You may notice something missing from this issue of Textile World. And there is something missing from the work that goes on behind the scenes at TW as well.
Long-time editor and contributor Jim Phillips passed away in early November after an extended period of declining health. His monthly “Yarn Market” column was as important to him as it was to TW readers.
Jim came to the textile magazines as part of a major restaffing in 2000. The then publishers wanted to try something different as many of the staff left traditional publishing to participate in the dot com boom. The idea was to have a mixed staff of
textile professionals and journalists to focus on meaningful textile content. Jim was the journalist on the new team. He took on the role of executive editor and made sure the content was up to established standards and editorial integrity. There are many rules in publishing, and Jim with his experience and as an honors graduate of the University of South Carolina College of Journalism, was well up to the task.
Jim was Greenville, S.C.-focused. He had worked for various newspapers including
The Greenville News, several advertising agencies in Greenville, and the Greenville Chamber of Commerce.
Executive Editor Rachael Davis was one of the textile hires for the new team in 2000. “Jim was hugely supportive of me when I began my career at TW,” she said. “I showed up with my degree in polymer and textile chemistry — so a wealth of knowledge about textiles and
textile processes — but little to no knowledge of business writing and journalism ways.
“Jim didn’t judge; he just took me under his wing. He mentored and guided me through writing my first feature stories with valuable feedback and helpful criticism. He was always willing to help, even long after he was a full-time employee with the publication.
“When he returned as a contributing editor, it was wonderful to work with him again. I will miss our monthly phone calls to talk about deadlines and other life minutiae.”
After several years, and having never relocated to Atlanta where the magazines were based, Jim left TW, but not really. He landed a fulfilling job as a writer for IBM. But when the “Yarn Market” column needed a new editor in 2007, Jim gladly took the job saying at the time, “… it pleases me to be asked to rejoin TW and be the shepherd of this column.”
Like Rachael, my role with the magazines may have never happened without Jim’s
support. As a textile engineer with several different roles in the industry, I was hired as editor in chief to work on the editorial plan for the magazines making sure there was a balance of content serving the various sectors of the industry.
My hiring was contingent on meeting with and hiring Jim, who was suggested by Sheree Turner out of the Greenville office. In the early days of the new team, there was a lot
to learn about what it took to plan, write and publish a magazine and without the digital tools available today, sometimes, it was messy. But Jim had things under control.
In speaking with his wife Marie, she confided that having retired from IBM, writing “Yarn Market” was very important to him even as it became more and more difficult to prepare — but he refused to miss a deadline.
Thank you James Curtis Phillips Jr. for all your contributions as an editor and a friend.