Posted on

Quilt Market Aftermath

Aftermath

Now that quilt market is over, how do you actually follow through with all those good ideas and big plans?

The aftermath from quilt market, all those samples, being behind at work, and figuring out how to stay inspired, is a problem we all face.

Once you catch up on sleep, organize your life, and start prioritizing and tackling your to-do list, you’ll still have to turn those big ideas into actions. Here are some tips on how to stay inspired so those non-time-sensitive tasks don’t fall by the wayside.

Staying inspired

Since inspiration is a big level idea, the ways to stay inspired are big level too. A good way to keep the motivation after quilt market alive is through your vision. What do you envision your business becoming? How do you envision getting there?

Another way to not fall in to the same rut is finding what motivates you. If that’s money, then that’s okay! Find something concrete to help measure your progress so you can see your ideas to fruition.

Stay healthy

Oddly enough, when reading what keeps other people inspired, the topic of health came up more than once. This makes sense though! If you prioritize a healthy diet and exercise, not only will you feel better, but the endorphines released during your workout last well beyond the 30 minutes of your routine.

Life often seems like a never ending to-do list. But when that to-do list has purpose behind it, it doesn’t seem as daunting. Living a balanced life while trying to accomplish our goals sometimes feels like an extreme sport, but as we entrepreneurs know, the reward is so worth it.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

 

Posted on

Finding the Perfect Exit

Exit strategy

This topic may not be something you want to think about, but it’s something every small business owner will have to confront; what is your exit strategy?

An exit strategy is exactly what it sounds, an outline of what will happen to your business when you leave. The goal is for the transition to be as smooth as possible.

There is no right or wrong reason for wanting to leave your small business, but the best exit strategy is making the best decision for your business.

Exit strategy options

  • Lifestyle entrepreneur. Although this isn’t technically an exit strategy, reframing your business plan from growth to stability is an option if you have a steady income.
  • Give the business to a family member. This tactic, also known as having a “legacy,” is great if you have a family member who wants to do what you do. What’s even better is the extra time you have to groom your successor for the position.
  • Find an acquirer. This option is for those who don’t have a legacy, but want to take care of their employees. Remember when it comes to negotiating that your employees came to work for you, not necessarily the business.
  • Get bought out by current employees. This option typically goes a little smoother than the latter option, but don’t forget that different management can have growing pains come with it. It’s also easier to negotiate staying on and working part time if you’ve worked with your successor in the past.
  • Sell your stake. The most “business-as-usual” strategy is to sell your stake to a partner.
  • Plan an IPO. Only 7,000 out of every 1,000,000 companies go with this option, but the more you know.
  • Liquidate the business. This is the most final and no-strings attached option. The cash you make from liquidating will need to go to any debts or unpaid bills, so if making money from your exit strategy is what you want there may be better options.
  • File for bankruptcy. Although nobody wants this, it is an option during times of trouble. Remember, it’s not the end of the world.

Questions to ask yourself

How long do you want to stay in the business? Don’t get offended by this question, everyone wants to enjoy retirement eventually! This will help determine the best option for you.

What are you financial goals? When it comes to planning (and let’s be honest, running the business) this is one of the most important questions. Knowing the answer to this before consulting with your lawyer or accountant will make your choice much more clear than if you go in unprepared.

Of course American Quilt Retailer wishes you the best of luck in your retail endeavors, but we’re also here to help with whatever question you may have. Feel free to comment below what’s helped you the most with your exit strategy.

 


Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the opening session at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! Their Schoolhouse Series includes breakout sessions and an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from the people who make, design, or write about the products you sell. Register to attend today.

Posted on

Quilt Market Boot Camp

Boot Camp

What’s a Quilters Boot Camp? Do you want to own a quilt shop? Is that your lifetime dream? We have a must-attend event for you coming up in mid-May.

Build your retail muscle in this spring quilt market boot camp

If you’re attending spring Quilt Market in Kansas City, don’t miss your chance to learn from seasoned industry veterans Pepper Cory, Cathy McKillip, and Janice Pope in “The Power of Three – A Blueprint for Success from a Trio of Experienced Quilt Professionals” on Wednesday, May 15 from 9 AM-4 PM.

In this day-long Boot Camp, the three experts will provide insight, business advice, and guidance from their individual perspectives and cumulative knowledge. Providing a mix of corporate business background, quilt shop ownership, and a healthy dose of creative solutions to employee and customer problems, this is the place to get answers.

Receive a guide of “How to Shop at Quilt Market” plus a marketing system for successful shop owners that will grow your business by 15%! Focus sessions include hosting events in your store, improving your customers’ shopping experience, handling difficult customers and “weirdo” employees, and more. Receive a book filled with strategies that can be customized for your business’ success. Leave with a personalized blueprint for actions to take as soon as you get back home. This panel will help you navigate problems and share solutions. And by the way—there will be fabulous door prizes!

About the presenters

Pepper Cory: Longtime quilter, former shop owner, author of seven books (and counting) and present-day fabric designer and teacher, Pepper brings her knowledge to the table with a side helping of humor.

Pepper Cory-boot camp

Cathy McKillip: Daughter of a quilter and seamstress since she was a girl, Cathy McKillip left her high-power corporate job to buy a quilt shop and opened April’s Fool Day 2007. Since then she’s never looked back!

Cathy McKillip-boot camp

Janice Pope: An entrepreneur since childhood, Janice has managed a quilt store, repaired antique quilts, owns a pattern company, and is currently a fabric sales representative. Her store owner customers love her advice and assistance.

Janice Pope-boot camp


Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the opening session at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! Their Schoolhouse Series includes breakout sessions and an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from the people who make, design, or write about the products you sell. Register to attend today.

Posted on

Schoolhouse Series

Schoolhouse Series

Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the premier and opening session of the Schoolhouse Series at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City.

This year’s quilt market officially runs May 17 – May 19, but the Schoolhouse Series starts May 16 at 10:00 a.m. Be sure to check in before, and breakout sessions begin immediately after.

The goal of the Schoolhouse Series is to provide quilt industry professionals opportunities for increased profitability through education.

Five business experts will help present during AQR’s session over topics including marketing, branding, social media, business coaching, and finance. The goal of this premiere session is to get you started with a mindset inspired to move to action.

Schoolhouse Experts

Here is a breakdown of the opening session presenters:

  1. Life coach Beth Montpas. Beth spent 20 years as a small business owner and now helps women regain confidence saying, “if you don’t like the part you’re playing in your life story, you can write a new script!” Certified by the John Maxwell Team, Beth is a frequent public speaker and contributor to AQR.
  2. Consumer anthropologists Rich Kizer and Georgeanne Bender. This duo has been helping businesses since 1990 while making appearances on MSNBC’s Your Business. They’ve also been named two of Retailing’s Most Influential People saying “Consumers can buy what you sell in any number of places so the experience with you has to be a stand out, every time.”
  3. CEO Leann Pressly. This self-proclaimed #bosslady is CEO of Stitchcraft Marketing and does consulting for craft companies. Leann pulls from her over 20 years of experience to give tips on both Stitchcraft’s blog and podcast and has spoke at such conferences as AFCI.
  4. Consultant Sommer Sharon. Sommer is a long-time business owner who’s company, Sleigh Consulting, specializes in search engine optimization and digital marketing.
  5. Business savvy Tom Shay. Tom offers business help and advice through a variety of platforms including through his website, podcast, speaking engagements, and articles. Tom gets more than anyone what it’s like to own a small business, so that’s why he created Profits Plus, a tool to help small business owners everywhere.

Register Today

The first 800 attendees get an exclusive article by American Quilt Retailer (available only after quilt market for purchase) and 400 blue bags stocked full of giveaways. Check out the link in the signature to register today.


Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the opening session at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! Their Schoolhouse Series includes breakout sessions and an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from the people who make, design, or write about the products you sell. Register to attend today.

Posted on

Declutter Your Digital Space

Declutter

It’s easy to remember to declutter your home when it’s a daily reminder, and easier to ignore one of the tools you use everyday—your computer.

Plan some time this Friday afternoon to clean up your digital space, within one day you’ll notice how less stressful your life feels.

Tips to declutter

  • Unsubscribe from emails you never read. Even notifications can be distracting and contribute to the everyday stress you feel. When you check your email you won’t even notice those subscriptions are gone.
  • Clean your desktop. That’s right, you should actually be able to see the background image on your desktop. It may have been years since you’ve been able to do this, but an organized desktop is the best time saver you can do for yourself.
  • Turn off notifications. If it really is important enough to check, you will.
  • Upgrade your systems. That’s right, the next time a reminder to upgrade pops up on your computer, don’t press ignore. Upgrading makes sure your computer has the best and safest software.
  • Download screen time monitoring apps. The nice things about these apps is they allow you to specify how much time you spend on what sorts of things, ie social media, learning, work, etc. We all know blue light isn’t good for our eyes so try to make the most of the time spent looking at it productive.

Increase digital space

  • Uninstall software. The easiest way to figure out how to do this is to Google it, this trick is more preventative as it will free space down the road.
  • Delete your downloads. Continuing on with the preventative tips, delete your download folder. This will save open up even more space and may also speed up your system.

Decluttering your digital space will make you feel more organized than you realize. Nothing is better than knowing exactly where something is, and these tips will help you get there.


Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the opening session at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! Their Schoolhouse Series includes breakout sessions and an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from the people who make, design, or write about the products you sell. Register to attend today.

Posted on

Think Outside the Box

Class ideas

Is it difficult for you to decide what classes your quilt shop should offer? This blog post is all about outside-the-box class ideas your community is guaranteed to love.

Class Ideas Everyone Will Love

  1. Flower arranging. There is beauty in every day things and flowers are full of that beauty. This craft is sure to attract both current creative customers and new creatives too. I remember this class being a hit back in my university days and currently with the Minneapolis Institute of Art offering a similar event with a twist. Invite your local greenhouse gardeners to help make this class a hit.
  2. Cocktail lab. With opportunities to make this class seasonal, this also provides another way to get outside community business owners involved. Have bartenders from your favorite local restaurant help attendees learn about flavors and pairings, how to make their most-sold drinks, and more.
  3. Watercolor. This craft is a great entry for those wanting to learn how to paint. This class could be a series, or a girls night out. With minimal set up and supplies needed, a quick rearrangement of your shop makes your business the perfect venue.
  4. Dancing. When was the last time you and your partner danced? After a class of movement (and remembering how to waltz), you’ll also remember how much fun it used to be for you. This course is great for all ages—consider pairing youth with elderly, or having a couple classes for different age groups.

What classes have worked for you? Share in the comments below what continues to be a hit for your shop!


Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the opening session at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! Their Schoolhouse Series includes breakout sessions and an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from the people who make, design, or write about the products you sell. Register to attend today.

Posted on

Why You Should Shop at Small Businesses

Small Business

I know I’m preaching to the choir here, but this post serves as a reminder to how supporting small and local businesses impacts you and your community. Feel free to share with your customers the next time the topic comes up!

Small businesses define communities

Think back to when you were a child – what stores do you remember and why do you remember them? Likely these stores were a staple of your community, that also happened to have great products. Local businesses add character to a neighborhood, and provide it’s employees freedom that large companies stifle. Thanks to this, innovation is more likely to thrive in a small business. Do you remember the last time you were sad hearing of a business that closed down? Small businesses become more than just an economic driver and add to the well-being of a community.

Small businesses have better service

Local businesses face many challenges to stay afloat in their respective marketplaces, marketplaces that are only becoming increasingly more competitive. Because of this, you’re likely to receive better and more personalized service; this means you’ll never be put on hold when you call and they’re going to know your name when you walk in. You’ll never have to worry about who’s interests are being met, whether it be stockholders, boards, or an algorithm, small businesses have your needs in mind.

According to Forbes, shopping at small businesses is a sign of respect, not only for the product but for the owners, too. It takes a lot of work and heart to get something going, and supporting that benefits all parties involved. Share your tips below on how you encourage others to support local businesses, and what small businesses have inspired you.


Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the opening session at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! Their Schoolhouse Series includes breakout sessions and an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from the people who make, design, or write about the products you sell. Register to attend today.

Posted on

Check Out Your Checkout

Checkout

Have you ever thought about what your checkout counter should or shouldn’t have? When you think about it, it’s the most important part of your store (aside from the window display, but that’s encouraging business from the outside in). By the time customers make it to checkout, they’re ready to spend their hard earned cash on the products you’ve provided. Here are some ideas to make the most of that space.

  • Encourage impulse buys. This is a great place to put gift cards and small, must need items. Examples include thimbles, rotary cutters, needles, and other quilting notions. Anything you can think of that would nicely round out a crafting project should be placed here.
  • Spice up the place. Adding a plant to the counter or quotes that inspire you are easy ways to do this. This is also a great place to put seasonal decorations, and to make a statement with your personal style. Having art on the counter can transform the entire room. Also make sure you have great lighting here, too.
  • Advertise. This is the one place in the store customers are static and attentive. If you’ve been thinking about adding a TV to your store, behind the checkout counter is the perfect place to do it. Have a slideshow of different store products run all day. If you’d rather skip this, then definitely put your social media handles in the vicinity to grow your social following.

What else can I add to my checkout?

If you contribute to a charitable cause, your checkout is a perfect place to display that, and to encourage others to donate. Every business has a checkout counter, so take note of what they include and what you’ve bought last second. Talking to other business owners is always a great way to get ideas. Share your thoughts by commenting below; let us know what has worked for you.


Have you heard the news? American Quilt Retailer is hosting the opening session at spring Quilt Market in Kansas City! Their Schoolhouse Series includes breakout sessions and an opportunity to gain firsthand knowledge from the people who make, design, or write about the products you sell. Register to attend today.

Posted on

Industry Changes

Industry Changes

The quilting industry, like anything, is constantly changing. These changes vary from learning how to promote your business on social media or building a website, but there are still trends that affect your brick-and-mortar store.

A Sustainable Industry

Consumers are becoming more aware of where their products come from and how they are made. Nobody feels happy about giving money to a company who makes goods out of sweat shops, or a company with blatant disregard on their waste. How much do you know about the products you carry? How could you go about finding out more about their carbon footprint?

Payment

Consider how many customers wrote you checks this month, compared to 10 years ago. I would guess the amount of electronic transactions your business receives (and let’s be honest, gives) has drastically declined. Look into different payment options; does your store have an iPad that could benefit from Square? Has anyone asked you recently if you accept Apple pay? Does setting up direct deposit to pay your employees make more sense?

Customer Data

Online customers and in-store customers are equally important. How much do you know about the purchasing history of people who walk into your store? What customers prefer shopping online? Who does both? With multiple ways to get to your product, it’s important to keep tabs on this information so you can tailor an amplified experience when a customer comes in your door.

People who say retail is dying is missing the point; what is retail but an experience? Those who can maximize the experience for the customer while maintaining their brand are the retail stores that will continue to thrive.

Of course, there are many trends that effect the way customers shop, and how stores can meet their needs. Leave a comment if you’ve noticed any changes or have any suggestions.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

Posted on

Meet Apron Strings Quilt Shop

Apron Strings Quilt Shop
Located in historic downtown Maysville, Kentucky, Apron Strings Quilt Shop is a 2017 Better Homes & Gardens Quilt Sampler Featured Shop. In 2013, Apron Strings relocated their shop to Maysville, a traditional small town “river town” with a charming historic downtown area.

Shop Owner: Mary Honaker
Address and phone number: 52 West 2nd Street, Maysville, KY 41056 (606)584.7414
Region of the country: Southeast Central USA
Years in business: We have been open 12 years, as of July 2019.
Types of special services offered:
We sell quilting fabric and notions in a happy friendly environment. We also offer a small selection of Janome sewing machines and provide longarm quilting services, too.
Number of employees: ASQS has one almost full time and four part time employees, in addition to myself.
Social media info: We are active on Facebook and Instagram. We have a twitter account, but frankly, I use too many words to tweet!
Website: www.apronstringsquiltshop.com
Facebook: facebook.com/ApronStringsQuiltShop
Instagram: instagram.com/ApronStringsQuiltShop
Twitter: twitter.com/HappyQuiltShop

How wide of an area does your store draw customers from?
With a geographic location so relatively close to Cincinnati, Ohio and Lexington, Kentucky we regularly draw customers from both of those regions. Much like our local folks will take a trip to “the city” to buy fabric at some of the great shops in the Cincinnati area or the Lexington area, those folks come to visit us too. Part of the fun is the journey, right?

Do you find your proximity to Paducah is an asset or a distraction? We are still more than five hours from Paducah, so it doesn’t really impact us on a regular basis. When we are nearing the spring show, however, many of our regional folks that go to Paducah will start saving their fun money to take to the show, so we won’t see them as often. Many times they come back and show me the great stuff they bought at the show … that we also have on our shelves. Again, part of the fun is the journey.

How did you choose the colors for the interior of your store? I’ve always been a “blue” girl, but a chance encounter with aqua at a gift shop several years ago led me to my love affair with Tantalizing Teal from Sherwin Williams that is going strong after seven years. Even my daily travel mug and computer cover are nearly the exact color of my shop walls! (Sometimes, my mug “disappears” into the aqua abyss!)

What do you find are some ongoing challenges you need to deal with regularly? When we first started renting our current space, the original family that owned our building was still in possession of it. Although it was for sale, there hadn’t even been any legitimate offer made on the space in over seven years. It had been basically storage for some building supplies and other things. After getting it all cleaned up and painted, we had been open exactly six months (to the day) when someone came in and fell in love with our building. By some amazing stroke of luck, that deal didn’t happen, but shortly thereafter, the building sold. The original family was gracious enough to include us as part of the conditions of their transaction. We were to remain in the space for two years without any type of rent increase. About six months after our two years had passed, the second owner decided he was going to put the building up for sale, so we had to go through that agonizing experience again. We were fortunate enough to sign another two-year lease that was agreed upon by the purchaser. Thankfully, the current owner is remodeling an adjacent space in our building for his own offices.

Although we are going through some demolition and re-construction side effects, I think we will be all the better for having someone with a vested interest in building maintenance occupying the same building. He has also expressed that they have no interest in the shop leaving.

Otherwise, my ongoing challenges are the same as I’m sure we all face. How do we stay relevant? How do we continue to appeal to new quilters, while keeping our more experienced customers challenged? More recently my challenge has been with balancing work and family life. My mother is aging, so I want to make sure I’m available for her. I also feel like while working to grow our business, I’ve become less and less available for maintaining friend relationships that are outside of the industry. I’ve been making more of a concerted effort to devote some time for relationships outside of the shop.

You create a lot of kits for your store. What are some of the components you feel are important in including in them? Most importantly, I want to ensure that everything that is supposed to be in our kit is in our kit. I also want a kit to make life EASIER for our customers. They shouldn’t have to figure out what we used where. Labeling all of the components helps to ensure a good experience. Frankly, it’s a LOT of extra work. Sometimes I jokingly think that this would be a great service to provide to other shops.

Which social media platforms do you use the most and how have you trained your customers to look there first? I use Facebook and Instagram. Facebook is still the most used platform, although I feel like there was some sort of step away (in general) from Facebook for a lot of people. I believe it was prompted by too much political drama but many people have enjoyed the departure and didn’t come back. I still see more interaction from actual customers (both near and far) from Facebook than with IG.

What are the store successes you’re most proud of? I feel like our shop still has miles to go but just the fact that we’ve been able to reach some of the milestones we have never fails to amaze me. When you consider that I opened a quilt shop in 2007 and didn’t sew a stitch at that time to being able to sustain nearly 12 years of business, while gaining a loyal brick and mortar customer base and a small but growing online customer base, is truly humbling. We’ve been able to garner some national press both in print and online, and each time I question whether they meant to contact us. I was brought up to not talk about yourself, so it’s been difficult at times to realize that when I’m promoting the shop, I’m not bragging about me. The work that my staff and I have put into the shop has created an environment that people want to experience. That’s a pretty cool thing! If I’m not willing to shout that from the roof tops, then who will?

How has your store evolved since your first day? We met with our very first industry rep in early 2007. I asked Kim Polson (Moda) “so do you think 50 bolts will be enough to open a quilt shop?” She looked me squarely in the eyes and said “no” in a very sisterly kind of way. She was so informative, supportive, and honest. I knew from that moment that she was my go-to gal when I needed information that wasn’t sugar coated. She is forever entwined in our quilt shop story. When we moved our shop to Maysville we got another great Moda rep, Mark Pytel. It took me a while to get past being required to change reps. Mark is also an important part of our story with his ability to connect the dots and present opportunities that we might have otherwise missed.

Speaking of change, our first six years in Flemingsburg we were a very small very traditional shop. It was supportive of what the ladies in the area were interested in using to create their beautiful quilts. We decided to move the shop from the small rural community of Flemingsburg, Kentucky just a short drive away to Maysville, Kentucky. Many of the core customer group that had supported us originally in Flemingsburg had stopped sewing as often. Some had stopped sewing at all. I decided that if we were going to close, I wanted to know that I had done everything that I could to make the shop work. This meant trusting my own instincts in ordering, presentation, displays, and customer service. It also meant I needed to be present much more than working full time had allowed me to be. I quit my full-time job as a high school video production teacher, moved the shop to a bigger location, and became the full time shop owner/operator.

Although we still have traditional fabrics represented, I focused my ordering on two words: Bright & Happy. Things that made me smile to look at. Fabrics that would attract new sewists. Prints that were modern-ish, but not in a way that were too far out of the box for our customer base. We ramped up our pre-cut selection. We created an atmosphere where you are welcomed, and hopefully inspired. We painted our walls aqua with a splash of lime green on the upper level. We made sure our kits were never just thrown together in a bag. We revamped our logo. We created classes and events that catered to folks that were beginners, new mothers, new grandmothers, teenagers, retirees, or anyone else that wanted success and a tribe of people to be their cheering squad.

We hired employees that were younger and have different ways of thinking so we could see things from a different perspective on not only fabric, but also social issues. We don’t always agree, but it’s okay. (For the record, matters of religion, politics, societal injustices, etc. aren’t discussed by staff around customers.) My point is that I have a different view on some of these issues than the amazing ladies that are older than I am who operated the shop while I worked full time. The girls who are younger have different viewpoints than I do. We can all learn from each other and hopefully be able to assist all our customers from a place of greater understanding …  that even if we don’t agree about everything, we can still create and supportively coexist in this space.

What has been the most surprising part of owning a store? There is NEVER a moment where you can safely feel like you’ve reached your goals. There’s always something else to learn. Something else to achieve. Something else to dust. Because of that, you’ve got to do your best and know that it’s okay if it doesn’t all happen today.

Do you take business classes, either online or locally? I had a few business classes in college but this shop wasn’t even a “what-if” at that point in time. I do read a lot of blogs, business magazines, etc. but I’ve not had any real training of any ongoing nature. (Wait – does learning from your mistakes count?)

Do you bring in designers as teachers for special events? How far in advance do you plan these? Do you have some tips? A few years ago, we took over the planning for our regional quilt show. Since that time we have brought in at least one nationally known “sew-lebrity” to teach and lecture at that event. The best case scenario is to start planning for the next event right after the last event is over. That’s not always practical if you are wearing a lot of hats. I guess my best piece of advice is to have a plan B, and also a plan C … and then be willing to roll with the changes while everything that you’ve planned on falls apart. It will fall back together. Hopefully, the grace you’ve extended to someone else will be returned to you when you need it. And trust me – you will need it.

What jobs do you expect employees to do and which do you do yourself? How do you delegate the work? I expect everyone to be able to assist customers. Everyone should be cleaning when something needs done. Otherwise, myself and one other employee handle the website/point of sale input. That employee also does most of our longarm quilting. The two ladies that ran the shop while I worked take care of most of our sample creation now. They also come back in for special events like shop hops or quilt show week. I’m horrible at delegating, so I’ve been fortunate that on MOST days, things fall into a groove and we all find the space we are needed for most.

What kind of store security precautions do you take? We have two sets of security cameras. One that is just on while we are gone, and one that runs all the time. Both can be viewed remotely. We are in a relatively safe area, so there are probably some security issues that I should have a plan for that I naively haven’t addressed yet.

When you have a day off, what do you typically do? Who manages the store when you’re out? I’d love to say I sleep in and then watch tv or read a book. However, at some point I lost the ability to sleep in. I miss it! I typically will cook a great comfort food kind of meal. You know – the kind you can’t pull off in an hour after work. Laundry is also always on the agenda. I get the biggest sense of satisfaction for the 20 minutes that my laundry is absolutely completely finished.

Do you have a hobby that isn’t sewing related? Aerosmith. Weird hobby, I know. I’ve been an obsessed fan since I was 12. I’ve seen them 50 plus times in concert. We have shop posts on band members birthdays. Sometimes, we have cake at the shop to share with customers! I know it’s not professional, but it’s who I am. Our RowByRow was Steven Tyler’s Mic Stand.

What do you want your customers to feel when they come in the store? I want them to feel like they can do it! I want them to feel happy, and to feel comfortable. I most of all want them to feel inspired.

QT FabricsThank you to our Open for Business sponsor
QT Fabrics for making this feature possible.