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Thread: Stock the quilt store....ideas welcome!

  1. #1
    Senior Member cedarvalleyquilts's Avatar
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    While I know what I'd like to see in my quilt store, I thought I'd ask everyone here. What do you like to see in a quilt store? I've been reading the posts about the "dream store" and have decided I will have a clearance section and do discounts, will do some type of customer appreciation discount (whether punch card or whatnot). There will be antique sewing machine service/repair offered. There will be a Fun Quilter for rent in the store so customers can finish their projects if they so desire. There will be classes offered. And, of course, high quality fabric and notions.

    I want to have as wide a variety of fabrics/notions/threads as possible to appeal to as many tastes as possible. I know what my preferences are, but what are yours? Particular designers you love/hate? Certain notions that you wish your LQS would stock but doesn't? Fabric lines/threads/notions that are a "must have?" What types of patterns/books/magazines do you like to look for in a shop?

    Everyone has different tastes and preferences, but what have you wished that your local shop carried but doesn't? I want to make my shop as customer-driven as possible, both in customer service and the inventory I have.

    Any and all advice is welcome and appreciated...thanks in advance for the input!

    Chris

  2. #2
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Lots and Lots of samples on the walls and all over the place so we can see what a pattern looks like all made up.
    And on the sample, the name of the pattern and where to find it. Maybe also the fabric line used to make it.

  3. #3
    Super Member Sandee's Avatar
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    Large selection of threads. Varigated, embroidery thread for the tread painter people, metalics, variety of priced fabric if you can for those who can'r afford $10/yard. Maybe some free patterns for beginners that you can just print off the internet & have on hand, then rotate every few months. Maybe people would feel they were geting a little something extra.

  4. #4
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    Oh, well while we are dreaming- What about a Accucut studio with lots of dies? You could rent time to people who buy fabric at one rate and a little bit more for people who want to use their stash from home.

    A charity corner where people could make up a block for charity quilts while they are shopping... and leave it at the store of course.

  5. #5
    Super Member sahm4605's Avatar
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    This might seem a bit wired but enough room between the isles to get a stroller around. I have a small one for my son and it is a real pain trying to push him around and carry fabric. And make sure my rd isn't getting into what she shouldn't and not pulling the fq off the shelf because she wants them. As for fabrics I would suggest lots of basics in all the colors and not just a handful. I really like the ones that are almost tonals they help me give depth to all my quilts. I also love Clarence and sales. I would also suggest a few tables in each area or section for people to play with different combos. I like to lay my fabric out and see it all together. Lots of samples are wonderful, but make sure that you have at least two for every type of fabric that you carry. You know floral batik vintage juvi. Things like that. I would say that you should also listen to the locals. Maybe have a couple of order books for your locals to loom threw and see what is up and coming and have paper and a box for fabric suggestions as to what hey would like to see. But that is me. Where in Iowa will you be? I might have to have a stop up there.

  6. #6
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    Maybe periodically have a special topic for quilts-like music and have a lot of fabrics that are music related; science and have a lot of fabrics science related; bugs-etc...

    I've been looking for science themed fabrics for the last few years and buy it when ever I find something apropriate. even full price!

  7. #7
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    Something I don't see very often in quilt shops is a place to set down your bolts of fabric as you're making your choices so you can see how all your selections look together. Those bolts get heavy and having just a few spots around the shop to set them down and be able to see how the colors/patterns/etc. play off of each other would be wonderful! :-D

    In my LQS, the only place to do this is on the cutting table. So if they're busy, you're out of luck.

  8. #8
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    I second the idea of places to put the bolts down so you can look at them. You could always have tables with shelves built under them and over them so that you aren't wasting too much floor space with the tables. I would also like to see a good selection of different kinds of rulers and other notions. Many windows with good natural light. So many quilt shops have poor lighting that it is very difficult to really see the fabrics well. One other idea that I liked was one shop had a special area where all the odds and ends of fabric and cut up leftovers from cutting fabric for quilts were in a huge box--you could take a bag and fill it up with as much stuff as the bag could hold for a standard price. This is great when you need just a little of something for applique or scrappy quilts.

  9. #9
    Super Member Divokittysmom's Avatar
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    My preference would be a store that is very well lit with a great lighting system. It would be fabulous if you could have the true color lights (such as the ott lights) for customers to use at least in 1 area.... if not all over the store.

  10. #10
    Senior Member cedarvalleyquilts's Avatar
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    These are all terrific ideas....keep them coming :)

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