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Thread: If you owned a quilt store

  1. #81
    Senior Member skowron5's Avatar
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    We have 2 LQS and they don't carry much thread. It would be nice to see the different threads. I am starting to buy online to get different weights, but I worry about the colors not being true. It may be an expensive thing to carry and that is why they don't. I like the idea of honoring coupons once in awhile. Wish I lived by you if you opened a store.

  2. #82
    Junior Member
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    Great ideas and lots of great points.
    i like to add. I love dogs and cats but unfortunately i am allergic to them. It does bother me to see a pet walking around the store no matter how well behaved he is. For health purpose, i just picture myself touching the fabric and having an allergic reaction. You know how much we love just touching those bolt of fabric.
    i also enjoy going to a lqs that has a clean bathroom and some has it decorated with samplers or miniture quilts.
    i would like the quilt shops to get to talking to their customers and see what they are working on. And maybe evn have a day for shop show and tell and customer can show there work too.

  3. #83
    Senior Member newbiequilter's Avatar
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    Good customer service is first and foremost! If you carry sewing machines, be sure you also have good service for the machines. Many classes are wonderful - starting with beginning quilting. I believe in paying first for classes...when people have put up their money, they are more invested in the class and less likely to flake out - if they do flake out, then there is the pre-paid fee for the instructor. IF you have a website - keep it updated; if you have a newsletter - send it out often. Sales are a great way to attract customers to come in to the shop. Something special once a month is good - red fabrics for Feb, green fabrics for Mar, pastels for Apr, florals (or whatever) for May, June, Red, white, blue for July....and on...If you have LAQ, then stay on top of it....customers don't want to come into the store and see the machine sitting idle and hear that it will be 2 months before they get their quilt back. All of the other postings are informative too.

  4. #84
    Super Member
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    You have many good suggestions. If I ever have a quilt shop of my own I would definitely use most of your idea's. I agree with the coupons, and all the other tactic's to keep quilter's out of JoAnne's. For us working folks the hours are crucial. The one thing you did not touch on was atmosphere. I would offer glasses of lemonade or water, have music playing that sets the tone of quilting (perhaps classical). In my home town of Pine Bush NY the quilt store would always have a party on Black Friday. She would put out a few trays of cookies, have hot apple cider, Christmas music playing, simple demo's and lots of samples. Her store was so crowded and all of those people repeated their business there throughout the year. It was a nice place to visit with friendly staff.
    Create something beautiful from scraps.

  5. #85
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    Mine would have great customer service. The owner of the LQS in Dickinson, TX was going to make me pay for the next month's block of the month, when I broke my hand and couldn't use the cutting wheel to cut my block pieces. She said, "You should hear some of the excuses I get!" As if a broken hand was just an excuse! I had surgery, and had to have two pins put in to hold the bone in place for 5 weeks.
    Your ideas are wonderful!! I would shop there.

  6. #86
    Senior Member quiltingme's Avatar
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    We have a wonderful LQS. It is small, but expanding. The owner and her part-time help are all wonderful, friendly, helpful people. Classes are offered one night a week, and the shop is open four workdays (closed Mondays) and open all day on Saturday. The only complaint I would have is that the "classes" are more like "come in and sew up the current pattern chosen for the class and if you have a question, we will answer it." I have taken "real" quilt classes at the local university with much better instructors; however, my favorite quilting instructor is really a math teacher in her professional life, so her classes are well organized and quite instructional.

  7. #87
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    all of your ideas sound great !!

  8. #88
    Junior Member
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    I hate it when a quilt shop has this beautiful quilt hanging up but they don't have any fabric that is in the quilt even in the shop. So If I had a shop I would never hang a quilt up unless I had the fabric in the store. Also I would give free quilting classes. This would draw more people in and hopefully they buy there material from my shop for the quilt class. I would also have fabric on sale that could be used for the class that was being taught.

  9. #89
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grandmahoney View Post
    I hate it when a quilt shop has this beautiful quilt hanging up but they don't have any fabric that is in the quilt even in the shop. So If I had a shop I would never hang a quilt up unless I had the fabric in the store. Also I would give free quilting classes. This would draw more people in and hopefully they buy there material from my shop for the quilt class. I would also have fabric on sale that could be used for the class that was being taught.

    The samples are to demonstrate the pattern and fabric inspiration. As we all know, it takes a while, money, to make and complete a quilt. What we dont know is if the fabric already has sold through and that the shop is not albe to re-order it because the vendor no longer has it available to sell to the shop. Why not ask the shop to help you select fabrics for the same pattern that is your taste, colors etc. a shop cannot possibly change quilt samples everytime a Collection sells thru. I love to see the samples and of course, it makes sense to rotate them but I dont need to duplicate the exact quilt with the same exact fabric choices. I like to make it in my colors and fabric choices. I really think the shops get exhausted trying to keep up with sample making, etc.

    Sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  10. #90
    Senior Member
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    It seems to me the stores that are successful need to sell sewing machines, but I would treat all customers with equal respect and NOT favor those who have purchased machines from me!!!! (this is one reason I do not shop at my closest LQS)
    You also need to have classes, this is free money and a good way to sell fabric kits and books. But always look for ways to keep the costs down.

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