WBOC’S LEADING WOMAN: Janet Lutz

By on November 1, 2012
November WBOC

BY FARAH F. JADRAN | PHOTO BY CINDY BELL

More than 10 years ago, Janet Lutz made two important decisions that sparked major success in her career.

Janet became a member of the WBOC (Women Business Opportunities Connections) and she opened her own business, Calico Gals.

Joining the WBOC gave Janet the upper hand in the local business market. “I was looking for a way to meet, socialize and network with other women in business,” she said. “Through my connections at WBOC, there is always someone I can call who has a recommendation.”

Janet says she loves the connections she has with the WBOC. “When working on a project, I often have needs and do not have answers.” While Janet has instilled a very apparent niche in the modern quilting world with Calico Gals, she still benefits from having feedback from women outside of her field. It allows her to diversify her audience and reach everyone who has any potential interest in quilting.

Besides having an excellent source of networking, Janet says many of the members have become her friends outside of work and outside of meetings.

What makes Calico Gals so unique? According to Janet, “Calico Gals is retail paradise for quilters and sewists.” The creative shopping environment features beautiful fabrics, fun classes and sewing machines for all levels. “The friendly and knowledgeable staff help make the experience fun and inspiring for anyone who enjoys making things with fabric and thread,” Janet said.

With the holidays coming up, Calico Gals just might be the place to shop for that crafty and creative person in your life. Calico Gals has unique gifts in all price ranges for creative people. “The staff enjoys helping the customer make the right choice for a specific person,” Janet said. “Gift certificates are especially appreciated, because much of the fun in making something is in shopping for the components. If you know someone who enjoys sewing, Calico Gals is the perfect stop for a gift!”

Plus, Janet says people who buy their supplies at Calico Gals tend to make many gifts for family and friends. “People who sew are very generous with their hobby. Our large selection of fabrics and project ideas makes it fun to create a personal gift for just about anyone.”

Janet says the store’s employees truly enjoy the holiday season and what gift giving may bring. “The best part is when we are in on the surprise,” she said. “It’s exciting to help choose a new tool, sewing machine or selection of beautiful fabrics as a gift. We anticipate the moment when it will be unwrapped and then it’s our gift, too!”

Janet’s determination to make Calico Gals (locations in Syracuse and Oswego) the best has won her many accolades, such as the 2005 Better Homes and Gardens Top Ten Shop in North America; 2005 Fayetteville Business of the Year; 2007 CNY Woman in Business; 2011 Key Achieve Award; 2011-12 Key4Women Advisory Board Member. These honors are a true testament to Janet’s focus on ability to connect with others.

And through the WBOC, Janet became part of a small networking group that meets monthly and has attended many educational events. “I have been featured in numerous publications all through the connections I made through WBOC,” Janet said. “I also enjoy the opportunity to help and support new members as they pursue their business goals.”

The WBOC is a local non-profit organization that has been providing support to women and access to innovative events and workshops for 20-plus years. Whether running our own business, working for an employer or launching a new endeavor, women are connected through their entrepreneurial mindset. Syracuse Woman Magazine is a WBOC signature sponsor that aims to promote a common mission. For information on how to become a member, visit

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