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owning a quilt shop

owning a quilt shop

Old 07-27-2015, 10:38 AM
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I have taken many classes at my Local shop and prefer to buy my fabric where I can touch and feel. I buy some online too, don't get me wrong, but I like to buy local.
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:17 AM
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I vote no.
Keep your love, your passion, your interest separate from your lively hood. As others have pointed out, it is a huge investment.
I live in a huge metropolitan area. There are 4 or 5 quilt shops I can go to at lunch. Some do the whole machine, fabric, class thing, some do long arm work at the back of the shop, some have lots of fabric and classes in the back. Except for Eddie's, none seem to be making a mint. More telling is the number of fine LQSs that have closed over the last 10 years. No one to sell out to. The books don't lie. Imagine putting your life into a project for ten years say, and in the end, selling everything for pennies on the dollar just to get rid of it because you can't take the red ink.
A lot of the issue is people who just won't pay for quality fabric.
Perhaps start an online store through EBAY and sell locally at craft fares. Get your name out but never over expand and never put your life savings into something like this.
Just my opinion. tim in san jose
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Old 07-27-2015, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by quilter7748 View Post
I am considering starting a quilt shop. Must drive at least 45-60 minutes to any other shops. No other store in the community to buy even a spool of thread or needles. Am wondering if it is profitable. I have sewn since age 9, quilted for 15 years and taught sewing & quilting classes for the last 5 years. I have business knowledge to do the accounting, etc. Need advice. Thanks.

I would suggest talking to the owner of Stitchin' Heaven in Texas. She runs a boot camp for quilt shop owners (https://stitchinheaven.com/bootcamp) that sounds good. I was considering looking into a quilt shop at one time and saw this, but decided I wasn't up to the challenge.
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Old 07-27-2015, 12:10 PM
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Just my 2 cents here..
I think a quilt shop is no different than any other small business. Having said that, I think the single largest mistake any small business startup makes is starting out with too much overhead. Most go in with a wild exaggeration of profitability and very little realistic expectations of loss and how they will weather the slow periods financially.
If you have to buy bolts wholesale and sell on ebay until you have a good cushion, I would do that, or whatever it took to build up enough cash(not credit), to realistically get your new business through it's firs year.
Then there's the other downfall of many businesses...your personality....not..are you nice or not...but can you delegate.... trust people with assignments, follow through, handle difficult customers that you KNOW are out of line, but will have to coddle to anyway?? Can you juggle 5 balls at a time without losing your mind?
Are you creative? If not, can you spot/hire those that are? The quilt shops are very competative and always have a new promo going or new BOM or something to get people in the door...or do you plan to just sit there and hope people will wander in?
I think it can be done, but a person needs realistic expectations of cost/profit/loss, as well as their own shortcomings..we all have them, but you need to identify them and how they can help or hurt you in business..
Good Luck to you!
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:19 PM
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there was a long recent thread on this subject, very interesting, very considered opinions, you have a good cross section of experienced business people here. Mine was a beauty salon, but the same basics apply, can you compete with the cut rate shops and stay in business. Takes a good LOOONG while to get to the sage where you can charge the earth.

Anyway, my point was, $$'s were quoted in that thread and the consensus was a minimum of 100K to start.
We've had three quilt shops here in my little town in the last 20 years, all failed. For various reasons.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:20 PM
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While you are knowledgeable about running a business, if there is a college or university nearby who could advise you about small businesses in your area, I would take advantqage of it.
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Old 07-27-2015, 01:44 PM
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Perhaps you already know this...the main ingredient is passion for success. I see where you already have taught classes, so that's a plus.
One shop owner I talked to said it took her five years to turn a profit, however, circumstances most certainly vary by locale and her financial acumen.
Develop loyal patrons with unique offerings, classes, promos, and perhaps combine a tea room offering drinks and sandwiches.
Offer Internet shopping...
Passion, Desire, commitment, I read between the lines and thought I saw them in your message.
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:33 PM
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From my friends who own shops, it's a 24/7 business. You'll put in more than 40 hours per week. I don't want to be discouraging but be sure to check with local quilting groups and any guilds that are in the area. Some of the shops in Holmes County, Ohio do a lot of online business. Those orders keep the staff busy. Good luck in your decision. Please post any news when you make a decision and how you are doing!
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Old 07-27-2015, 05:35 PM
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Classes are very important to the life of the shop and also the rotation of fabrics. There was a shop in southeastern Ohio which was a beautiful ship. The owner did not rotate the old fabrics and mark them down in price. And check with the groups what fabric groups/brands are favorable.
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Old 07-27-2015, 06:14 PM
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I can only comment from a customer point if view. My two closest LQS are both a 40 minute drive. After seeing their prices I have to say I mostly shop my designer fabric online. With frequent discounts like free shipping it works out cheaper and I saved the travel and browsing time. I currently have 4-5 projects to start. I can also download lots of free patterns but seem to stick to my tried and true favorites. Still if you are willing to factor in everything it sounds like an exciting idea.
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