From the first day I started freelancing for American Quilt Retailer in 2014, I loved the concept of this publication. The goal of every article was to help small-business owners such as myself run their businesses better. These articles tackled struggles and concerns I was having or taught me things I hadn’t heard about yet.
While my role at AQR changed to publisher in the years that followed, our goal for the magazine was constant. There is so much to know about running a business, and it is clear every small-business owner wears multiple hats. As the leaders of our companies, we’ve got to be learning constantly and challenging ourselves to push our businesses to the next level. That doesn’t mean our businesses have to be bigger, but we can be more fiscally fit, improve our presence on social media and find new ways to engage with our customers, to name just a few aspects of improving the business.
The goal with every issue of the magazine is to curate the articles to include topics that could affect your business today. As I dove into working with multiple business experts, it became clear to me that every small-business owner needs to know the same information. Creative businesses such as quilting, knitting and scrapbooking, to name a few, have much in common and can learn from each other.
This got my own creative juices flowing. Could we change our name to Creative Retailer® and help more independent retailers in the creative space? After much discussion and research, the answer was a clear YES! My graduation from Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses program at the height of COVID-19 in May 2020 cemented that I was headed in the right direction as I talked to and learned from top business educators and leaders in the small-business world.
To make sure we got it right, our transition has been slow, with a major step being a new name for the magazine. We got official notice in September that we own the registered trademark for the title Creative Retailer®. So it’s time to jump boldly into the next steps.
What does this mean for you? You are going to continue to get a magazine filled to capacity with articles that will help you run your business better and provide the inspiration you need to be creative in your business. Our editorial team is seeking a diversity of retailers doing great things for us to share with you. We’re looking for more variety in the products we showcase in “Materials Matter” and “Hot Picks.” Many of the companies we already work with have depth in their product lines, and we will be able to showcase those items better. Many shops already carry an assortment of quilting, knitting, scrapbooking, beading and gifts, and we want to better reflect that in the magazine.
Change isn’t always easy, but we wouldn’t be here today if changes hadn’t occurred already. When American Quilt Retailer founder Susan Fuquay started this publication on her kitchen table nearly 30 years ago, it was more of a newsletter. Then it grew and looked more like a magazine. She sold the publication to Ranelle King, who put her own unique stamp on the product.
As the third owner of this trade publication, I’ve continued to change it to meet your needs as retailers and business owners trying to grow your business. You might recall my Schoolhouse presentation in Kansas City in the spring of 2019: “Disrupt the Mountain.” Even then, the baby steps had begun toward my climb up this mountain of broadening our reach. I want to be your biggest supporter and help you reach your goals as we climb this mountain together.
Table of Contents
- The Not-So-Obvious Basics of Buying
- Great Minds Think Differently at EaGenie Scots ‘n Knots
- Customer Avatars and Generosity Marketing
- Responding to Challenging Times
- Outside Ambiance
- Hot Picks
- Materials Matter
- Customer Service Defines Your Legacy
- In This Together
- One Legal Thing: Copyrighting Quilt Patterns
- Positive Culture Produces Satisfied Employees