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Thread: What do you look for in a quilt shop

  1. #1
    Senior Member SWEETPEACHES's Avatar
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    A new quilt shop opened in my town. I get so stressed when I go in there because it's such a mess. I became friendly with the owner and went over on my lunch hour one day and straightened up. It didn't last long. I really would like to see her shop become successful, but if other people feel like I do, I don't see it lasting. She also has fabrics that are 15-20 yrs old. The cardboard bolts they're on are all bent over and torn.

    I look for order and cleanliness.

    I like it to smell good. I like soft music. SOFT music.

    I don't want someone following me around.

    I want like things grouped together

    I want new fabric


    What do you want in a good quilt shop

  2. #2
    Super Member Melinda in Tulsa's Avatar
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    Friendliness, good selection and good prices.

  3. #3
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    I want to be able to browse at my leisure without having a 'tail'. I want everything in order by theme, color, weight. I want prices to be fair. I want to be able to enjoy the feel of crisp new fabrics. Not asking too much, am I? If your LQS is in such a state, I doubt I'd go back there. I mean, you spent your own time helping out by straightening up! Does she not see the problem? And why, in Heaven's name, would she feature ancient fabrics on decrepit boards? Sounds to me like it should be called a 'thrift shop' instead.....shameful that she is letting her shop fall into such a sad state.

  4. #4
    QKO
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    Super Member QKO's Avatar
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    Since we have our own online quilt shop, we don't do a lot of buying at other places, but we do visit a lot of LQS's just to see what they're doing and visit with the owners.

    Things that make us feel good when we visit are:

    Nice and clean and well-organized.
    No bad smells - no tobacco smoke leaking out of the office.
    Good selection of fabrics tastefully displayed.
    Quilts displayed.
    Homey atmosphere.
    Nice classroom area.
    In larger stores - long-arms and sewing machines to try out.

    and most of all --- Friendly, helpful, but not overbearing service!

  5. #5
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    Cleanliness! (I'm a bit OCD)
    Next is order - I don't mind a cheerful mix but things have to be displayed in a way that I can get to them and see them.
    I hate being followed around! I've had a LQS that did that until I explained how it disturbed me. Eventually they got the idea and stopped doing that to patrons.
    New fabric is nice, so is old. I like a mix. I suppose I can get newer fabrics off line??
    I also love to see finished items that will inspire me or give me ideas.
    Sounds like the new store has the ingredients to succeed - hope they figure it out before they "turn off" too many people.

  6. #6
    Senior Member familyfun's Avatar
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    I like a Friendly Staff.. That is my #1 thing...
    -cleanliness
    -fabrics grouped together

    oh.. and a Large sale section... LOL but this is rare I think in most cases.

    You know.. I often wondered where are the ladies are from wondering around the 2 shops I frequent most.. From what I can gather they all work there. They have a ton of fabric but the shops are small and stuffed full.. But they are extremly clean and very organized..
    I very rarely ever see anyone in ther buying anything.. but they must because the inventory is HUGE and new fabric collections. Maybe it is the time of day I am there. I know they are not ladies from classes because the class room is out in the open and they are never there with machines. I just think they must have huge overheads if they are paying all those people.. It is like 6 or 7 women when I am there. You know. Maybe they have a huge online business.. I do know they both sell online.
    Anyway. I was thinking outloud..

  7. #7
    Senior Member star619's Avatar
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    Ditto to all of the above. However start up expenses are slow to come in. Maybe she could put the older fabric on e-bay for people looking for older fabrics. Or she could have customers she is familiar with (like you?) make up 1-2 fast quilts to display what the fabrics could look like & she would give you the fabric and let you take the quilt home after a few months of display? I hope she makes it & you are a good person to help a new business!

  8. #8
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKO
    Since we have our own online quilt shop, we don't do a lot of buying at other places, but we do visit a lot of LQS's just to see what they're doing and visit with the owners.

    Things that make us feel good when we visit are:

    Nice and clean and well-organized.
    No bad smells - no tobacco smoke leaking out of the office.
    Good selection of fabrics tastefully displayed.
    Quilts displayed.
    Homey atmosphere.
    Nice classroom area.
    In larger stores - long-arms and sewing machines to try out.

    and most of all --- Friendly, helpful, but not overbearing service!
    i agree with all of these

  9. #9
    Super Member luvstitches's Avatar
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    By the time I get there, I look for the bathroom. lol but true.

  10. #10
    Super Member seamstome's Avatar
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    I like it to be merchandized properly, well stocked, well lit and organized. I cant stand it when they are cluttered. I want to SEE what I can make with this fabric so I love samples.

  11. #11
    Super Member SuziC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Melinda in Tulsa
    Friendliness, good selection and good prices.
    Ditto!

  12. #12
    Super Member Glassquilt's Avatar
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    The older fabric could be grouped together in a 'special vintage' area/corner.

  13. #13
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I hate being followed around...taking a class and no feeling like I need to buy all of the fabric or templates there...I am sure I will here and there if the prices and quality is right. I love theme quilts that is what brings me there...fabric that I can not buy elsewhere.

  14. #14
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    #1 Friendly Owner and Employees

    lots of great fabrics and to have samples showing things made from different patterns

    classes (different times of day, evening and Saturdays) to accomodate everyone

    purse patterns (have a sample purse made up on display and store the purse patterns inside to buy) makes it easier to find the patterns

    time for us to bring in projects and use their classroom to work on projects and visit with other quilters

  15. #15
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    It's nice to be acknowledged when you come in & told to please ask if you need help in any way, then let you shop til your heart's content. The fabric should be easy to get to, not so crammed in you can't get a bolt in/out. Nice to have it arranged in similar colors or by fabric collections. Good lighting is absolutely necessary. Offer at least 10 bolts or so of marked down fabric. A clean restroom is very welcomed.

  16. #16
    Super Member Sienna's GiGi's Avatar
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    Friendly helpful people, good fabric selection and cleanliness. If you are rude I will not be back.

  17. #17
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    They MUST treat my 6 foot tall, 240 pound, camoflauge wearing husband VERY nicely! He goes woth me to all my quilty stuff. He likes to help me buy fabric, patterns, loves going to the shows in Paducah and Des Moines and everywhere else.

    I HATE HATE snooty people. I will go run errands in sweats and a ball cap. This doesn't mean my check will bounce. I also hate hearing a LQS owner around here constantly comnplain about her finances.

  18. #18
    Senior Member SWEETPEACHES's Avatar
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    Oh and I've asked her about classes. She just doesn't have the time. I offered to teach a couple and she thought it was a great idea, but never mentioned "compensation". uhh, no.

    And she didn't know what a bow tuck was!

  19. #19
    Senior Member Mickey1's Avatar
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    I agree with all the things mentioned and it's wonderful when they know your name and say hello when you walk in! I hope quilt shops can stay in business. Shopping on line isn't nearly as satisfying for me.

  20. #20
    Senior Member fixfido's Avatar
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    Friendliness is terribly important. I have found that quilt shop owners and staff often come off as having some kind of superiority complex.....almost having a condescending view of customers. It's frustrating and just plain weird, in my opinion. Quilting is not the kind of thing people should have an elitest attitude about!

  21. #21
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by QKO
    Since we have our own online quilt shop, we don't do a lot of buying at other places, but we do visit a lot of LQS's just to see what they're doing and visit with the owners.

    Things that make us feel good when we visit are:

    Nice and clean and well-organized.
    No bad smells - no tobacco smoke leaking out of the office.
    Good selection of fabrics tastefully displayed.
    Quilts displayed.
    Homey atmosphere.
    Nice classroom area.

    In larger stores - long-arms and sewing machines to try out.

    and most of all --- Friendly, helpful, but not overbearing service!

    This describes what I look for "to a T".

  22. #22
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    Cleanliness, friendliness, variety of fabric lines, threads,patterns, and notions. Quilts on display really enhance the atmosphere.

  23. #23
    Super Member LyndaOH's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by luvstitches
    By the time I get there, I look for the bathroom. lol but true.
    Me too and there's one in my area (thirty minutes away) that I won't go to because the restroom is down the street in another business they own!

  24. #24
    Super Member Greenheron's Avatar
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    Good fabric, good prices, good manners.

  25. #25
    Super Member Mad Mimm's Avatar
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    I agree with the above. I like helpful, friendly staff but dislike "strong arm" sales. I visited a shop that clearly did not have the fabric I was looking for, but I'll be darned if the shop owner didn't try and peddle every fabric she could. Kudos for her trying to find something to please me, but after the fourth or fifth time I said I would keep searching and that nothing was working she should have taken the darn hint!! I still shop there, but am very firm about what I do and do not want. I have seen more than one friend walk way from that shop feeling "bullied" into buying fabrics they did not really want for their projects.

    The descriptions above are all good - clean, well lit, organized, variety, helpful staff, reasonable prices and good classroom space are all things that will bring me back.

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