Meet the Vendors – Part One

My favorite part of Open House is working with our vendors!  It is like going to summer camp.  Within three days, we all become friends and establish relationships that will benefit the entire industry for years to come!  And, then we get to share our friends with you!!!

Our event is different because it is all based on education!  All of the vendors are there to answer questions, teach you about their products, and give you demo and class ideas that you can take back to your shops and embrace immediately!  Why not learn from the best????  I will go into more detail about each vendor in later posts, but I couldn’t resist sharing more pictures of an incredible event – and my favorite tip!

Marti Michel

Marti gave a lecture on Sunday and had a booth so she could share her products, demos and class ideas one on one with our customers for two days!  She has so many products, I can’t simply focus on one:  //www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=marti+michel&relatedto=

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Annie Unrein of Patterns by Annie

Annie gave a Saturday lecture and also manned a booth for two days.  I learned so much from her!  Did you know that her zippers have wider tape on each side so you can sew a one quarter inch seam on each side without hitting the zipper pull or stop????  Genius:  //www.checkerdist.com/products/search?page=7&sort=score

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Kathy and Gerald Purdy of Steady Betty

These folks drove all the way from Texas to take part in this event – and were an absolute delight.  I love all of their products but did not know if I press machine or hand embroidery on their pressing pads,there is no puckering or shadow through – and they hold the fabric when hooping!  To see all of their products:  //www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=Steady+Betty&relatedto=

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Sue Marsh and Bernie Wing of Whistlepig Creek

Their iPad or Kindle cover is the perfect class for quick and easy Christmas presents.  It is a great opportunity to teach your customers about interfacings – and the cover can be embellished in a multitude of ways.  Your customers will be making them by the dozen!  You will love their other patterns and books as well:  //www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=whistlepig&relatedto=

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Sue and Herb Hausmann

Sue can sell anything because she knows the best products – and can tell you why you need them!  Her tip – the Frixion pens now come in clickable versions.  In Sue’s words, “Why would you buy the other version when you loose the cap all of the time?”  Well, Sue, good point:  //www.checkerdist.com/products/F5765

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Susan O’Very of Sealed with a Stitch

I don’t have an embroidery machine – but now I want one!  Susan’s designs are so well done and reasonably priced that all shops should carry them!  Even if you don’t sell machines, your customers own them – so why not have them buy the supporting products from you???  Her quilt label designs are the perfect demo to sell machines:  //www.checkerdist.com/products/search?keywords=Sealed+with+a+Stitch&relatedto=

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If I wouldn’t have come to the Open House, I wouldn’t have learned any of these hints…and each one can be the teachable moment that sets your classes apart from the competition!  It is worth the trip!!!  Join us next year – August 24 – 25, 2014.

 

The Open House – School Houses and Checker You

This year, we offered six school houses over two days so more shop owners would have an opportunity to participate – and did they ever!  The week before, Rob had to redesign the room to hold 30 more people!  That is a great problem to have!!!

Five of these school houses were filmed so they are/will be available on CheckerYOU.   If you are a Checker customer, you have access to CheckerYOU!

To access this information, go to the home page:  //www.checkerdist.com/index.cfm, and click on the CheckerYOU icon.  Use the same number and password that you use to order from our website.

The Checker technology videos and Alex Anderson were posted this week.  Sue Hausmann, Judy Niemeyer and Karen Montgomery will be up this week.  They have even edited the Checker technology video so it is broken down into manageable bites.  We aim to please!

The festivities began with a welcome from the man who has 360 degree vision and sees the importance of technology – Rob Krieger.

He MAY have been slightly influenced by Gina Krieger, the brains behind our website.  She heads the IT department and is constantly inventing new ways to make your life easier!

Checker also prides itself on bringing quality products to independent businesses that are not available in the chains.  Joan Hawley of Lazy Girl Designs launched her new line of interfacings called Sew Lazy which will be distributed exclusively through Checker.  These short bolts make them affordable – and take the confusion out of it for you and your customers.

Karen Montgomery’s talks are always a big draw.  She always shares lots of useful information that you can incorporate into your shop immediately!  I don’t know if she intentionally color coordinated her outfit to match the decor – but I wouldn’t put it past her.  Karen always thinks of everything!!!

Todd Gibson shared how to write a business plan for your business – and take control of your future….

Judy Niemeyer launched her new Creative Grids ruler that makes cutting her Double Wedding Ring quilts a breeze!

She shared how you could become certified shops,

and her new patterns based on a log cabin foundation – I see a new ruler in her future!!!  What a talented lady!

Sue Hausmann was the talk of the show.  We asked her to teach YOU how to sell products like she does when you bring her in for an event.  She sold everything in site! The Swirly Girls had a booth next to her for two days and said they bought two of everything so it became a very expensive trip!!!  And, guess what – she is coming back next year!!!

Alex gave us an up close and personal look at how she became a T.V. – and now cable personality…

We love it when we draw a crowd – and are already talking about what we can do to top this!!!

If there is something you would us to cover, please let us know.  We listen!!!

Why Wait Until Market? Open House Part Three

We are always thrilled when we can offer you an exclusive!  We strive to provide independent quilt shops with quality products that are not available in the chains – and the education to sell them.  In the Patch Designs is a case in point.  They hand-dye beautiful wools that are only available in quilt shops.  The packaging is adorable, the quality is superb, and they will be at the Open House to answer all of your questions about wool!  The wool now comes in 5″ square assortments as well as Chubbies – 16″ squares.

Item #CP4926

We know you don’t just want to buy wool, you want to use it!  So we have invited Stacy West of Buttermilk Basin to participate.  She has several block of the month programs in wool and embroidery that would be great kits.  And, now that Checker carries Valdani pearl cotton, why not offer it for the embroidery???

Item #BMB1084  Retail $9.00

Penny Sturgis will be sharing her techniques that make her purses so special.  Learn what products make her purses look like the designer originals.  After all, they ARE designer originals – that can be made in classes in your store!

Item #PS008  Retail $9.00

Liesl Gibson will be sharing her book and patterns for your favorite child – and share the finishing techniques that add that professional touch.

Item #STC9910-8  Retail $27.50

Mary Pierson of Transfer-Eze will show you how to transfer designs for your favorite embroidery patterns.  What a great addition to your kits…your customers will love it and come back for more.

Item #TE814  Retail $18.95

Lanette Edens of The Gypsy Quilter will be demonstrating a host of products.  Let Lanette teach you how!  She is one of the best demonstrators I have ever seen and will share her tricks with you!

Item #TGQ002  Retail $17.00

Karen Montgomery of The Quilt Company is doing a school house on Monday as well as demonstrating in her booth throughout the show.

Item #TQC272  Retail $8.50

Cathy Wierzbicki will be sharing her two latest members of The Quilter’s Boot notion family.

Item #TTQBOOT  Retail $8.00

And  to top off the event, Sue Hausmann will be demonstrating all of her favorite notions – and teaching you how to do it!

Contact Janis Plomaritis at jplomaritis@www.checkernewsletter.comcheckerdist.com or call her at 419-893-3636  ext. 624 to register.