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Thread: If you owned a quilt store

  1. #101
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    My issues with some LQS has little to do with merchandise and much to do with employee attitudes. I want to go into an LQS and buy what I need. If it is "only" thread or a template, then that is either what I need or what I can afford. I have gotten "oh is this ALL?" as a response by a sales clerk. I have been ridiculed for my fabric choices in one store (it is no longer in business - hm, wonder why.....) I have been ignored and been given bad advice.

    So for me, it is the personality and behavior of the sales staff that determines whether I go back and give them my money.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  2. #102
    Super Member noveltyjunkie's Avatar
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    And a coffee corner for people who have come a long way! (I think coffee is profitable too)

  3. #103
    Super Member laurafet's Avatar
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    You hit it all. The only other thing I would add is to carry a variety of fabrics. My LQS (closest one) carries a lot of batiks which is great, and a ton of Kaffe Fassett. I like KF, but I don't love it. I do a variety of quilts, and may go from a civil war to a seaside to a kiddieprint to who knows what. I want to find that variety, and yes, that very often means more square footage, but also a lot more in impulse sales. I only go to that particular LQS maybe once or twice a year for that very reason. I have a few others to chose from, not to mention all the online stores with better pricing.

  4. #104
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    Quote Originally Posted by trennag View Post
    I love the my LQS has tons of classes. The ladies are always so helpful and they have beautiful fabrics and notions. The owner is their often and very nice. They send out weekly emails\ news letters with all the latest info. they also do amazing coupon draws during sales or holidays. Keeps me coming back! Oh they also do a monthly Strip Club and i always look forward to see the New pattern they release.
    Sounds like Cozy Quilt Shop - I subscribe to her emails just so I can dream.

  5. #105
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    Quote Originally Posted by homebody323 View Post
    My dream shop was a 2 story log cabin with fireplace on the lower level and comfy chairs to sit and quilt in. Upstairs was open above the fireplace and the rest was classroom and bedrooms for retreats. Then I woke up and realized that to fulfill all your and my dreams there was a mountain of money, a ton of talented people each doing piecing, web sites, teaching, manning the cutting tables and a endless supply of energy on my part to keep it all going. Mom always said that the one thing that was free was dreaming. She was right!
    There was a little quilt in Maine on the way to Ellsworth in a log cabin. I thought it was just the perfect shop. The woman's husband built it for her near their home. She had great fabric at reasonable prices and a great setup for her own quilting with a flat screen on the wall. No fireplace. I was so sad when I found out it had closed and always wondered why.

  6. #106
    Super Member QandE2010's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by homebody323 View Post
    My dream shop was a 2 story log cabin with fireplace on the lower level and comfy chairs to sit and quilt in. Upstairs was open above the fireplace and the rest was classroom and bedrooms for retreats. Then I woke up and realized that to fulfill all your and my dreams there was a mountain of money, a ton of talented people each doing piecing, web sites, teaching, manning the cutting tables and a endless supply of energy on my part to keep it all going. Mom always said that the one thing that was free was dreaming. She was right!
    I like your kind of quilt shop.
    Alma
    Nami to 6

  7. #107
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    My turn! Being a business person first is the most important thing you can do to keep any business going. No matter what your selling.

    The things I like and have never seen in any store I have been in is:

    Good lighting

    A place to audition fabrics that you are choosing. So many times the only place to look at fabric groupings is by piling them on top of other fabric in an isle that other people are trying to use.

    Class equipment: I have been in classes where there was one broken iron and an ironing board that looked like it had been through a war. have enough heavy duty extension cords to handle a crowd. Cookies are great but I would rather be able to plug in my DSM that I dragged to class.

    Don't be setting up class while people are arriving to take the class. It looks so unprepaired.

    One LQS has the notions, thread and books along a wall in a classroom. Now really. Am I going to interupt a class so I can brows the notions and flip through the books. NO!

    Wide isles: enough said


    Understanding that space costs money and cramming as much stuff into every little inch of space you can, just looks messy and unfunctional. I don't really want to move ten bolts of fabric off of something I want to see.

    My perfect shop would be more like a B&B and general store or campus for quilters. I would live over top of the store and you could come and go as you pleased to use tables for cutting, sewing or marking quilts any time there wasn't a class, and there would be a back room for quilting bees on an old fashioned frame and a room with an assortment of longarms for rent. I may sell a few basic machines and leave those fancy ones for someone else to sell.

    fabrics would run through all styles from civil war repros to the modern large print florals

    My DH would repair and recondition treadle and vintage machines in the back of the house.

    There would be someone sewing most of the time. That would be part of the job. When you see it happening you get more interested.

    I would contract with local schools to have people from the art department intern at the shop and have free range to create whatever they want limited only by the rule that it mst be created from stuff at the shop and have art shows as special events for the community.

    There would be special discounted fabric corner for people who work on relief quilts to exchange finished quilts for fabric, batting and thread at minium cost.

    Enough for now. I'm exhausted!
    peace

    Oh! one more thing.

    There would be cloths lines in the side yard to hang a few quilts on for display where they could be seen. It would be like a small park with benches where passersby could enjoy a few minutes viewing the show.
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  8. #108
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    I think that perhaps a quilt shop might need to operate in conjunction with another store and feed customers off each other. Perhaps a gift shop, a book store, maybe a laundrymat - something to bring bring more occasional customers in and to help keep the profit/loss ratio in the plus side. After all, making money is the whole reason for a store.

    The only way I'll drop 10 pounds is to go shopping in England. - Maxine-

  9. #109
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    I agree about the machines...but I would add another. i am lusting after the New Horizon. I was just in my LQS today and bought material and stopped by to look at it again. As I went home, I thought, "If they gave a class on how to use that machine I bet they would sell a lot of them." What do you bet I'd be one of the purchasers.

    So I think they should advertise a sewing machine demo day or some such. At least I wish my LQS would.

  10. #110
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    Yesterday a friend and I were in 3 quilt stores. She asked about a quilt kit since the quilt was displayed on the wall;
    the owner said the kit was $200+ the pattern is$30 and my friend was wondering why she sold it like that?
    So she didn't buy it. The second one....the help was eating their lunch and stopped when a lady brought in one
    of the workers' quilt she had quilted...it was really pretty and the quilter had done a great job; they never asked
    if we needed anything or was looking for something special....so we didn't buy anything there. the 3rd one didn't
    have the fabric I was looking for, but my friend bought 6 bobbins for her machine. I go to lots of different QS's in
    our state and I am looking for friendly help; new ideas, new fabrics. I love their samples and I can picture them in
    other colors...my friend cannot do that, so if she finds something she likes, she buys that fabric only. At the present
    I don't need any new projects...lol I just need time to sew. Everyone had some good ideas on here and it
    would make a great LQS.

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