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Aurifil Goes Plastic Neutral with Plastic Bank

Plastic Bank - Plastic Neutral

Aurifil goes Plastic Neutral through a partnership with the Plastic Bank.

Aurifil, considered the world leading manufacturer of 100% cotton thread, asked themselves what they can do to decrease the plastic footprint they create from the thousands of spools left over from their thread used to create garments, quilts, accessories, art, and more.

As it turns out, Aurifil customers care about the same issue, too. Aurifil was consistently getting asked same questions about what their spools were made of and what customers can do to recycle them.

Although Aurifil encourages consumers to reuse spools, they took a look at the ever-increasing plastic build up in our oceans and knew that step alone wasn’t enough.

Aurifil Goes Plastic Neutral

Going Plastic Neutral

Enter Plastic Bank, a non-profit based in Canada that works to stop ocean plastic while impacting impoverished areas across the globe.

Plastic Bank accomplished their goal by changing plastic to a form of currency. Impoverished communities can exchange collected plastic for money, items, or rewards. By transforming plastic into a form of currency not only does it incentivize collection but makes an economic impact on communities around the globe who are most in need.

The new partnership will offset Aurifil’s plastic production rate by 8000kg. This means that areas around Indonesia, Haiti, the Philippines, and Brazil will clear 8000kg of plastic from their oceans.

Of course you can help the cause too by recycling spools in the traditional sense, or taking note from Kate Brennan, sales and customers serivce at Aurifil, who uses empty spools to store binding.

Individuals have the opportunity to go plastic neutral too, find out more at the Plastic Bank.

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.


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Threads of Success Registration Open

Threads of Success Registration Open

The wait is over! Registration for this year’s highly anticipated event at Quilt Market, Threads of Success, is now open.

The event takes place from October 25th through the 28th at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Houston, Texas.

Threads of Success will include 35 breakout sessions that include opportunities for networking, lectures from keynote speakers, and educational features.

Geared toward industry entrepreneurs, the sessions will cover topics including writing, inventing, pattern design, Focus Tracks of Fabric Designers, accounting, copyright law, and more.

Of course anyone is welcome at the stand-alone conference but the event will be extremely beneficial to anyone breaking into the industry.

22 industry leaders have already been announced as speakers including Tula Pink of Tula Pink, Inc., Jennifer Keltner of Martingale, Christa Watson of Christa Quilts, and more.

Some of these speakers will present during one of the conference’s three breakfast and two luncheons.

The conference also includes a mentorship program with well-known names in the business and exclusive access to the Quilt Market trade show on the last day of exhibits.

Schoolhouse Series

Registration for Schoolhouse Series is also available upon registration to Threads of Success.

Schoolhouse Series includes over 250 sessions offered in 15-30 minute intervals on October 25th. The information-filled forum provides opportunities for manufacturers, designers, retailers, and veterans of the industry to display new products and techniques.

Both of these events give attendees insider access to a wealth of knowledge. Industry professionals will help you find out how to get published, avoid costly mistakes, market yourself, expand your creative network, and so much more.

Registration for Threads of Success costs $750 for the four day event.

For a complete list of classes and events, check out their website.

Continue reading Threads of Success Registration Open

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How you know it’s time for expansion

Expansion - is it time?

Are you wondering if it’s time to grow your business? Check out these six signs to see if expansion is the best option for you.

  • You’re bored. Do the days feel like you’re stuck in a rut? Maybe it’s time for a challenge, and one challenge that will get you off the hamster wheel is seeing if expanding is the best option for you.
  • You’re overworked. You gotta make money to spend money, and if you’re doing work that could be delegated to someone else, think about hiring someone part time. With that extra time you could find more ways to make money.
  • You’re in high demand. Do you have to schedule orders weeks in advance? Are you having to turn customers away because you’re out of stock? This is a tell-tale sign to find ways to partner to make sure everyone leaves your store happy.
  • You’re profitable. If you’re making a profit in the hundreds (or even thousands) consistently, you are ready to expand. If your profits aren’t trending, then wait a while until they do. Read this article from Forbes to find out more.
  • You have opportunities. Has someone contacted you for a larger than usual order? Are people wanting to partner? Jump on that opportunity before it goes away (after all you never know when it will come again).
  • You have ideas. The best entrepreneurs act on market trends. Do your research first, but if you’re sure something is going to take off find a way to make a profit off it.Expansion.png

Expanding is exciting and can open doors for your business you never imagined. If you’ve been thinking about it, maybe it’s time to take the next step.

This article was inspired by The Small Business blog.

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.

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Rethinking Burnout

Rethinking Burnout

Perhaps you read the title to this blog post and thought “burnout doesn’t apply to me, I’m really happy where I am in my life.”

Maybe work is going great, and your relationships are too. You’re sticking to your New Year’s Resolution and you’re looking forward to the future.

But first let’s ask the question, what even is burnout?

Do you have burnout? AQR

A quick Google search shows that burnout is defined as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands.”

Reading this description may not seem like burnout is present in your life, but what does your to-do list look like right now? Are there tasks on it that you keep putting off?

You can make the argument that these tasks don’t need to be done right away, that they’re more work for little reward, and a million other excuses as to why you’re not getting to them.

The biggest misconception about burnout is that it doesn’t target just corporate executives and high-powered politicians, but burnout lies in the nuances of everyday activities, the same everyday activities that weigh you down.

Maybe to address this you’ve taken a vacation three months ago but have fallen back into the rut. Maybe you take time each day to do a self care routine, but the to-do list stays the same. Maybe you’ve figured out that those things may be fixing other things in your life, but burnout isn’t one of them.

Unfortunately I don’t have a solution to the problem of burnout. At the least, I do hope this article helps you to target the burnout in your life and inspires you to take steps to address it.

If this topic was interesting to you, check out this article from BuzzFeed News.

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Top Trends for 2019

You may have read about this in our digital issue, but the best way to track what’s trending in 2019 is by taking note of what’s popular at quilt market.

American Quilt Retailer did just that and narrowed the list down for you! Check out the top ten must haves your store should stock up on for 2019.

  1. English paper piecing. Popular in Britain, this trend is making it’s way across the pond to gain popularity in the U.S. EPP is appealing for a variety of reasons, including increased creativity and easy to do on the go.
  2. Hand embroidery. You may want to stock up on extra embroidery hoops as this trend doubles as wall decor.hand embroidery
  3. Kitchen. Kitchen themes were prevalent this year; as it turns out quilters love to cook—and it’s influencing their craft too.
  4. Fruit. Going off the kitchen theme, quilters are craving summer, with fruit being one of the main staples of the kitchen theme. fruit
  5. Succulents. Popular for several years in the craft world, succulents are now becoming popular to quilt as well. Chances are many of your quilters like to garden too, so selling some of these plants (and having them as a display) may not be a bad idea.
  6. The color blue. Blue is the new red. Shades of blue could be found everywhere, so consider expanding your store’s
  7. Pop-up shops. Inspired by the fashion industry, retailers inside and out of that industry are jumping on the pop-up shop band wagon. Have a go-to display and products that are easy to take to and from events in your community.
  8. Small piecing. Attention to detail is what crafters are all about this year. Pair patterns of fat quarters to make your customer’s shopping trip a little easier. tiny
  9. Characters. Everybody has a favorite TV show, and consumers want more of them. Stock up on your children and grandchildren’s favorite characters (think Spongebob, Harry Potter, video game characters, etc.) popularized by society.
  10. Intergenerational quilting. Turns out, quilting can be a bonding experience too. Check out your kid’s selection of books and kits to help inspire the next generation of crafters.

You can read more about what we saw at the fall Quilt Market in the December issue of American Quilt Retailer.

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.