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owning a quilt shop

owning a quilt shop

Old 07-25-2015, 07:30 PM
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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.
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:36 PM
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I don't know where you are but remember all the rules & regs of owning a store and all the overhead. Plus every owner of a quilt shop here talks about how they never sew any more. they miss the hobby aspect even though I'm sure they make money
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:40 PM
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I think a lot depends on the population in your area - do you have enough people to support such a business and do you have a lot of quilters? Do you have people who would be open to learning to quilt? Are you thinking small or large? Would you be buying enough to get the lowest wholesale prices? Are you ready and willing to take on the headaches of owning a business? Yes, it can be a pleasure, but it's also a 24/7/365 thing that is just always there on your mind. Can you tell I own my own business?
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Old 07-25-2015, 07:49 PM
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Lynda in OH--I would be in a small rural community but can draw customers from a 60 mile radius. Have been in retail for 40 years and know how to promote the business. I fully understand what you're saying about owning your own business. I am looking at running this for 5 or 6yrs. and grooming my successor when I'm ready to step down. I passionately love sewing & quilting and passing it on to others.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:09 PM
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I would think long and hard about this, With so many LQS closing it is a huge investment just to get started. One store owner I talked to said her income had dropped by 1/3 in 2014 from 2013. She told me she had not seen any real improvement this year yet. She said a brick and mortar shop just could not compete with a on line business where they can work out of a small building, even there home basement or a garage. Good luck if you go ahead with your shop.
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Old 07-25-2015, 10:38 PM
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Can you maybe start putting out feelers on social media to gauge interest in a quilt shop? Talk to people in your quilt guild. Chat up people in line at the Wal-Mart fabric counter to see if there's anything they'd like that Wal-Mart doesn't sell.

Personally, I can't imagine not having a LQS nearby. There are 5 within driving distance of me -- but then again, there are TONS of hobby quilters around here & a big part of each of their businesses is offering long-arm services. People go in for the quilting service & see the beautiful fabrics and some random notion they just "have" to have and that's how they stay in business. They also all offer classes, but don't make money off of those unless the participants buy materials for the class. 2 of them also sell sewing machines out of their shops & of those two, one actually repairs machines (they have 2 buildings and are the largest shop by far in the area).

So I guess I'd encourage you to see what people may want in your area & make sure the reason no one's opened a quilt shop isn't due to lack of interest. Once you know you have willing customers, I'd recommend contacting your local Small Business Association. In my state, they have all sorts of free materials, training & even professional small business advisers. I'm grateful for all that because even things that seem like they should be simple -- like registering an alias (business name) -- take longer and cost more than I could ever have imagined.

There are a lot of wonderful & exciting aspects about running a business, but there are also a lot of details that aren't so much fun. (I don't have a quilt shop, but I do sell quilts & am in the process of registering my business ... all the legal and financial aspects of it take a lot of patience to sort through).
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:16 AM
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I have two within 10 minutes of me & many more within 30 minutes to an hour. I take some classes but rarely buy anything more than a small item from them now & then because I find fabric more to MY taste online. I also order my thread from Superior.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:26 AM
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Your 'selling radius' may be 60 miles, however, how many quilters or wanna be quilters are in that area? In a rural community, there may be lots of open space in your target area. I would see if you could do a marketing survey of guilds (and possibly churches & schools) to see if folks would like a quilt shop. Ask questions like 'if you are a non-quilter, would you like to learn?'(to see if you have a base for offering classes), 'any other craft materials you would like to purchase locally' (to see if you need to diversify).
As far as turning the business over in the future, a very well established quilt shop in our area closed because she retired & could not find anyone to take over the business.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:49 AM
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I know it sounds strange but it's good advice to have business before you start a business. Go to local Guilds and bees to see if there is a true need. So many people retire to Florida and start their dream business. These shops take a lot of capital and don't have the support of locals, that they require to thrive. They end up losing it and all their money. I would recommend not to "open a standard store front". Start small with a service whether it is longarming or teaching sewing. Feel the need of your community and see what happens.
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Old 07-26-2015, 06:16 AM
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I doubt it would be profitable. Do you know how many thousands of quilts shops have closed down in the past 8 years?? It is like any type of small business, it requires hours of hard work to keep it running.
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