Shop: Valli & Kim
Address: 700 West Hwy. 290
Dripping Springs, Texas 78620
Owner: Kim Sessions
Employees: Seven part-time employees
Special Service: Known for our moderns and brights. We offer longarming services. Located in the Central Texas in stand alone building. Dripping Springs is the Gateway to the Hill Country. Been in business seven years.
What does a customer see first when they come into your store? How often does that change?
When a customer comes into the store, the first thing they see is COLOR. Most people take a few steps in and look up because we have quilts hanging from the rafters. We have our newest collections on small rounders that you see as soon as you walk in the door. These bolts are moved around as new fabric arrives. We change the quilts quarterly, meaning if we don't have a new quilt to put up, we at least change it's location.
What fears did you have when opening your store? And how did you resolve them?The fears I had when I began were not having enough customers and how to get them. We resolved this by starting local. We advertised in the local newspaper and other local publications. We joined the chamber of commerce and participated in the Holiday Gift Tour for several years. To get our store name out past the local level, we asked to be a part of two shop hops that were in our area. We also signed up to be vendors at guild shows that were fairly close and where we thought we could be successful.
Which jobs do you expect employees to do? Which do you do yourself?
How I expect my employees to be a part of the team! Everything they do reflects on the store. We greet every customer, cut fabric for customers, kits, and pre-cuts, sew shop samples, and tidy up any public area as needed. A few employees also are certified on our HandiQuilter and can longarm quilts for customers. I also have a part-time employee whose only position is to help with the newsletter and social media. I do all of these jobs plus meeting with sales reps, buying the fabric and merchandise for the store. I pull the fabric and patterns for shop samples, select which shows the store will vend (along with working the show), and organize the classes. I write the checks and do the payroll, with the help of a bookkeeper that maintains the monthly and quarterly reports.
How do you juggle family, business, and still find time for yourself?
I don't do a good job at juggling work and my personal life! The business wins most of my time, unfortunately.What are your biggest frustrations and joys as a shop owner? My biggest frustration as a store owner is finding time to do my own projects. My joy is found when my employees and my customers achieve their sewing and quilting goals and have fun doing it.