American Quilt Retailer: August 2018

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Earlier this year I came across the word “revisionist”—an advocate for change. In an ever-changing retail environment we can’t simply do business as normal. Let’s shake things up a bit and take a fresh look at the many tasks and jobs we do. Let’s become revisionists, not afraid to take a tough look at what is working, what isn’t, and come up with creative solutions.

When I thought about what would be up for revision on my list, one thing I included was how I define success. So often success is based on a dollar amount that we must earn. But I think that success is really a by-product of our values. And if our values are upheld, then our profit will follow. Read Beth Montpas’ article (page 12) and get more ideas of what you’ll need to do to be successful.

Have you defined the values that will lead you to success? Do they include any of the following?

  1. Knowledgeable in quilting.
  2. Learn and grasp business concepts.
  3. Take action.
  4. Seize the opportunity.
  5. Customer interaction.

Also at the top of the challenge list is the customer experience. Stitchcraft Marketing has a great place to start with their article on page 6. And I have a few examples of things to add from my recent trip speaking at a shop owner retreat in Dallas.

Let’s start with driving up to a store in Pawhuska, Oklahoma, and knowing from the minute you see the front door that you’ve got to go in. That’s exactly the feeling independent shop owner Callie Lee has created with the exterior displays and the beautiful window settings of Osage Outfitters. She’s also well-dressed, making you want to ask if she has clothing like that for sale!

When I walked across the street to The Mercantile, owned by author and blogger Ree Drummond, her store was all inspiring. There are two things that I want to share from her shop and I know you’re going to laugh at one—it’s the bathroom. But seriously, every inch of a store is important space and the bathroom is no exception. It was as beautiful as a bathroom can be! And the last photo is of a sticker that was on our yummy treats from her bakery. You can bet this little detail kept me smiling long after I left the store. Each time I opened the container to have a nibble, I thought of the wonderful visit to her store.

As you think about being a revisionist, you must include the customer experience on your list. Shake out those dust bunnies and cobwebs and fill your mind with inspiring ideas and your store with memories that won’t be forgotten soon.


In Every Issue

  • From the Editor
  • Connect with AQR Online
  • On the Cover
  • Make Money with Scrappy Quilts! and Free-to-Use Pattern: Designer Kate Colleran of Seams Like a Dream created the perfect pattern, Box Step, for using precut strips. Learn three ways that you can easily cut strips in your shop to create a profit.

Business Savvy

  • Crafting the Customer Experience: Own It: Your business is more than just the product you sell, but also the experience you give customers.
  • Create a Winning Workplace: Set your staff up for success and the rewards will also benefit your business.
  • Digital Content Marketing Strategy: Draw new customers in with content that speaks to them.
  • The Little Indies That Could: Learn from independent retailers in this Illinois community.
  • The Case for Trade Shows: Guaranteed to inspire you and help you grow.

Check It Out

    • The Road to Success: Eight keys to being successful
    • One Man’s Design Path: Follow Scott Hansen’s road to Quilt Market.
    • Materials Matter: Find an array of pattern and color in the latest fabrics.
    • Book Nook: Learn about the latest books in the quilting industry.
    • Hot Picks: Products your customers are sure to want.
    • Designer 15: Meet the sisters behind Sew Kind of Wonderful.

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