February 2020 issue (Digital Subscription)


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Opening a quilt shop starts with having a passion for quilting. And that passion is critical to keep me motivated and moving forward. After 8 years of owning Hen & Chicks Studio, things are going well. But I want more. I want to be the best small business owner I can be. I know there are aspects of running a business that I’m not efficient or effective at, or simply don’t know enough about. In each issue of American Quilt Retailer, I endeavor to publish articles that will expand my knowledge and yours.

Last year I learned about the Goldman-Sachs 10,000 Small Businesses—a program created to invest in small businesses/entrepreneurs to create jobs and opportunities in their communities through knowledge, education and resources. I had to submit paperwork (including lots of financial history) and had a personal interview as part of the selection process. Just like the quote above says, this is so exciting, but extremely scary at the same time!
Turning in the financials was that moment of scary truth. This is me—the mistakes and the challenges. But if I don’t learn more about how to run my business better, how do I expect it to ever change and improve? As we go to press with the February issue, I’ve completed week 1 of this 13-week course. The other 32 scholars are varied and interesting, and I know I’m going to learn so much.

The next few months will be filled with online modules covering financials, marketing, staffing, and more. Here in Iowa, this program is provided through our community college so I’ll be on campus a total of three times, each for several days. There are research and reports, assignments, group projects and business advisors. They promote interaction, networking and putting what we’re learning into action in our own business. It’s EXHILARATING! I’ll be nearly done with this program as we go to press with the April issue and by the time we’re in Pittsburgh for Quilt Market, I’ll have graduated!

During this class I’ll be learning how to improve my business, but I’ll also be looking at how I can help all of you with your businesses through the pages of American Quilt Retailer. We want to see all of you grow and succeed as small business owners.

Yours truly,
Heidi Kaisand

In Every Issue

  • From the Editor, Connect with AQR Online
  • On the Cover
  • Book Nook: Learn about three books
  • Free-to-Use Pattern: Fabric and quilt designer Anna Maria Horner challenges you to leave yourself time to explore, time to plan and time to edit. Put her suggestions to work in this issue’s Free-to-Use Pattern, Cadence Quilt.
  • Online Resources: See what’s new on our website

Business Savvy

  • Numbers Game: Tom Shay deciphers ratios for a healthy business.
  • Community Charisma: Participation in events with other local businesses can affect your bottom line.
  • Building Your Brand Promise: Do you know what your brand promise is? Learn what function this has in your business.
  • Digital Marketing Trends and SEO: A new year, a new decade—what’s in store for us in 2020?.
  • Measure What Matters: Find the data to help you make good decisions

Check It Out

  • Sewing at the Speed of Sound: Meet Yvonne Fuchs, aircraft engineer and quilter.
  • Materials Matter: See upcoming collections to purchase for your store.
  • Memorable Moments: Beth Montpas coaches us to take every opportunity to create memories with our customers.
  • Maximizing Facebook Live Video: Three easy steps to making the most of social media content.
  • Hot Picks: New products your customers will love!


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