Inspiring Quilters, Stitch by Stitch
How far would you go for a fabric?! In my quest to open a quilt shop I have discovered an amazing farmhouse newly updated, but its about 20 miles outside of the small farming town, that is about 20 miles outside of the central Town. (the rural portion of the suburb- so-to-speak).
funny you should say that. I drive about 20 miles. :) the town I live in has no quilt shop, but there is one in a much smaller rural town. any yes, me and many others drive that 20 miles to get fabric, yes we do! she sells Moda.
For anyone living in a rural area, 20 mi. isn't far. We have to drive 10 miles just to get gas or milk! That said, the folks living in cities like their conveniences, especially in poor weather( is there snow in your area?) if so, how is the plowing there?How many other stores in town carry fabric? lf there's a lot of competition, you'll need to make it worth their while, by price, selection, service, or educational resources...plus you'll need to constantly keep yourself "in their face" with ads, newsletters,guild support and so forth.
If you've lived "out of town " before, you already know about some of the inconveniences( no public transit,power outages, no water when power is out), but l'm sure you won't mind a big yard, friendly neighbours, and a lovely setting to display some wonderful quilts and fabrics!
Riana, You are ABSOLUTELY right! Thankfully my business partner lives across the street on the neighboring farm . I have not lived in a farm for over 20 years but remember it well in my youth trying to walk to the bus that was 1/2 mile from our house. :)
Thank you for your input! I truly LOVE the quilting community!
I think part of my answer to the question would be to ask more questions--Do you plan to offer anything unique or novel? Will your shop offer embellishments that art quilters would want, or fabrics that appeal to modern quilters? Classes teaching unique techniques? Offer long-arm quilting classes or maybe long-arm rental times? Open later some evenings? (The answer to that question would be really important to me, as I work days, and quilt shops are often closed when I finally get off work) Will there be room for quilters to socialize, without feeling pressured to shop and get out? Chocolates and coffee?! Seriously, for a welcoming shop that has tables where I can lay out fabrics and coffee to sip while I get a good look at how fabrics work together, I would easily and happily drive 20 miles. If the shop offered beads and other embellishments, i.e. angelina fibers, I would drive even further, as I would only have to go to one great destination, and not try to order on-line, hoping things mix well together.
Ooh!! Good questions and some things we have not yet thought of! I will write them down and see where we go with this.
Thats similar to how it is here!
I went to Barbados,Italy,Texas,Iowa,Kentucky and many other places for fabric. I love to visit shops where ever I travel and for special projects I drive 60 miles because she carries the prints and quality I want. I think quilters go shopping for fabric in may differant places to see what the shops carry,like Minnesota carries the cutest wild life and cabin fabric while Texas has great cowboy and rodeo prints.Build it and they will come.......
Thats sounds amazing! I have hopes to travel like that too!! I have been able to make wine AND fabric trips which has been soo much fun! ;-) When I was in Texas I got there just before the Hancocks closed and was able to take advantage of the fabric sales! I miss that!
The best quilt shop I have found near me is a 1 hour drive, but it has tons of fabric and everything a quilter could want or need, including a couch and TV for the man to watch his sports LOL while we shop :) and a little lunch counter to eat because you could spend hours there ... if you have the variety, people will come, do some research, check out where the nearest quilt shops are, see what they carry, then go a few steps better .. carry lots of lines i.e. Moda, Riley Blake, Michael Miller and I am sure you will do fine :) the best thing is, go for your dream, I think quilting is on the rise
I can not agree more!!! I have this feeling in my gutt that if I am going to do this I need to do it!! I am excited and nervous, but I know it can be done!! So exciting! I will keep you posted! ;-)