My husband and I farm, so I definitely pay attention to what is happening in the markets and foreign trade agreements. One interview I recently listened to specifically talked about that there did need to be changes in trade policies, but it’s the length of time that it’s taking to get those agreements made that is the real concern. The longer a particular trade door is closed, there is opportunity for other businesses/countries to swoop in and grab those available markets. This is a valid concern for any business.
Quilt shop owners are always looking for new customers and trying to figure out how to attract them into the store. But it is equally important to serve your current customers and make sure they keep coming back. Our customers have choices today, and although we can’t be everything to everyone, when we find shoppers that are “our” people, we need to be aware and serve them well. Or if they find what they need elsewhere, we might never see them again.
In both the farming world and the quilt world, there are lots of factors that we can not control, like weather for growing crops and customer’s disposable income, respectively. So what do you do? You knock it out of the park with what you can control, such as in-store customer service, inspiring displays, and product variety.
And, just like farmers do—diversify! On our farm we have both row crop and livestock. In our store we have multiple revenue streams as well.This is important to me and you’ll find me presenting a Schoolhouse session in Houston about it. Learn more on page 12.
In Every Issue
- From the Editor, Connect with AQR Online
- On the Cover
- Book Nook: Learn about the latest books in the quilting industry.
- Introduce Sashiko, The On-Trend Embroidery Free-to-Use Pattern: Embroidery is still all the rage with consumers and Joyce Perz introduces some history alongside how-to, so that you can bring this to your customers with ease.
- Online Resources: See what’s new on our website
- The Power of a Brand: Erin Byrne Holmqvist explores the promise you make to your customers with your brand.
- Shopper Stoppers: Customer expectations are high and retail experts Kizer and Bender show how to Wow! them the minute they walk in the door.
- What are You?: Know and understand what type of business entity you are and why it’s important.
- Connecting with Customers: Sommer Sharon walks through how to scale your digital marketing to t your business needs.
- Shake Things Up: Once they enter your store, you know you’ve got them hooked! It’s learning how to get them in the door
Check It Out
- Make the Most of Your Next Conference: Get ready for Quilt Market with tips from Gwen Bortner.
- Fall Quilt Market: Learn where you’ll find AQR!
- Talk to Yourself (And Make it Good!): Life coach Beth Montpas sets you straight on what to say!
- Designer 15: Meet Lynne Hagmeier of Kansas Troubles Quilts and help her celebrate 20 years!
- Materials Matter: Newest fabrics to hit the shelf.
- Hot Picks: New products to check out!