Flower Frog Gazette
August 15, 2008
An open letter to friends of Fenton Art
A little over a year ago, we announced that the glass company would wind down operations and close its doors. Our main lender and financial advisors had determined that this was the only course to follow to deal with our situation. Speaking personally, I can tell you that this announcement was difficult to make, and there were a lot of tears shed that day.
However, as we processed the unanticipated (and unbelievable!) surge of orders for Fenton glass after the announcement, our advisors reexamined the prospects for restructuring our company financially and developed a plan for the approval of our creditors. In December 2007, this plan enabled us to offer some new products to our customers. The offering was well received, and, since that time, we have been able to move forward and to offer additional products for the Fenton USA and the Fenton International divisions of our company. As it turned out, we never had to close the factory.
During the past year, we have made many internal changes to reduce our costs and maximize our efficiency. All of our employees have worked hard to create, produce and market the handmade colored art glass that is so much a part of our lives. Our QVC show on July 4 went very well, and we are now busy planning products and making items for a two-hour QVC show that will air sometime in early October. Our web site and weekly eNewsletters will keep you up to date on this show as well as any other Fenton news.
Many have asked questions about our moulds. As you may have read in our weekly eNewsletters, we have added the letters "USA" alongside the Fenton logo for those moulds we use to make glass in Williamstown. None of our moulds have left this country, and we plan to keep them just where they are.
During the recent club conventions, our new Fenton International giftware line, highlighted by Gold Ruby glass and its distinctive Fenton International logo, was displayed in the Fenton Gift Shop and reviewed with the convention attendees. We are hopeful that this giftware line and others from the Fenton International division will open some new marketing avenues for us. As I say to our employees at our company-wide meetings, we are not yet "out of the woods." The environment for business today is indeed challenging, and we are striving daily to meet those challenges.
We continue to be grateful for the wonderful support we have received from dealers and collectors. Without you, we would not be where we are today. We will continue to work to preserve the Fenton tradition.
George W. Fenton, President