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If you owned a quilt store

If you owned a quilt store

Old 01-27-2013, 04:28 PM
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Default If you owned a quilt store

I am posting this because of another thread on LQS closing. I am not looking for answers like I would have nicer help or be friendlier. I am looking for profit making ideas that YOU like about your LQS, that you want to have at your LQS or things you would do.

My BFF works in a store and we go on annual trips covering 15-30 different shops a year and I think I have seen everything from a shop in someone's garage to Lolly's in Shipshewanna and Hancock's to a warehouse shop. There are reasons that some of these shops are very successful.

We always talk about our ideal store. For me, merchandising is a biggie. I want to see samples, have everything all together to make the project in a eye-catching display, good lighting, interesting decor.

Also I want a store that is responsive. For example, I like this one type of marking pencil. I order it on line because nobody around here carries it. I took it to a newer LQS owner and told her the reasons that I think my marking pencil is superior to what she carries and asked her to carry it. Bet it will be on her shelves soon or she will tell me why not.

Classes and I have them on NEW things as well as the basics. This is a great profit maker plus it keeps the customer involved in your store. If I owned a store, I would have alot of classes and speakers.

I would have a LA and that machine would be humming 24/7---okay at least 8 hours a day 6-7 days a week. Good side money plus people like to see activity.

I would sell machines. I dont think you can make it strictly on fabric any more.

I would HONOR Joann fabrics coupons for my loyal customers once a month. Let JA do my advertising. And I would carry all the basics to make a project, even if batting or thread had to be a loss leader or at dead cost. If I have to go to JA's to pick cheap batting, I am more likely to buy other things there.

I would have competitive hours. None of this 10-3 stuff. If you are going to have a business, you need to have it be open. That's just a personal pet peeve of mine. Again, if I have to run to JA's because the LQS is not open at 6pm, the revenue goes to JA's.

I would have a nice website. It is amazing when we are traveling, how many shops dont have one.

I think to make any money you would have to do shows.

Finally, I would move the fabric. I dont like it when I walk in and find the same fabric from a year ago.

So this is my list, I am looking forward to your ideas.
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Old 01-27-2013, 04:40 PM
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you have a lot of great ideas.I agree sell fabric,machines and have classes.And have lots of sample quilts of the patterns and fabric being sold.lots of current books too.Are thinking about actually opening a store?
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:03 PM
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I would visit your store often.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:06 PM
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As a handquilter, I want YLI thread - even if it's just the natural color - it works for 99% of what I quilt.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:12 PM
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The lqs near me does have a number of your suggestions, 2 nights a week they stay open till 8 pm, and some of their classes are offered on those nights, which means those of us working girls could possibly take a class after work. Some are also offered on Sat. but if your working there is a lot of competition for Sat. time, and they generally keep the Sat. classes to one day, sometimes all day.

They do have a website and a newsletter. Most if not all months there is some promotion in the newsletter. This month it was if you spent $20.13 you would get 2 free fat eights of your choice from the f8 bins.
They also do one day a month on Sun. when the store is closed you come in and work on whatever your own project you want. There is a fee but they provide pizza and if you do need anything supply wise if they have it in the shop you can buy it while you are there.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:12 PM
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Sewing machines are definitely the money maker in a quilt shop. Cost of fabric plus shipping costs etc. are prohibitive. You have some great ideas, however its a tremedous job to undertake having your own quilt shop. been there done that. Retired
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:14 PM
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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.
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:15 PM
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What is YLI thread and what about it makes it desirable for handquilting?
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:18 PM
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Sounds like heaven to me! Now......please tell me what marking pencil you like? I'm having fits and wasting a lot of money trying to find one I like!
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Old 01-27-2013, 05:24 PM
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Attractive samples do sell and I appreciate responsiveness as well. I called one shop and asked if they carried a pattern and the woman said no, sorry. The next one said, no,but I'll order it for you right away.
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