Bev left a message on the blog and asked how to start a book club – and it got me thinking….
When I owned a shop, my goal was to get people through the door. If I sucked them in, they would see something they just had to have – and a quilter was born! But, in some cases, they didn’t come in to quilt!
In the “old days”, a shop could host a Weight Watchers meeting if you had 20 participants. My shop hosted a weekly meeting. The weight watcher staff set up the scale in a back room so everyone could weigh in privately. Check with your local office for details.
While they were weighing in, I taught the participants how to applique. I designed a simple heart block that they got for free when they signed up for the ten week program.
Each person set a goal – and when they reached it, they received another heart block. Each week I would share new embroidery stitches, new products, etc. while they were waiting – what teacher can resist a captive audience!
We had a walking trail a block from the shop, so some of these women started meeting at the walking trail to fulfill the exercise part of the program.
They became friends, became healthier, and learned to quilt! Who could resist a triple win for everyone!
There are several authors that feature quilts or knitting in their novels: Earlene Fowler; Emilie Richards; and Jennifer Chiaverini come to mind.
Item #95264-0 Retail $25.95
Due out this month!
Many of their books feature traditional quilt patterns. Why not start a Block of the Month program based on these quilt patterns. If they buy the book from you, the 12″ block kit is free – if they don’t, there is a charge for the kit.
Item #24098-4 Retail $25.95
In the book club, teach them how to make the block – and feature the companion items that make it simple. For instance, if the block features half-square triangles, show how to use Triangle Paper on a Roll; the Creative Grids half-square triangle rulers (CGR78 or CGRST3878); or your favorite method. If half-square triangles are featured in more than one block, show them different methods each month – and let them play before they pay! Give them a section of Triangle Paper, for instance, instead of requiring them to buy a whole roll.
Item #MB2647-2 Retail $7.99
Then, while everyone is working on their project, discuss the book!
Make it a party! Incorporate an autograph block so they can sign each other’s quilts. Take a picture of the class and show them how to do photo transfer on fabric . Teaching opportunities are everywhere!
Baby and Bridal Showers
Why not offer a “shower package”? The participants can come and make blocks for a quilt for the guest of honor. Include the price of putting the blocks together, quilting and binding it.
An autograph quilt that can be signed at the wedding would also be great. Think outside of the box so everyone can contribute. What a way to expose people to quilting – their friends invite them into your shop! With a little ingenuity, your customer base will soar!
Why not offer pillow cases that can be colored for a group of children? Visit the Checker website: http://www.checkerdist.com/products/search?v=F185 to see all of the options available.
Or, let your customers know these are available! What a great project for a slumber party!
As a shop owner, have an arsenal of ideas organized so when you are asked for an idea you are ready with the answers. You could even keep a notebook of these ideas and let them leaf through it. Won’t you look impressive!