Have you seen these fancy schmancy cool cutters by Thread Cutterz?
I have not yet met Vance Zahorski in person, but we have talked via email and wow, what a great guy! And the Thread Cutterz story is a pretty cool one.
I gave Vance this list of interview questions MONTHS ago, but finally, I am getting this out to you! So read on about Vance, his family, the Cutterz and chasing dreams.
- Tell us a bit about how the Transformation of Thread Cutterz went from fishing line to sewing thread: My wife does a lot of hand sewing and cousin does knitting. My wife would “borrow” very expensive early prototype Line Cutterz rings to cut thread, yarn, embroidery floss, thin ribbon and balloon string. I was doing product testing on a new $150 prototype and it was missing. The first place I checked was on her nightstand and that’s when I realized the potential in a whole new industry. My cousin heard about Line Cutterz during our Kickstarter campaign and when she finally got one she raved about how well it worked to cut yarn when knitting.
- What was it like being on Shark Tank? What were you feeling? It was the most stressful, exciting, intimidating, adrenaline packed experience in my life. When I was in college I actually walked out of my speech class during a speech because I was so nervous so in the back of my mind I had a fear I would choke in the Tank. I was standing in front of 5 celebrity entrepreneurs at Sony Studios (where they filmed Batman) and had big fancy cameras, bright lights and film crews all around us . . . with no music or sound, just my voice. Making it through my pitch without choking is one of my biggest accomplishments in my life. It gave me closure for the Speech Class incident and getting a deal made it that much more sweeter.
- How has the business grown? Since airing on Shark Tank we have over 1 million in sales, we made it into 50 California Walmart Stores, 242 Academy Sports stores, Buc-ee’s, and all Cabela’s stores. Our sister company, Thread Cutterz is being distributed by 3 of the largest Sewing, Quilting, Crafting distributors in the country. Line Cutterz and Thread Cutterz are now being sold in 8 other countries.
- What is your favorite quilt pattern? My great grandma made a butterfly quilt using flower sacks and super cool fabric from her era. We hang her butterfly quilt up at our trade shows and to this day, it’s the most beautiful quilt I have ever seen.
- What book is on your coffee table? An autographed copy of The Power of Broke by Daymond John (our Shark). Daymond John sent me a copy of his book after hearing my story in tank about selling everything we had to start our business. It is a powerful, motivating book and it reminds me of how what we have accomplished and how important being broke was to our recent success.
- Where would you go for a dream vacation? Fly fishing for Tarpon in Belize or a trip back to Malcesine Italy where my wife and I got married.
- What is your favorite Customer response to your product? “It cut’s like a hot knife through butter. ” We have gotten this response so much from both the fishing and crafting industries that we are actually using it as a company slogan
- Can you tell us what your plans for the future include? To continue to introduce innovative, safe and convenient cutterz to not only the fishing and crafting industries but also new markets. It’s amazing how many different industries are using Line Cutterz.
- How is your family helping out in the biz? My mother retired from a corporate position at the USPS. One of her accounts was Walmart. In a meeting one of the Walmart executives actually said “before we get started, let’s hear about Shark Tank”. We still laugh about that story. She now helps me run Thread Cutterz so I have more free time to handle product development and expansion. My brother Cullen is working with me full time. We print custom business logos on rings for both brands and he does all of the custom printing. He has printed rings for Baby Lock, Janome, Honeywell and more than 50 other businesses.
- Favorite kid’s story? The Polar Express
- Favorite grown up show or movie? Shawshank Redemption
- Coffee, tea or __________? On Hot Days nothing beats Ginger Peach Iced Tea! or Starbucks Iced Vanilla Lattes. On cold days, hot Vanilla Latte’s or Denny’s coffee with non-flavored creamer. They have the world’s best coffee.
- Favorite childhood memory? Little League Baseball in Texas. My parents never missed a game despite all of the practices and traveling. My dad was the assistant coach and we had a great team. I was a pitcher and had a mean fastball. I thought for sure I would be pitching in the Major Leagues one day.
- Favorite dessert? Creme Brulee!
- What do your kids do that drives you crazy? How about your Parents? My two daughters will say mommy at least 1,000 times a day. And if she’s not in the room they will yell “mommy!” at their top of their lungs anytime they want something. My poor wife! I’m 41 years old and my mom still treats me like I am 12 years old. I love her more than anything in the world but when she tells me to eat healthy, wear my seat belt, go to the dentist etc. it drives me crazy!
- What are you most proud about since starting Line Cutterz / Thread Cutterz?
I have been asked to speak at several schools about the importance of chasing your dreams, how you only have One Life and One Chance here on earth. I tell them not to get caught up on what others want them to do or what they think they should do with their lives and tell them instead to find a career in a field that they are passionate about. I use playing video games and sleeping as examples. “Believe it or not, there are people that create video games and make millions, and people that conduct sleep studies and sleep during work and get paid for it.Line Cutterz/Thread Cutterz donates in 3 key areas, Breast Cancer Awareness, Helping Veterans Cope with PTSD and Youth Fishing Programs. We donated $1,000 to help out a young lady fighting breast cancer so she could pay some of her medical bills. We have also donated to taking Veteran’s fishing with PTSD programs and Highschool Fishing Programs. We don’t have deep pockets to give a lot like the big businessess but it still makes us feel good and it’s something I am very proud about.
Since this interview, Vance and his team have brought out this baby:
They have three variations of these snippers available at the moment, I have not yet tried one, but I am sure with the quality I have found in the Ring and Flat Mount I have here, they are superb!
How about a Giveaway?
Drawing is now closed – the Winners are Rosalie and Paula and have been contacted for their prize! Thanks to all who stopped by to comment on this post!
And Vance has generously offered up some Special one-of-a-kind Blue Nickel Rings and Flat Mount cutters to giveaway!
Aren’t those snazzy? I love my flat mount. I mounted it on the front of my machine where I can use it when I am chain piecing. Brother Louie – my machine – has one on the side towards the back but I never remember it is there. You can see a snap of my flat mount on my Instagram feed here as well as check out ANOTHER way to win a pairing of these killer cutterz by following me on Instagram and leaving a comment there.
So leave a message about what else you would like to see Vance come up with next or why you would like to win these. I will draw two names sometime on Thursday April 19th or later.
One pair will go to two winners. And I will probably throw some kind of fabric in there too.
So comment away here and on the Instagram feed, and remember,
Keep Sewing, Keep Happy.