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Summer 2021 Quilting Trends

Summer trends

Summer is officially here. To celebrate, we’ll be covering some of the hottest trends to keep your new quilters inspired. Did your business see a boom of new quilters this past year? You’re not alone, and you won’t be surprised to discover they aren’t going anywhere!

Picnic blankets – perfect for summer

People are making their own quilt staple these days—the picnic blanket. Try to keep fabrics around that encourage a summer theme (think fruits, the beach, and even astrology are hot topics right now). New quilters love to brag about their DIY projects. Now they can show off their skills over an outdoor lunch.

Framed quilts

Another way new quilters like to show their skills off are with framed quilts or wall hangings. These are more design oriented, with a focus on colors and shapes that bring rooms together. Color contrasts are hot right now (yes, even blacks) and hexagons are a popular modern shape.

Table placement

Functionality is important to new quilters too (hasn’t it always?). Think any sort of table decor including placemats, potato cookers, hot pads, push pins, table runners, etc. They’re great beginner and easy projects that keep quilters coming back for more.

Patchwork

Nothing screams quilter like patchwork patterns. You’ve likely noticed the trend already. Patchwork is appearing on all articles of clothing including jackets, purses, hats, and even socks.

Be sure to make yourself available as a resource to new quilters. Think about your preferred machines, tools, fabrics, and more. As they expand their horizons, they’ll be looking to someone with experience to guide them in the right direction.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Happy New Year from AQR

New Year

Happy New Year from your friends at American Quilt Retailer! Even though we’re all ready to say good riddance to 2020, now is a perfect time to reflect on some of the lessons we should take with us into 2021.

Lessons to take into the New Year

On a business level, 2020 showed the importance of digital media. Every aspect of your brick-and-mortar should have an online equivalent. Hopefully this year saw you try new mediums (anybody new to video? social media campaigns?) and expanded your horizons into trying more.

This year also highlighted how quilt retailers provide a source for community. Even though online content is important, it by no means replaces the real thing. Online options provide convenience, but brick-and-mortar stores are here to stay.

2020 has taken a lot, but it’s given as well. It’s given us time, even time to slow down. It highlighted priorities we have long been neglecting, and showed us our resilience with every punch we took. These may not be things we wanted, but they were given to us none the less.

And finally, as we say good bye to 2021, we would like thank you for sticking with American Quilt Retailer. Happy New Year and we wish you all a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2021.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.

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Store Preparation for the New Year

It’s never too early for preparation (especially after the year we’ve had). Consider adding these tasks to your to-do list so you can begin 2021 ahead of schedule.

Event Preparation

If you aren’t already hosting one large event and two smaller events per month, you should. Start 2021 with all three events hosted the first week, then you can alternate weeks the remainder of the year. Some ideas include make-it and take-its, demonstrations, seminars, and vendor days. And remember, an event doesn’t always have to correspond with a sale.

Team Training

Speaking of year long events, if you don’t already have a weekly team training scheduled, put one on the calendar. It may seem difficult to think of topics at first, but eventually your team will have requests of their own.

Some places to start include making a list of “never out” items. These are items that should always be in stock as they can make or break sales. And they should be in extra stock during the busy season.

Another idea includes coming up with bag stuffer ideas. Train your employees to give a 30 second pitch of the bag stuffer as they hand the flyer to the customer. This will prove much more effective than not mentioning the bag stuffer at all.

Finally, review your return policy. Try to be flexible on returns (as other competitors in the market are) but train your staff to ask about an in-store credit or gift card option first.

Gift Cards

If your store uses paper gift certificates instead of plastic gift cards, you’re going to want to switch stat. Retailers that switch from paper to plastic see an increase of sales from 35% to 50%. On top of that, 55% of customers have to go to a store twice to spend the full gift card amount, which is great news for your business.

Inspiration for this post came from 2020 Prep by Georgeanne Bender and Rich Kizer of Kizer and Bender. For more preparation ideas, visit their business expert page.


If you’re looking for more information to guide you in owning a retail business, subscribe to American Quilt Retailer today. Already a subscriber? No worries—join our Facebook group for insights and dialogue from industry specialists like you.