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Thread: long arm quilters - how do you get customers?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Just starting a long arm quilting service in Northern California and am wondering if any of you would be willing to share tips on how to get new customers.

    I've been working as a long arm quilter in a shop and have decided to invest in a machine and start my own service. I have a few ideas about how to generate business but this aspect of the venture is the one that is making me most anxious--I'm afraid of not having enough work. Any of you willing to advise?

  2. #2
    Super Member
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    I left my business card at the LQS and my guild also knows I LA quilt. Don't be shy, mention that you LA whenever the conversation comes up. Have a business card ready and hand it out. List here, look in the classified section for the list. Have examples/pictures of your work ready to show. You should already have customers from the quilt shop where you have worked. And word of mouth is one of the best advertisers. Good luck on branching out on your own.

  3. #3
    Super Member whinnytoo's Avatar
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    word of mouth is the best advertisement you can get. Good luck!

  4. #4
    Senior Member MissSandra's Avatar
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    I know others who started on ebay then went private hoping there customers would follow.

  5. #5
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    Guilds usually keep lists of LA quilters, and if they have a newsletter you might be able to buy an ad. Join all the guilds in your area, and attend their meetings. Quilters are often more likely to give business to someone they know. Enter your quilts in shows to get more visibility. The Ultimate Guide to Longarm Machine Quilting by Linda V. Taylor has a lot of information for longarming as a business, including various ways to advertise. Good luck with your business.

  6. #6
    Member jgangloff's Avatar
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    Volunteer to quilt a raffle quilt especially for a guild or state organization - lots of free publicity.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    In my area the LQS all have a file or a copy of the area Long Arm professionals. The shops that do not have there own in house LA machine , often display quilts from LA looking to bring in business.. You may want to approach an owner and ask to quilt some of the inspirational pieces they have in the shop. SOme offer a service where the quilts get dropped off at the LQS for the Longarm Pro. ( of course for a fee). The owner of the shop wins since how many quilters come in without buying something.
    All most all of the LQS in my area that have a LongArm will only do Panto.
    Maybe check out :
    http://quiltingprofessional.com/

  8. #8
    Super Member fabric_fancy's Avatar
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    i will only work with local people so for me its guild and LQS.

  9. #9
    Senior Member quilter1943's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Edgewater, FL
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    Some around us have advertised with the guilds that they will quilt - just meandering - for free when they begin their business. It gives them practice (you don't need obviously) and they get to know the quilters. Ask to take some of your quilts to guild meetings also, talk about what you offer. As a couple have said, you can't be shy about advertising yourself.
    Quote Originally Posted by jgangloff
    Volunteer to quilt a raffle quilt especially for a guild or state organization - lots of free publicity.

  10. #10
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    go around to some local quilt guilds and be a guest speaker, so you can give them tips and tricks on what they need to do to get their quilts ready for a longarm

    also take samples of your work

    pass out business cards

    also here on the board is a list that Twinkie has created for all of us

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-62268-1.htm

    and also here is another spot that you can contact Moderator, PatriceJ

    http://www.quiltingboard.com/t-99668-1.htm
    Quote Originally Posted by marciG
    Just starting a long arm quilting service in Northern California and am wondering if any of you would be willing to share tips on how to get new customers.

    I've been working as a long arm quilter in a shop and have decided to invest in a machine and start my own service. I have a few ideas about how to generate business but this aspect of the venture is the one that is making me most anxious--I'm afraid of not having enough work. Any of you willing to advise?

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