August 2020 issue (Digital Subscription)

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Description

We’re over the halfway mark for the year and will soon be closing in on what some refer to as the “Golden Quarter” or the final quarter of the year. How are you holding up? Are you managing to stay one step ahead of Covid-19 and your customers? What are you celebrating and what has fallen off your radar? What plans do you have to finish the year strong? I wish I could call each of you and have this conversation with you! But emailing me at Heidi@AmericanQuiltRetailer.com will have to do so I can hear from all of our subscribers.

Personally, I love to make plans, create schedules, assign duties, and watch as my team makes progress toward our goals. But this year, a neat and tidy flow just isn’t working. Instead we’re pivoting quickly, condensing what might have taken a month into 48 hours. We’re creating new systems, innovative programs, trying more methods of selling. And, it seems like our customers are adapting well to our new methods for communication and understanding as we fluctuate between open front doors and curbside only.

What is probably the most difficult thing for me is that we’re making decisions on assumptions. I was taught early on that assumptions are simply making an ass (out of) u (and) me. (Pardon my French!) This week a staff member came to me with fear that she couldn’t meet my expectations because she doesn’t know what’s in front of her with her second part-time job. She was willing to quit on the spot if I thought she should. This staff member is new, but she’s already doing a great job and is contributing to our business in a meaningful way. My first question was,“Do you want to quit?” She of course said NO, but the fear of the unknown, the assumptions she was making, were putting self-doubt in her mind. I assured her that this pandemic is new territory for both of us and until she is either doing a bad job in her position or she sincerely wants to quit, we were going to move forward and figure this out! We agreed to communicate and be open to new solutions and methods for her to be able to work for us.

We are committed here at American Quilt Retailer to continue pivoting our content and how we deliver it to meet your needs in these everchanging times. As always, I encourage you to let me know what your challenges are so we can help find solutions and inspiration for you.


In This Issue

  • From the Editor
  • Increase Your Shop’s Perceived Value: Implement six easy steps to boost your perceived value to the customer and increase your sales
  • The Flexibility of Batiks: No matter your store’s style, batiks have a place among your selection
  • Get the Picture: Videos rule in digital marketing. Create a plan for including them in your social media marketing.
  • Materials Matter: Shop for fabrics that will make a splash in your store.
  • Connections = Sales: Leverage consultative selling to drive customer loyalty in your store.
  • Scarcity of Abundance?: Take your cup from half empty to overflowing with a few changes.
  • Hot Picks: Check out these notions and patterns to find something for the special customers you serve.
  • The Qualities of a Good Staff Meeting: Lead your staff to success with informative, valuable, and focused meetings.
  • Book Nook: Learn more about three new books via interviews with the authors.
  • Free-to-Use Pattern: Meg Hawkey of Crabapple Hill Studio introduces her signature shaded embroidery techniques in this issue’s Free-to-Use-Pattern
  • Online Resources: See what’s new on our website.

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