our beds.”
We have to fly everywhere. I probably visited virtually every state in America. It’s good fun going away and meeting all the ladies, and it’s so nice to do the Puyallup show. We get to go home and sleep in our beds.
Beryl Emberson-Nash, owner of Bo-Nash
Beryl and her husband of 22 years, Wally, first met at a trade show in England.
“I was demonstrating (bonding powder),” Emberson-Nash said. “My husband was selling household products for a company over there.”
“We were both kind of in the same sort of business,” she added.
Eventually, the couple returned to Puyallup, where Wally lived, and created their own business on 14107 Pioneer Way East.
“We’re not a shopfront but we do get anyone in the local area,” Emberson-Nash said. “Anyone can pop in and pick anything up.”
Bo-Nash also has an online website, and is carried by local sewing and quilting stores. Emberson-Nash’s daughter, Stephanie Delong, works as the office manager for the company and used to travel with her mother to shows.
“My mom and I used to travel a few times a month,” Delong said. “It was really fun for us because it wasn’t necessarily work. We got to enjoy time together.”
Quality Sewing and Vacuum, a sewing machine and vacuum retail shop on 3717 S Meridian in Puyallup, is another business attending the festival. The company owns 12 shops across Western Washington and is also family-owned, like Bo-Nash.
“My wife and I own the company,” Paul LaPonte said. “My daughter is our general manager now. Our son is in our online marketing department.”
It’s a great opportunity for me to talk to customers directly, find out what they’re excited about and show them a new product and see what reaction they have. For people coming to the show, it’s a great chance to learn about specific products.
Paul LaPonte, owner of Quality Sewing and Vacuum
As a co-sponsor of the show, LaPonte says the festival is a chance to connect with his clientele.
“It’s a great opportunity for me to talk to customers directly, find out what they’re excited about and show them a new product and see what reaction they have,” he said.
Attendees can do more than browse exhibits and demonstrations. Thirty-minute sewing and craft classes will be available throughout the festival. Quality Sewing and Vacuum will host a Super Sewing Lottery at its main booth, where attendees have the chance to win prizes.
“It brings people into our booth,” LaPonte said. “People really like it.”
The Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival, promoted by Rusty Barn Promotion Group, will span over three days. Admission is $10, with free parking in the fairgrounds’ Gold Lot.
Northwest Quilt, Craft and Sewing Festival
Where: Washington State Fair Pavilion (Enter at Gold Gate)
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday (Nov. 17) through Friday (Nov. 18); 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. Saturday (Nov. 19)