American Quilt Retailer: August 2017 Digital


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Faith is the daring of the soul to go farther than it can see.
—William Newton Clarke

I’ve unpacked my Magic 8 ball from my youth (and have since learned that there is now a digital version!) because I’m positive that it will tell me the answers to all of the difficult business questions I have. Right? Well, ok, we know there are no magical answers or crystal balls telling us what the future holds. But I have faith. I have faith that independent retailers will be going strong in the future. Will things be different? Of course! Nothing stays the same. The challenge is getting from here to there with the least amount of stress and the most amount of success.

What are you doing in your retail store to prepare for the future? Do you have 30-day goals? 1-year goals? 3- to 5-year goals? Are you making sure your financials are solid and ready for the ups and downs of sales? What sources of income are you working with (i.e., fabric sales, longarm quilting and rental, retreat sales, classes), and how can you use each of those channels for creating that steady flow of income you need? Who are your customers? Where are they coming from, and how do you keep them coming back? And how are you finding new customers?

Obviously if I had the Magic 8 Ball answers, that would make each of the answers to these questions appear at the right time, I’d be sharing it with all of you so we could sleep better tonight! But instead I’ve created a supportive community where we can help each other discover new ideas and share solutions and results that have worked for your business and might be helpful to others. It’ll be a safe place to talk and offer feedback when it’s needed. I personally invite every subscriber of American Quilt Retailer to join our Facebook Community, where together we can work toward our future. It’s a private group, so you must request to join. Once I confirm your subscription, you’re added and welcome to join in the conversations.

As shared on the group recently: Don’t wish it was easier, wish you were better. —Jim Rohn. Join the group today and I have faith you’ll be working toward a better future. Visit and click on ‘Group’ in the left- hand column. We’d love to have you as part of the discussion.

In Every Issue

  • From the Editor
  • Connect with AQR Online
  • Our Contributors
  • Display Ideas: Do more with merchandising to lure shoppers throughout the store.
  • Free-to-Use Pattern: Deanne Eisenman shares how scrappy quilts can actually help sell fabric.
  • Perfect Points: Far-flung quilt shops pooled resources to sponsor a one-stop shop hop.

Business Savvy

  • Retailing Is More Than Third Grade Math: Retail expert Tom Shay offers four reasons to rethink your pricing strategy.
  • Star Power: Cheryl Arkison shares points to ponder before booking a celebrity teacher for your store.
  • Ease into Apparel Sewing: Cyndi Hershey suggests using preprinted panels to help teach sewing skills to newbies.
  • Connect with Staff and Customers: Inspire trust and generate momentum with tips on connecting from Life Coach Beth Montpas.
  • Attract & Retain Customers: Marketing experts Kizer and Bender suggest how to make your presence known to consumers and how to retain them for the long haul.

Check It Out

  • Book Nook: Learn about the latest books in the quilting industry.
  • Hot Picks: Your customers will find these notions, kits, patterns and more irresistible.
  • Materials Matter: Discover what manufacturers have planned for the latest fabric collections.
  • Designer 15: Let us introduce you to designer Sue Spargo.
  • Survey: Share your opinions and ideas about how American Quilt Retailer can help you.


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