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Thread: Support your local quilt Shop

  1. #76
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
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    I think that customer service is one of the most important things a LQS can offer. I am a new quilter and also scrapbook. Over the past three or four years every local scrapbook store that I liked/shopped at has closed because they couldn't compete with places like Archivers and the other big box stores, and with the internet.

    This afternoon I drove 100 miles round trip to visit a new-to-me LQS. It was totally worth the time - and I did find the thread I was looking for. I also met people that I would like to quilt with sometime. The person helping me took the time to go through several magazines with me trying to find a pattern to work with the fabric I have - we eventually agreed that a pattern I saw online that they didn't have would probably be the best - and then she took the time to show me around the rest of the store and the class samples. They were also happy to just let me browse to my heart's content. My local (only 15 miles away) store is also great - but unfortunately many of their classes are offered on days that I can't be there (cub scouts, etc.).

    Sales are great, and I am mindful of prices, and when I can, I will support my LQS.

    Cheers, K

  2. #77
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    There are 2 LQS by me that I know about. One about 15 minutes away and one about an hour. I rarely go to the far one because it is just too far (I did get the Civil War repro fabric for my Dear Jane there). I refuse to go to the close one again. Last time I was there my DH stopped by on a whim, handed me a wad of cash and said "Have a good time". I walked in and was completely ignored. I smiled and said hello and no one responded, no one would help me and I wound up not spending all the money. The folks at my Joanns are much more friendly.

  3. #78
    Junior Member ekbuckeye's Avatar
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    My favorite LQS is closing this month - she will be doing online only. Another is for sale - her DH is being transferred to WA and she's hoping someone will buy the shop and keep it open. The next one is okay, has classes and stuff, but the fab selection is not my taste. My favorite shop is about 35 miles so I don't get there very often, tho I like her fabs and staff.

    I've been doing my be$t to $upport the $hop$ since the first of the year, and would like to do more, if DH would cooperate and get me a new machine!

  4. #79
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    My LQS has an additude too....If your local and don't spend alot you get "the look"...I do buy at other shops at a distance but I don't like the additude I get locally
    -------------------------------------
    I've noticed that "look" at a few out of town quilting shops. Since I'm an older
    lady (76) and no longer give a damn about fashion, I dress comfortably in
    jeans and, since I have a very bad ankle, lace up cowboy roper boots, plus a
    Tee shirt. I don't look like I could afford a new spool of thread, so I'm ignored
    often, which does leave me time to search out the fabrics I want.

    But at our local Joann's, one of the young girls working there couldn't answer
    my question about what bobbin my new Brother used=different from my Singer= so she whipped out her own cell phone, got on the Internet, found my
    machine and the bobbin it used. Then of course she sold me a large amount of
    them so I wouldn't run out of colors!! And I filled out a page they gave me for
    her to be honored (or whatever they do to their employees), she really did deserve it. Should have more like her.

  5. #80
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    I agree with You!!!!!!
    Marie

  6. #81

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    I agree fussycut, support your LQS. If everyone continues to order fabric online. Soon the LQS will all go out of business. :(

  7. #82
    Super Member LindaR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newbee
    I used to work in retail so I understand about rude customers. That is why I try to never be one. But I am always amazed when the salesclerks are rude to me without provocation. I have always learned to "vote with my feet" and I don't support those shops.
    I agree with this and say "good morning" the minutes I step in the shop and see a clerk...

  8. #83
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    I got to go to one yesterday...it was SOOO fun! I worked all day Sat. and made a bit of money so I wanted to splurge, I bought only one yard of a barn scene. I was SO pretty, and not as expensive as I would have guess....less than 9 dollars a yard! I think 8.25.
    BUT its dangerous going there, I saw SO many things Iwould have LOVED to buy. Good thing I only carry cash!

  9. #84
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    I support all 3 of the LQSs in my area. At each shop, I'm greeted by name when I walk in the door. Sometimes I buy; sometimes I don't, but I'm always treated like a friend and valued customer.

    I know the value of shops where I can get suggestions and help when I need it. This forum is wonderful, but sometimes I like to have someone there with me when I'm trying to pick out fabric or match fabric. It's also soooo much fun to get a group of friends together and quilt shop hop. My local shops also sponsor classes and retreats, which are a great way for quilters to socialize and quilt together. They are also a nice place to meet new people with the same interests.

    I'm not criticizing anyone for not buying fabric at quilt shops. I'm just pointing out some of the reasons why I like my LQSs and will support them as much as I can.

    Again, no criticism intended toward anyone.

  10. #85
    Power Poster feline fanatic's Avatar
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    I am very fortunate and blessed in that I can afford to shop where I like. This does not make me a fabric snob nor does it mean I don't appreciate a bargain. I had the misfortune of making my first two bedsize quilts out of JoAnn fabrics. The first the quilt is only used on my guest bedroom so very gently used. Fabric is wearing threadbare in spots and faded terribly. Second I use on my bed and it is also fading terribly, had one fabric bleed (even with prewashing) but appears to be holding up structurally.

    So that said I tend to be a bit pickier about my fabrics now. Anyway, I have yet to walk into a LQS where I wasn’t treated nicely. I am not high maintenance but when I ask for assistance or an opinion I have always been helped. I recently did my own mini shop hop to explore some LQS that are somewhat in my area. I visited 3 shops and all 3 were wonderful. I will support an LQS as much as I can.

  11. #86
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    I support as many LQS as I can. LOL

  12. #87
    Super Member IrishNY's Avatar
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    I get far more "attitude" in my local Joann's than I have ever gotten in a LQS. The people who work there get paid whether I come in or not and most of them act like they know it. They seem to go out of their way to deny allowing the use of Joann's coupons. I dread going in that store and try to avoid it at all costs.

  13. #88
    Member Shelia's Avatar
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    I have most shopped at Walmart for fabric. In fact, I started buying huge quantities of it for my stash when I found out my local WM was going to stop carrying fabric. Don't get me wrong, I don't really care for WalMart. I no longer use their pharmacy and I buy my groceries at Publix and BiLo now, because I have learned to buy the sales and use coupons and we have more food in the house than we ever have....anyway, I just don't like WM. BUT, I am on a budget and can't afford LQS prices. If I were to pay those prices, I wouldn't be doing much quilting. The quilts that I've made with the best quality WM fabric have held up well, so what's the big deal?

    Now I shop at Hobby Lobby and a couple of weeks ago I found 15 yards of wonderful muslin at the Goodwill. Guess what I paid? $1.00. Yep, you read it right ONE DOLLAR. So, I started thinking outside the box and have bought drapes and curtains at Goodwill and a great local thrift store to use not only as a backing, but in the quilt itself.

    I attended a quilt show in Pigeon Forge late last winter. One of the presentations was a Bed Turning. A lady had collected a great number of old quilts, dating back as far as the late 1800s. Most of the quilts were scraps made from worn clothing. HELLO!!!! Those quilts are still going strong after 50+ years.

    My name is Shelia and I am not a fabric snob. :-0

  14. #89
    Senior Member tryitall's Avatar
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    I went to my lqs Saturday. I picked up one of their newsletters. The was an article in it about fabric's quality at discount stores and the lqs. It said that there are 3 grades of fabric. The first go through, the second, and the third. The third time through is the best fabric. The colors etc are truer too. These are the ones that LQS buy. They also choose the fabric they want with a one on one with the salesman, or that they think their customers want. Discount stores get what they get! This is just a VERY short version of the article.

  15. #90
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    My LQS is across the parking lot from my local Joann's fabric and has been in business for years! That demonstrates the quality and service this LQS provides. I was dissatisfied with a remark an employee made to me at my LQS and decided never to shop there again. However, I went back the next day and told the owner. I was so upset I even started crying. But I told her what happened and the thoughts I had of never returning. She was so nice and apologetic. I can't imaging surviving in this economy. I try to buy from her whenever I can but the sales at Joann's are too good to pass up sometimes.

  16. #91

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    You guys are soo right about the local quilt shops and helpful they can be, and 99% of the time so nice and friendly. I have suggestion for owners that are unhappy with their business and are rude to customers, find someone to come in and run the shop and just stay in the back ground. You'll sell much more fabric and customers will return. I realize you need to watch sales and receipts, but rudeness will just shut your doors just that much faster.

  17. #92
    quiltedrunner's Avatar
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    Just saw this... and I can't agree more! Support your local shop so they're able to stick around... However, they absolutely NEED to be friendly (not pushy).

  18. #93
    a regular here dljennings's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fabric=fun
    Fussycut and other owners, here is my story. First off, I need to say I live in a Quilter's Paradise in Massachusetts! There are 3 LQS's within 15 mins, 5 more in 30 mins and 8+ more within 45 mins. (Also three Joann Fabric stores within 30 mins). Not all in the same direction, but you get the idea. With one to three other friends, I average at least monthly trips (mini shop hops) to several of them at a time. We never come home empty-handed and make one or more purchases in each store.

    I belong to two quilt guilds (each has close to 200 members) and these are active quilters who also regularly patronize these LQS's.
    The closest LQS store owners make themselves visible by participating and getting to know quilters without overt advertising or commercials at the guild meetings. They gain their business through friendliness and having their customers spread the word about where to get which fabrics.

    The LQS's strive to be unique as a destination with their personal touch and selection of fabric categories. The ones that I/we frequent least often are either poorly organized or messy shops, staff that are preoccupied with each other, or too distracted to offer a smile to customers. (This happens rarely since their competition is near by).

    Many use e-mail for monthly newsletter or notice of sales or a special limited discount, special events, etc. Again with a personal touch they are friendly.

    We do our best to support them and they respond by appreciating us and our business. They even make referrals to each other if you are looking for a particular fabric type.
    central mass is a great place for quilters... i have 4 lqs within 15 mile radius plus a joanne's.

    i have them all programed into my phone so when i'm looking for something really specific i call then up & they will put something aside for me.

    great customer service!

  19. #94

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    With the internet, I'm afraid LQS are becoming a thing of the past and it will be a pity. My first LQS is who I credit with my love of quilting. When I took my first class there, they just took me under their wing and NEVER minded my endless questions and always gave me the greatest encouragement. When I was still working, I would drive to their shop just to sit and have lunch with them. They became wonderful friends. Unfortunately, in the 10 years I've been quilting, I have gone through 4 LQS. I usually only patronize one shop. I would get to know the folks and feel very at home and then they would close. I live in Metro Atlanta and currently the closest LQS is 23 miles from my house and it breaks my heart.

  20. #95
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    I'm lucky enough to have 3 shops close (within 20 miles) another 3 (30 miles). My nearest I'm at about 3 times a week now -- the owner is having her own problems; but, I've made great friends with several of the staff, they always are there to help & are asking about our home construction problems. Her choice in fabric isn't what I like; but, I still buy lots of things there. The 2nd closest I've got a really favorite staff person + this owner is much more interested in we (her clientele). The 3rd, is smaller with only 1 staff person, the owner & I share so many common interests, etc. that I wish I was more into more of her fabric -- I buy some from her; but not really into all of it. Then 3 I go to on occasion -- just to see what's different. I guess I'm lucky in a way to have these shops within a reasonable driving distance. There is 1 other shop within driving distance -- 35 miles -- I just don't wish to find it since it's within Pittsburgh, PA & I really hate trying to nagivate the Pittsuburgh streets. I limit my trips; BUT do enjoy visiting some of the shops. Seems prices everywhere are increasing -- including food -- the cheapest place I can shop I found out cost much more today. $100.00 doesn't buy anything is used too just about 3 years ago -- seems like now you need almost $300.00

    Linda

  21. #96
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    Quote Originally Posted by roseOfsharon
    I agree with Polly on the price I wish to pay. I know that LQS need support and I am sure they get plenty. I have two near me, just found the second by meeting a lady at Joanns. I went there and was given the tour of the shoppe and it was a wonderful shoppe. The lady that did the tour was sweet and helpful, but I will say there was one at the front counter that was sour, I don't know if it was that time of "month" or just her personality. That is a turnoff on having to deal with her in the future. I plan to return again and search out on my own, fabrics and class information and see how I feel of the reception. Todays times we have to be watchful of what we spend and what we get for our dollars. It is not to say We all would not wish to buy the finest and stitch away, but for many that is not the case, so it is important to remember that, when this line of topic is presented. The main goal of quilting is to enjoy making and whatever one uses to accomplish that goal is what matters. So please keep in mind the sensitivity of putting a price on fine, finer and finest quality of quilting. We all are here to enjoy each other and learn and to be a family. Happy quilting everyone :)
    I agree with you, I want to be able to support the quilt stores, there is one about 10 miles from my house. they are very friendly, and helpful. and if I ever get SSS I will most likely sign up for a class or two. they have such beautiful fabric, but it is very expensive,. I learn everything from all of you and through trial and mistakes, which I cant afford the mistakes :-D like the 150 siggie blocks I made for the swap which were all 3 1/4 instead of 3 1/2, so know I have all those blocks I can't send in :? . circumstance and finance does not allow me to support any store. God bless. Penny

  22. #97
    Super Member GrammaNan's Avatar
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    Penny Doty--My heart breaks for you. I am part of the same block exchange and made some that were not the right size either. I am also on a tight budget due to unemployment. Did you write your name on them already? I haven't yet. I am going to take the irregular ones and have my family and friends sign them. When I run out of family and friends I am going to write sayings on them that I like or scriptures that have special meaning and make my own quilt. If you have written your info on them, I would still make a quilt out of them. Best Wishes!!!

  23. #98
    Super Member JACRN's Avatar
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    Since i am new to quilting the only place i have been is JOANNES. I CAN'T WAIT TO GO TO A REAL LQS.There are a few within 30 min. I just haven't made it there yet.Even though I'm retired i don't seem to have a minute.I don't know how i ever had time to work.

  24. #99
    Super Member OHSue's Avatar
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    We have about seven quilt shops in our neck of the woods and I have never been treated badly in any of them I have been in. They all seem to love quilting and sharing it with you.

  25. #100
    Super Member annette1952's Avatar
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    I do support my LQS but if they have terrible customer service then I won't go back. Doesn't matter what kind of business it is. One big pet peeve of mine is when they don't say thank you. I always say it & I have had several businesses say " yup" or say nothing at all.
    If you can't be a polite sales person or business owner then you should not be dealing with the public.

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