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Thread: What makes a shop "worth" going to????

  1. #1
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    What makes a shop "worth" going to????

    I cringe when a quilter asks me this question about a shop that they know that I have been to and that they are not familiar with.....so...clarify for me what makes a shop"worth" going to, in your opinion????

    Sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  2. #2
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    I have walked into some beautiful shops but if the people working there are friendly, I probably don't go back.
    Marilyn

  3. #3
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quantity ... If I am going to travel to a new shop, I want to see stuff I haven't or can't see at the shops close to home.

    Staff ... this is almost as important as the quantity (and variety) of fabric to choose from. There is a very large shop close to my house but I avoid it because the staff is pretty deplorable. I like a friendly staff, a working (not busy chatting) staff, a smiling happy staff, and a knowledgable staff. If I ask "do you have ..." I don't want to hear "somewhere over there" - I want them to SHOW ME. If I am at the cutting table or register I don't want to wait because they're too busy chatting with co-workers, if a staffer has a task of doing computer work or stocking shelves and the rest of the staff is busy with customers - stop and HELP CUSTOMERS as they are the ones paying your salary. And at no time do I want rude comments by the staff (I've had staff tell me "these two fabrics don't go well together" when I had NO intention of putting them in the same quilt (gee ... do you REALLY want to sell fabric??)).

    Good supply of notions, books, and patterns

    Parking

    Well laid out, I should see *some* rhyme or reason to the layout of the fabrics. Most that I know of will keep new fabrics in a given line together for a few months or so, then move each to the area where it fits best color wise. Also, batiks are usually segregated from other cottons, as are flannels and home spuns. Some shops I walk into there is no rhyme or reason and it's easy to miss something.

    Manueverability/visibility/lighting ... only one shop comes to mind that I could not manuever in or see what was on the shelves because it was so packed with "stuff". Bolts on the shelves, bolts stacked on the floor in front of the shelves. The place was a downright fire hazard. Aside from that though, other shops that I visit might have a problem with accesabilty to wheelchairs manuevering in and out of the bolt stands etc. Stores that have multiple shelves that face each other across a narrow aisle need to be cautious of the lighting - it's difficult to light those areas well enough - sometimes I have to take the bolt to the front window to see the color.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  4. #4
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    MarLeClair

    I have to giggle... You don't like "friendly" people?

    Sandy
    Last edited by Sandygirl; 08-13-2012 at 12:46 PM.
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  5. #5
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    Friendly helpful staff that sincerely greet you, ask if you need help, and then give you a little space to shop to your heart's content. Good lighting - natural lighting from windows is best. Fabric arranged nicely to inspire creativity. A little something always on sale.

  6. #6
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    Interesting, unusual fabric and good prices.
    Friendliness is of no interest to me; they are not my friends.
    Rudeness, however, is unacceptable.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Hattie Frances's Avatar
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    I agree with "DogHouseMom "totally". If you want my money act like it.

  8. #8
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    I like to be greeted and helped when I ask for it. Don't really care for being followed around though. Usually the shops are small so it is not hard to tell if someone needs assistance. I do like to be reminded about matching thread and told about items on sale.

    And I agree about parking being available. So many quilt shops have limited parking and I won't go very often if I can't park close. I hate those little strip malls that have 10 spots for all the shops.

    Must admit, it is nice to be remembered from one visit to the next. I realize they have quite a few customers, but it I come in on a fairly regular basis, it is nice to have some sort of recognition.
    Last edited by quiltingcandy; 08-13-2012 at 01:22 PM.

  9. #9
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    Well, I only have one local quilt shop (its still a 55 mile trip to get there) - they are very friendly- have helped tremendously when picking fabric - the shop owner and her husband work there together - I go in so much - they know me when I walk in. Often times, they will give me a 1/4 yd or more for free - if there isn't much left on a bolt that I want. I love my LQS - don't really shop at others except for online shops.

  10. #10
    Senior Member kristakz's Avatar
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    Friendly staff. This is number one for me. If the staff is interested in what I'm making, and eager to share opinions (when asked) or help matching fabric, that is what I want in my quilt shop. There is one locally that I used to really like - but I realize now that it was mostly one of the staff I liked. She ohs and ahs over everything you bring in, and is a wiz at picking fabrics.

  11. #11
    Super Member franc36's Avatar
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    I love my local quilt store because, although I am a new quilter, they quickly learned my name and always greet me when I come in the door. They also ask about my 12 year old granddaughter who purchases fabric there. The store is well supplied with quilting materials and the spacious store is well organized. The parking is excellent. When I need help in selecting fabrics, someone is always there to help me. When I travel, I always visit quilt stores. I look for things that my local store does not stock. I always find something to like about the stores I visit even if they are small and crowded with poor parking. The only thing that really turns me off is staff who are talking to each other and ignoring customers.

  12. #12
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    I like going to new shops to see things my LQS doesn't stock. Price is also a major factor for me. I'm fortunate that I'm reasonably close (1 1/2 hr) to Lancaster, PA. I only shop for projects - not stash. So I'm usually spending a reasonable amount of $$ when I buy. I like staff that knows their store and their products - yes, that fabric is here; no, sorry, we don't have that...would you like to see this? But as someone else said, I'm not overly concerned if they are particularly friendly - just not rude.

  13. #13
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    Friendly staff and a good selection. I judge the store by its vibe. Good vibes call me back - negative vibes keep me away.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  14. #14
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    The shop has to be bright and very clean. Lots of finished projects and quilts displayed. Nice book selection and plenty of pre cuts. All the quilt magazines. A big notion wall of items not found at discount stores. Friendly sales people that know when not to hover but when to direct me to new things. A store that if I spend $5 or $500 I know I'm welcome.
    Got fabric?

  15. #15
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    The LQS in Texas I go to in the winter couldn't be more friendly. The owner sure makes you feel Welcome. She is always glad when it's time for us to return. My husband and I sometimes go and sit and visit for an hour or two. She even makes him feel welcome. That's Texas Friendlyness.

  16. #16
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    You could ask the questioner what they mean by worth going to. What would they consider worth it.
    Peace is one of His greatest gifts.

  17. #17
    Super Member Sandygirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lisalovesquilting View Post
    You could ask the questioner what they mean by worth going to. What would they consider worth it.
    True, I should ask that question back to the people who ask me. Interesting...not one response to my question had anything to do with how large / small the store was, nor how many bolts they might have, etc. Friendly, knowledgeable staff apparently ranks very high. I know that each store offers a unique take on quilting irregardless of the size of the shop. That is what I find to be 'worth" it. Everyones' taste in fabric differs but we all agree, we love fabric! It is always "worth" stopping in a store to see for oneself if it is a place to shop and return to.
    sandy
    Sandygirl

    Janome 9900 / Janome 9700 / Janome Decor 3050 / Janome 1100D serger
    Singer Centennial model (inherited from my late, fav aunt!)

  18. #18
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    I give them a description of my experience and let them make up their own mind if it’s worth going to. I might say it’s in a bad part of town but the prices and selection are great. The staff are so helpful when I need help coordinating fabrics. They have a large selection of hard to find old Thimbleberries designs. They’ve got great classes. They are a Bernina dealer.

    I wouldn't want them to drive 50 miles, be dissatisfied and grumpy because I told them it was “worth it.”



  19. #19
    Senior Member pinkcastle's Avatar
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    A good selection is great. As long as the staff is professional, they don't have to be super friendly. I tend to like choosing my own fabrics so I don't tend to rely on them to help me with selecting fabric. That being said, a shop that has a more friendly atmosphere will draw me back.

  20. #20
    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    All of the above are factors, but one thing I always remember about a shop is the display quilts. I love to see quilts that are different in design. And I hate to see unquilted tops on display. Come on, get it quilted!

  21. #21
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    The LQS that I have within driving distance (1 hour) ALL seem to act that if you don't know what pattern you will be using the fabric for, then they have no way to help you and that you are a "hopeless customer". I buy all my fabric on whim as I design my quilts. I've never used a pattern. I don't want someone trying to select fabric for me to buy unless I ask about a particular color or design. I don't want a sales clerk acting as if it is a bother to wait on me, that she has something more important to do. I don't want her comments on my fabric selections. Usually if I buy 4 pieces of fabric they will be for 4 seperate projects. I like a store with a super large selection not just limited to cotton fabrics - sometimes I want texture in my quilt tops beside those that I have stitched into it. And a rude clerk only has one visit from me.

  22. #22
    Super Member TexasSunshine's Avatar
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    I agree with DogHouseMom, she covered it all. There is a shop like that in our area.
    Texas Sunshine, piney woods of NE Texas

  23. #23
    Super Member Neesie's Avatar
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    One thing that will drive me away, is a salesperson being dishonest about something. Hate it when one tells me such-and-such is "no good," just because they don't sell it.
    Neesie


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  24. #24
    Super Member DogHouseMom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dunster View Post
    All of the above are factors, but one thing I always remember about a shop is the display quilts. I love to see quilts that are different in design. And I hate to see unquilted tops on display. Come on, get it quilted!
    Agree with you there ... but not really high on my list. My favorite shop shows primarily unfinished tops. My least favorite shop probably has the best display of quilts (finished) as they have a 2nd floor with balcony that circles most of the main floor so they're draped over the balcony. They also have the largest selection of fabric and books (only so so on notions), but their staff really puts me off. I only go there when I can't find something somewhere else.
    May your stitches always be straight, your seams always lie flat, and your grain never be biased against you.

    Sue

  25. #25
    Super Member Dolphyngyrl's Avatar
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    large selection of different types of patterns fabric books notions etc , friendly courteous knowledgeable staff always willing to help, lots of different classes with great teachers, good sale, and discounts, flexible hours for those that work

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