This blog has two different audiences – and today I am speaking to both! Quilters – use this holiday season to support your local quilt shop. Quilt shops who don’t sell machines are historically not as busy this time of year because most of you have already made your gifts and are busy cooking, cleaning, decorating – you get the picture!
How can we make this a win/win for everyone? As a shop owner, take a minute to look at your shop through your customers’ eyes. Set up vignettes that will interest everyone!
For those of us who have friends who want to learn to quilt, why not buy them a kit? For instance, the new Stripology Squared #GE-512, ruler by Creative Grids® #CGRGE2 is a perfect companion to the book. Add a bundle of 10″ squares to complete the package.
Go through all of the books and patterns in your store and “kit” everything that is based on fat quarters and other pre-cuts. If they require a specific tool or ruler, include that in the display. And, if you have a sample of it, all the better. Bringing that sample to the forefront may have everyone looking at it with fresh eyes!
One of my favorite families who quilt buy each other a “kit” each year. They pick out a project that they know the other will love. Everyone has a year to finish them – and bring the finished project to the get together the following year. Past “kits” have included a baby quilt for the sister that was going to be a first time grandmother; a collection of musical fabrics for the piano teacher – you get the idea. And what a great tradition! As newbies marry into the family, they are asked to join the group – and taught how to quilt! Talk about paying it forward!
And for that beginner? Have a display of rotary cutters, mats, and rulers as well. Be sure to include lots of gift certificates so they can buy a beginning class to go to with their new tools. Be sure to include some beginning patterns such as Yellow Brick Road and kits to go with them.
Have written copies of your class schedule that starts in January so they can give that as part of the gift!
Now, lets move onto stocking stuffers! Go through all of your notions, buttons, and embellishments and make a display that is eye appealing!
Last but not least, tell your customers that you are ready for them! Facebook is your friend! My best idea? Ask your customers to come in and fill out a wishlist. Have them give you their spouses email. Then, send their significant other an email with the items on the wishlist and prices. Offer to get everything together and wrap it for them. Be their one stop shop!!! And don’t forget to ask them if they want to add a gift certificate to the order. Believe me – they will be so thrilled they will actually be buying something that their partner wants, that they will be thanking you – and want to repeat this for other holidays!
Ready, set, go! Wishing you all a great weekend!