If at the beginning of 2020 we didn’t know our purpose, we certainly have a clearer vision of what our customers need and how our shops can provide the products and services that meet those needs as the year comes to a close. And although at times I’ve been exhausted both physically and mentally, I’ve also never been more energized to come up with new products and events to present to my customers.
Adapting, pivoting, being out of our comfort zones and navigating unknown territory are just a few of the skills we’ve taken in stride. What does this all mean as we roll into 2021?
I’m asking myself: How do I sustain everything that has been good in 2020? How do I keep it going? Did everything that happened in 2020 clearly define or draw a line between items/actions that are important and ones that I can just let go? For example, my website has moved up on the priority list several notches. You’ll laugh when I say it was a revelation to put thread for sale online. In the previous eight years it just wasn’t important, but with everyone sewing at home, our customers needed it! How can I use my website in 2021 to better meet the needs of my customers? Will it become the destination for all things creative? What will attract new customers and keep my current customers coming back?
As in-person events for retailers were postponed and canceled, our team at American Quilt Retailer used those same strategies of pivot and change to develop the AQR Academy. Our first virtual events happened in late October and November (you can still get the recordings from these events), and we appreciate all those who attended and made our event truly interactive and inspirational. We have plans in motion to provide a full year of support, education and connection for retailers and industry professionals. We’ll continue to adapt and create content that meets your needs to run your business better. Keep in touch with me—I want to know what you need to keep you going in 2021. Reach out at Heidi@AmericanQuiltRetailer.com.
In This Issue
- From the Editor
- A Goal by Any Other Name: Call it what you will—here’s how to set a goal and work to achieve it.
- Get Tech Savvy: Adapt your technology strategies with these current shopping trends.
- Take to the Stage: Use role-playing as a way to train your staff to help customers.
- Worth 1,000 Words: Good images make the difference in selling online.
- Materials Matter: Shop for fabrics that will make a splash in your store.
- Hot Picks: A guide to new products and supplies your customers will want.
- Should You Incorporate Your Quilt Shop?: Consider if the advantages of becoming incorporated are right for your business.
- Let’s Count the Ways: Discover the benefits of doing inventory correctly for your shop.
- Book Nook: Learn more about three new books via interviews with the authors.
- Theme Your Visual Merchandising in 2021: Follow 10 steps for better displays to increase your sales.
- Free-to-Use Pattern: Debbie Maddy shares the history of Shibori fabric and gives us insight on how this fabric is designed and made. Then she showcases these fabrics in a quick-and-simple project, Peace & Serenity, our Free-to-Use Project this issue.
- Online Resources: Take advantage of the many resources on our website.