Welcome to the Quilting Board!

Already a member? Login above
loginabove
OR
To post questions, help other quilters and reduce advertising (like the one on your left), join our quilting community. It's free!

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 43

Thread: Economy woes - Cutting back on quilting goods?

  1. #1
    Super Member grammy Dwynn's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,037
    Blog Entries
    2
    With the economy, do you find yourself cutting back at your LQS?

    It is such a trickle down effect. If we cut back, the shops have a hard time. We might loose them. But if we keep shopping we might be saving our local shops, but have to deal with our mates, in these trying times.

    I have to figure out how to 'support' my LQS, without going into debt. :lol:

    My feelings is that I would rather have a local shop that I can go to, take classes and just have the full support system. On-line 'stores' don't offer as much, IMHO Yea, you can get some fabric 'cheaper' (sometimes), but I'm a feeler. I want to know what I'm getting and I want it now.

    DH and I have our own local (automotive) business and we are feeling some of the economy woes. We really, really believe in 'support your local business'. When the local/little guys are gone... then all we are left with are the big box stores. We all know that they don't always have what we want or that their PR has something to be desired.

    I better get off my soap box
    :roll:

  2. #2
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    blink and you've missed it
    Posts
    2,612
    stay up there- we need everyone to support their local family owned businesses. I'm a sole proprietor- I feel the same way about my fellow small business owners. I always support them as much as I can.

    Yes, sometimes the squeeze is on the save a buck here or there, but the customer service and knowledge are so much more in a "mom and pop" place. I love going to the lqs and talking to the girls and getting help with my indecision- colors, patterns- they always give me great ideas.


  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    Alturas, CA
    Posts
    8,413
    I agree, I try to shop locally as a general rule, don't buy online except once in a great while.

  4. #4
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Belle Isle, Florida
    Posts
    6,737
    An EXCELLENT reminder in these trying times. Spend your money locally and support small business.

  5. #5
    ksusan's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Michigan's Upper Peninsula
    Posts
    201
    I agree with spending locally.

    Sometimes the prices are higher, but the customer service is great.
    These owners have heart and soul invested in their businesses and need our support.

    Even though I have to cut back on my purchases, I would rather go to the store on a regular basis than only go when they have a sale.
    The owner's knowledge and experience are the intangibles that I am willing to pay for regularly.

    The worst feeling comes about for me when I see a local store going out of business. There are about 30,000 people living in the county. These shop owners become someone with whom we can place a face and remember how they contribute to our community.

    Thanks for letting me rattle on! Small shops within 80 miles from my home are having super, souper, etc. sales this weekend. I hope they
    have successful sales :)

  6. #6
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Camarillo, California
    Posts
    35,480
    I agree, we need to support our local shops. I was just at the Aquarium store yesterday, a little mom and pop place, and they are getting hit hard, I'd much, much rather buy from them than Petco or some big box place. The fish I get from my little store actually live for more than a few days! Also I too prefer to be able to "feel" and look closely at the fabric I am purchasing, I rarely order online for fabrics and quilting supplies, with the exception of the Roll of Warm and Natural. A friend of ours owns a little Christian Book Store. We used to order all our books on-line but are trying to shop there as much as possible cause I know how hard it is for them right now. She is also one of my quilting buddies and I don't want to see their store go under!!

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    689
    Can I offer an opinion on the buy local first idea? Our town has a beautiful and diverse downtown shopping area. It has always been fun to shop downtown and you know most of the owners as they are your neighbors and friends. This past Christmas season, the downtown association in our area ran an ad campaign that made me not step downtown once for Christmas. Everyone on our list received gift certificates to the 'big box' stores. The reason? The ads the association ran were very negative. Instead of making me want to go into the local stores, the ads implied that if we didn't spend our $$ locally, we were rotten citizens of the town. That was sure incentive to me - not- For heavens sake, offer me hot apple cider and a smile, a chance to win a $10 gift certificate. In all fairness, the big box stores employ my neighbors and friends also. Now that the ads have stopped, I am back downtown doing my part. Trust me, I am not the only one who felt a negative message was not worth their advertising dollars.

  8. #8
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I grew up in a small town where the only items available to buy were what the owners of the few stores wanted to stock. They didn't stock anything new because it may not sell and they would be out shelf space as well as profit. It's hard to shop at the local stores when a few miles down the road there are bigger stores with more selection for the money. I have asked the two local fabric/sewing stores in my town about a new quilting/sewing tools and they look at me like I'm from Mars. I don't have the tolerance for small stores.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Posts
    216
    I live in a small town with very few places to shop at all. I do buy what I can locally, but it really isn't much.

    I have one local LQS and I will not go in the shop unless I really need something. They are extremely rude. They treat you like there is something wrong with you if you don't buy what they recommend even if you are looking for a specific fabric.

    One time I ran out of a fabric and was looking to see if they had it. It was a pink ribbon fabric. The lady tells me they have it. She takes me to it and it is not the same. She proceeded to tell me it was the only pink ribbon fabric on the market. I obviously knew different since I had some of the other already in a quilt. Then she got snotty when I didn't buy it. They are waaaay overpriced (13.95 for muslin that wasn't as good as what I saw at walmart). I like one kind of quilting needle. I asked them very nicely to order them for me. I even offered to pay (buy off of them) the entire box. They refused to help me out. The only place I can find these needles is Amish country which is 1.5 hrs away. I don't go very often.

    When the customer service is right I will shop local. When it's not, I won't!

    Lynette

  10. #10
    quiltingchic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    95
    Yes buying Local is so important but on lines stores also have a place for some. I live in a place that does not have a quilt store or guild, We have a fabricville which is also Fabricland which are chain stores. Without online shopping I would not be able to do my quilting. I do have a wonderful quilt store by my cottage i try to go to when i am there.
    I also find that I am backing my wall hangings more with muslin as it is so much cheaper and you don't see the backs of the wall hangings.
    Dawn

  11. #11
    Super Member Barbm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2007
    Location
    blink and you've missed it
    Posts
    2,612
    I am a small business owner- granted not a lqs, but I have the latest technology because it means I keep up with the competition. I get frustrated because everyone thinks they need to bundle services- it will save money. So they get a title co. who is not familiar with the local way of doing business and the Relators have to spoon feed them to get their work done. I get calls from them saying what can we do to get this info. This morning I told a Realtor- you have time to cancel with them and use me- I can get you taken care of in 24 hours. I tell everyone to use a local title co., realtor, bank, etc. They know your area.

    Not everyone has the mindset of being positive in everything they do.

    There is a local shop here- there is a HUGE sign out front saying they are a community business employing community workers. It doesn't help them that their customer service attitude stinks and they are tons higher in price. That sign alone will mean I won't use them. Give me a sign that's showing a positive why I should use you!

    We are all different, I like to be ++++.

    Barb

  12. #12
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    St. Louis, Missouri
    Posts
    6,895
    Living in a large metropolitan area, I have many choices! I like to shop where the people are friendly and knowledgeable and have the products I am interested in! Because I do have choices, I can go to another LQS if I am not given the service I prefer. We also have big box stores where I go to look, but they don't have the newest, latest fabrics. I usually shop them with coupons for notions. I will not shop anywhere I feel bullied! No matter what their service! I don't have to tolerate it! But I do have choices within reasonable driving distances. :lol:

  13. #13
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Location
    South Puget Sound, Wa. State
    Posts
    2,182
    In these economic hard times one thing that will have to be re-learned is the importance of customer service.
    This goes from where you get your oil changed to where you buy groceries to your local LQS...
    I went to 3 different quilt shops yesterday...
    One was about 30mins away, I found 2 patterns and 2 yds of BW fabric, I went to another one and found 2 yds more of bw fabric and then to another that was less than 5 mins from my house and found ZERO fabric...
    The latter quilt shop had great prices but not alot of inventory nor patterns and kits...
    The second a bit better but the one that was 30 mins away had great fabrics, spendy and kits and BOMS and a bit more pricey...
    Plus they have an online store...
    Plus the CS was good!!!
    I am all for supporting my local quilt shops but at least give me some customer service and variety...
    Otherwise I can go to the big box stores...
    K

  14. #14
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    689
    Barbm I totally agree with you! The positives always trump the negatives. I think it is human nature to gravitate toward the positive and in business, its always a winner :) :) :)

  15. #15
    justquiltin''s Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Tijeras, NM
    Posts
    112
    I have to say, I have finally found an LQS with the kind of CS that makes me want to spend my money with them...
    The one "in town" is ROTTEN. Terrible customer service -- they go out of their way to ignore anyone not in their clique.
    The one out here in the mountains is WONDERFUL! Once a month they host a "charity quilt night." Fabric is donated by whomever wants to donate it, you bring your machine and thread, and sit and sew for three hours (or less if you want.) They then donate the backing and the batting and we can volunteer to take the quilts home to quilt. Then the shop owner binds them. This Christmas, seven lap quilts were given to children whose mothers spent Christmas in prison. This past Tues., we made 6 more tops.
    I love this quilt store, the prices are comparable to the "in town" store, and the owners REMEMBER MY NAME. I will use them because they are what small-town business is all about.

  16. #16
    Senior Member triciasquilts's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Butte, MT
    Posts
    478
    Things are getting tough for our mom and pop stores around here, but this is such a tough town, that I know things will pull thru. We even have a new Starbucks that will opening soon, brand new building too.
    I have some of my quilt items on consignment at a specialty yarn shop and I know the owner is having a struggle. I know she can't even pay her rent this month plus other bills. So this morning, I wrote a check to cover her advertising bill that she has. I definitely don't want her going under. I also called upon a few of the other consignees and told them to get their butts to her store and do some major cleaning and help her out. She had one of her big windows in front broken out last weekend and still needed to get things back in there for display, so we did that yesterday and my hubby hung her signs back up for her.
    I've never been hugged so many times in a short amt. of time as I was yesterday morning!! It made me feel so good to do my part to keep this shop in business!! While we were there, she had several customers come in and purchase some items. I knew a couple of them, so it was easy for me to talk to them and push them into that sale.
    Oh, the owner of this shop is 81 yrs. old!!!!!

  17. #17
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Murrysville, PA
    Posts
    3,010
    God will bless you for this Tricia.....pay it forward is a great policy.

    Margie :)

  18. #18
    community benefactor Knot Sew's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    NY
    Posts
    5,722
    We have no mom and pop stores left here....I can remember when...it was nice to visit and shop

    I have not been buying much fabric. If I found good fabric at a good price I used to buy about 3 yards. Now I buy One. If I need a small bit I buy a half yard or less. Some weeks I have to stay away from the fabric stores. Prices continue to rise but my income doesn't. Oh well so be it thats life :wink:

  19. #19

    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    midcoast Maine
    Posts
    33
    I seldom go to the lqs, but do go there for notions etc. but sometimes go to the local hardware store for craft supplies and batting. I seek out the cheapest. No wally marts here less than forty miles away. I would love to support the local businesses, but the price is too far over my head. I don't have one hundred dollars or more to spend on making a quilt. Sorry, but the price of fabric is way over what I can afford. I know it is not the fault of the business, but perhaps we need to step back and wonder how come it is all so expensive. How come? I also do not subscribe to the notion that I must buy a piece of fabric just to have it around in my "stash", sitting around doing nothing but taking up space. I suspect I am not the only one in this position. I hand quilt with a group that exists mainly on fabric donations. I love to do this and go full steam ahead perfectly happy with the process of quilt making in this way. All the proceeds from the sale of these quilts and small quilted items, go to local charities. In that way, at the least, I feel my efforts are going toward supporting the community.

  20. #20
    Moderator Up North's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    North East Lower peninsula of Michigan
    Posts
    6,502
    I live in a small town that is quickly dieing. The only fabric store close a year ago and I have to travel 50 miles one way to go to Joann's or Walmart. Yes our Walmart still has fabric. The quilt store in that town is $12.00 a yard so a no go on my budget and they are so small they don't have much in notions. I purchase from Walmart or Joann's on sale but am finding $9.00 a yard is streaching it a bit to far for me to have FUN with quilting. I keep an eye on the $1.50 a yard bin at Walmart and when I seen nice fabric I grab at least 3 yards. Shopping local for us is hard unless we buy sale items at the only grocery store we pay up to $2.00 per item more than Save-A-Lot or Walmart. There is no place in our town to buy any type of craft item not even elastic we can get white thread at the Dollar tree!!!

  21. #21
    Power Poster sandpat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Posts
    18,757
    Blog Entries
    9
    Since we have nothing "locally"...I drive for an hour...(each way) to go to my LQS. I do buy quite a bit when I go...I just don't go all that often. Now...if she offers a class that i'm interested in..then I'm there in a heartbeat. The thing that the small business owners need to understand is that they MUST offer something that we can' get online. My LQS does know my name, they will mail me merchandise that I call and ask for, they do classes anytime I need one at a very reasonable price, they know my machine and can service it and offer me advice over the phone to help me out. I will and do support them, I buy "project" fabric from them because I can touch it and feel it., I buy "stash" fabric and lots of gadgets-on line.

  22. #22
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Front row
    Posts
    14,661
    Blog Entries
    2
    I have ordered fabric from Eleanor Burns site and it's quilt shop quality and it's usually on sale for $4 yard and sometimes less. The nicer cotton fabric at the Walmart here is $4.99 yard. She has wide quilt backing fabric on sale during the year too. I like Connecting Threads fabric and that site has weekly specials with fabric marked down. And free shipping all the time with a min. of $50. Right now the price of the weekly special is less then $3 yard for six different prints. I won't pay $12 a yard for quilt fabric, that's nuts.

  23. #23
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Murrysville, PA
    Posts
    3,010
    Bellaboo,

    I have ordered fabric from EB too and her sale fabrics are so nice. I have never been disappointed and her prices even when you add shipping are reasonable.

    Margie

  24. #24
    Senior Member Roben's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    SW IA
    Posts
    900
    I agree with the idea already expressed here that the local businesses that provide good customer service will continue to get my money. DH and I have seen cutbacks where we each work and in our community; things are getting tight all over.

    Most Saturdays, we 'make the rounds' - we stop at 2 of the three Viking dealers here, a LQS and a fabric/craft store. A class here, a couple of yards of fabric there - it may be all I can do, but I'll continue to do it as always because they are always friendly and helpful. We usually spend more time visiting and teasing than actual shopping :lol:

    I still buy online; the money I can save is money I can spend here locally, and it allows me to get things I couldn't get here anyway (who could resist QIAD DVD's at 40% off, I mean really?!) I think it all balances out in the long run - and things will shake out and settle down eventually.


  25. #25
    Super Member Margie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Murrysville, PA
    Posts
    3,010
    Roben, I agree I try to shop LQS and sewing dealers as much as possible....but sometimes it just doesnt fit the budget when you can get some things you need on line that do fit. I sew mostly for charity and I have to buy at local Walmart and Joanne's for most of it...but when I can afford to...it is LQS :)

    Margie

Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

SEO by vBSEO ©2011, Crawlability, Inc.