American Quilt Retailer: February 2018


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What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year
–Vern McLellan

And what are you bringing to the New Year? I am bringing some well- thought-out planning. Following the direction of our life coach Beth Montpas, I’ve spent time looking at 2017 for lots of answers of how things went. In my brick-and-mortar store, business was up, with increased retreats being held in our retreat center. It’s wonderful to celebrate our success, but I want to know more about why we were up in sales and how did we do it? And how do take what we learned in 2017 and re-create it again in 2018. Likewise, I’ve looked at what didn’t meet our expectations and how we can change what we’re doing to improve the end result.

Some of you are probably saying, “I don’t have time to spend doing this.” But, you don’t have time to NOT do it. Our business environment changes quickly, sometimes making me think that when I wake up tomorrow morning will I even recognize the business landscape of brick-and-mortar and online business. No matter what is on the retail horizon, the more I know my business the more I can be nimble in my decisions. More staffing, less staffing. More advertising, less advertising. Do I need more products to sell, or do I need to move inventory?

Information is powerful. If you’re not sure how to read reports in your POS or how to review your financial numbers, this is the time to ask questions. Find resources that you can call upon to guide you or offer opinions on those reports. Your banker or accountant will be a good place to start.

As a subscriber to American Quilt Retailer you have the benefit of belonging to our private Facebook group. It’s another great resource for interacting and sharing with other retailers like yourself. Go to our Facebook page and on the left-hand side you’ll find the group. Ask to join and we’ll accept your membership once your subscription is verified. Use this group as an opportunity to have a sounding board to share ideas and support others in our industry.

In Every Issue

  • From the Editor
  • Connect with AQR Online
  • Our Contributors
  • Book Nook: Learn about the latest books in the quilting industry.
  • Designer 15: Meet Lee Chappell Monroe, owner of May Chappell.
  • Materials Matter: See current available fabrics.
  • Hot Picks!: Products to learn about.
  • Free-to-Use Pattern: Elaine Theriault creates panel magic with her approach of coping strips and simple layouts.

Business Savvy

  • New Year, New Sales Floor: Retail experts Rick Kizer and Georganne Bender discuss options for how your store can be a showstopper.
  • Introduction to SEO: Sommer Sharon walks us through a crucial piece of understanding digital marketing strategy.
  • Don’t Call them Millennials: Marketing guru Leanne Pressly shares insight on this group of people that is changing the way we do business.
  • Creative Inspiration: Catch a glimpse of Creativation, a trade show held in January for multiple creative industries.

Check It Out

  • Yes, You Really Need an Employee Handbook: Human resource expert Melisa Morrison guides us through the process of creating an employee handbook.
  • Looking Back to Get Ahead: Start the year off right and review last year’s accomplishments and challenges. You’ll be better prepared to answer the questions of how you can succeed in 2018.
  • Red Barn Sewing and Yarn Center: Forty years in business is nothing to ignore. Read how owner Helen Gosselin and manager Linda Smith have built a successful shop.


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