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Question? Thinking about opening a small quilt shop in my community

Question? Thinking about opening a small quilt shop in my community

Old 01-23-2015, 04:48 PM
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Lightbulb Question? Thinking about opening a small quilt shop in my community

My husband asked me this evening what I would stock if I had a quilt shop. Even though I love to quilt and sew, when ask this question it was hard to answer completely. You see this would be my shop. So I have to think about what would sale, the cost of stocking the items, etc. So here is my question. If you had the chance to open a small shop and had to watch expenses, What would you sale in your shop? I need realistic and reasonable answers.
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Old 01-23-2015, 04:54 PM
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I would sell what I want to buy when I go to a quilt shop...fabric, notions, and thread. Of course you need some patterns.
People are so fickle. Most won't give you too many chances, if they come in your store, and you are not reasonably stocked, or at least have something they want, they won't come back. I hope you are successful if you venture into the retail business.
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:16 PM
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I will be very honest & tell you that I am disappointed in what I find in shops compared to what I find online & I can find better prices online too. I do shop some in my LQS, but usually for incidentals. Every time I go in to try to find a fabric I usually leave without buying. You would have to have a pretty big shop & inventory to appeal to a broad base. My taste just differs from theirs a lot. Additionally, they have to buy things like fat quarter packs in multiples, so there is never a big selection of the latest new fabrics. If they do have them in yardage they only have a handful of the fabrics in the line, when the line may have 20 or 30 of them. I do try to buy my supplies from them when I take a class there.
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:18 PM
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You are asking the wrong people. It doesn't matter what I in Wisconsin want. It is what your potential customers in NC want.

You need to do a lot of investigating - I think you will find it costs a lot more than you thought to get started. (Not wanting to discourage you but it is not easy to have a small business.)
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Old 01-23-2015, 05:29 PM
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How well I know that sewmary. That is why I am researching a lot before venturing out. Not even sure if this will come to light. But am willing to research it. Thanks
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:20 PM
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I read a quote recently about opening a business - "Don’t open a restaurant unless you have a hungry crowd." Do you have enough potential customers to support a store?

Or do most of them go to the fabric shops in the biggest nearby "big city" - in your case, Mocksville. (A little NC humor.) I know Winston Salem has several nice quilt shops, not too far from you.

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Old 01-23-2015, 06:35 PM
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I have noticed a lot of small shops are offering 1-2 day workshops to help bring in customers. They also have an day or evening sit and sew.

One shop offers a monthly all-day workshop at the local library. It sells a $5 ticket to the weekend workshop. As it cannot sell quilting goods at the library, it offers a 20% discount on all products purchased in the shop the day of the workshop.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:39 PM
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This is a hard question as every quilter is different.
Some want the latest /newest lines and don't mind paying the going rate for fabric. Others (like myself) don't care how long the fabric has been out. If you have a source for older lines of fabric that you can offer at a good price, along with some of the new stuff you may attract both crowds. I tend shop online mainly because of the price but also because I find that a large quilt shop with all the bells and whistle totally overwhelm me with the choices. Just my opinion.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:46 PM
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I like kits. When I see a completed project with a kit available, I am more apt to buy it. Also, even if there is no kit, I tend to purchase patterns and fabric if there is an example in the shop. I like to take classes however, in the two shops near where I live, there is not enough room to be comfortable. I'd rather pay more for the class and have less people there so we don't have to share a table.
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Old 01-23-2015, 06:47 PM
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I am going to be honest for me the thing I hate most about quilt shops is they appeal to retired people only offer most of their classes during the day during the week, closing early so if you work it is hard to get to the shop. I agree with a small shop not having much I may not come back. The shops I have loved and keep coming back are huge shops with lots of fabric, thread, and notions, patterns. Price sometimes won't matter to me, with the cost of shipping these day sometimes you are not saving by ordering online. I like places that have more evening classes available. Also closing later appeals to me I would rather have a shop that stays open until 6 or seven, but I live in an area with a lot of traffic so you also have that to consider. I know for a fact you will make more money if you sell machines, and do seminars and big events. I love those at my dealer, and also at my LQS who is also a dealer. Knowledgeable friendly staff is a must or I won't ever return, discounts when purchasing supplies for classes or sales are also nice.
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