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Sharing Visual Content

Sharing visual content on Instagram

Quilting is visual. Instagram is the best platform to promote those visuals. Read on to find out how to optimize your business’s Instagram account.

Back to basics

The first step to optimizing your account is to make sure your page is set to business. The good news is you can convert a personal account to a business one.

Second, make sure you keep your branding specific. For instance, your Instagram name should be the shop’s name, your username (or the words that come after the @ symbol) should be the same (or some variation of your business name), and your profile image should be your logo (for ease of recognition).

Cross promoting

Your Instagram profile can have one link, so it’s wise to use your business’s website link, and have a contact page in your website to direct customers to other pages.

You’re also going to want to connect your business Instagram account to your Facebook account so you can save time by publishing two posts with just one click.

Other Visual Tips

Be sure to include a bio at the top of your profile. What do you want your customers to know in 150 characters or less? And of course, include your business contact information so customers can contact you as well.

As for category, choose what’s best for your business. For example, “Shopping & Retail” might hit the nail on the head, but “Fabric Store” might be an even better option.

Last but not least, keep your display on public (not private) so anyone can see your amazing content if they come across your account.

That’s it for this week. Stay tuned next week for more information on photos, captions, and what type of content to share.

Inspiration for this post came from IG 1, 2, 3 by Kate Colleran, Joanne Hillestad and Kris Poor published in the February 2021 issue of American Quilt Retailer.


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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Q&A with Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs

Want to know how other industry professionals responded to the chaos of a global pandemic? American Quilt Retailer picked the brain of Gudrun Erla of GE Quilt Designs to learn how she was able to transition from a hectic travel schedule to creating a community online.

Quarantine Quilt Along

Thanks to a well established email newsletter list, and already hosting two Facebook live shows a week, Erla had the foundations laid pre-quarantine to share information fast.

In late March of this year, Erla hosted her first Quarantine Quilt Along (QQAL). The event included a new quilt pattern she designed titled “Elvira.” The event was free, and included a quarantine playlist on Spotify for participants to listen to while they quilted.

The response was incredible, with over 16,000 quilters from 37 countries participating. From that initial QQAL, Erla has seen her mailing list, Facebook group, and online sales explode. GE Quilt Designs is still hosting QQAL’s, with proceeds from the pattern going to charity.

How Erla Creates Community

With the cancellation of quilt markets, Erla has been inviting guests onto her QQAL’s. Consumers love being able to still hear from representatives and designers.

Above all, Erla also remains true to herself, sharing what’s important to her and letting her personality shine. Erla’s significant other is African American and grew up in South Minneapolis, blocks away from where George Floyd was killed. On her first Facebook live after the murder, Erla urged viewers to stand up for what is right. The response from the quilt community was amazing, confirming what we already know—being candid always pays off.

To read the full interview, check out “Connecting Through Quarantine,” by Millie Kehrli published in the October 2020 issue of American Quilt Retailer.


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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JAFTEX Facebook Live Shop Tour Challenge

ScottThis August, the president of JAFTEX Scott Fortunoff is hosting a competition for the opportunity to have him visit your store!

For those of you who don’t know, the collection of companies under the JAFTEX name include The Blank Quilting Corp., FreeSpirit Fabrics, Henry Glass Fabrics, Studio E Fabrics, Fabric Editions, and A.E. Nathan Co., Inc.

The idea for the competition stemmed from a couple quilt shop tours Scott has been taking this summer to highlight some amazing quilt shops around the United States that really go above and beyond.

After the first few tours, Scott started to receive many requests to visit others. That’s when Scott came up with the idea for the challenge, what better way to make the best use of time and being efficient than by going on virtual tours?

Here’s the gist: Post a 15 minute video of your brick and mortar store (either on Facebook live or just on your company’s Facebook page) during the month of August and tag @jaftexpresident. The video with the most likes on the Scott Fortunoff Executive Facebook Page will win the opportunity to have him visit your store and get some free Jaftex fabrics! Scott also requests that there be some charitable component of his visit. This part of the competition includes the U.S. and Canada (but excludes Alaska and Hawaii).

If you’re reading this outside of that territory—have no fear! The competition is global, and the video with the most likes outside of the U.S. and Canada (including you Alaska and Hawaii) will get 10 free bolts of any JAFTEX fabric shipped to your store at Scott’s expense.

Some tips for how to make your video great include practice, tidying up, and having fun! Show off what makes your store different, include any events or specials your store hosts, and show off some JAFTEX fabrics while you’re at it.

The best way to shoot a video from your phone is to hold it horizontally, make sure you have good wifi, move and talk slowly, and check out the lighting before you start. You can find out more tips and details about the competition at Scott Fortunoff’s blog.


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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Become a Social Media Success Story

The internet has changed the way business is done. Today, McCall’s patterns can be found in books and on their blog.

Social media can be fun, confusing, rewarding, and frustrating.  In today’s business world, consumers expect an attractive social presence, but determining which platforms are worth your time can be a long process.

The top social platforms include Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat, and each offer different opportunities for your business.

Facebook is the powerhouse of the social media sites, with 70% of active online adults a member of the tech giant. Despite the amount of users, Facebook also has the most engagement, but is the least appealing social site for younger adults. Other features include advertisement options for businesses, with filters to reach certain geographic regions.

The image-driven social sites include Pinterest and Instagram. Think of Pinterest and Instagram as a way to visually represent your company. They are both extremely popular among women, and can be used to express your company’s brand through images. If done correctly, these platforms can drive serious engagement.

A great networking tool for your company would be LinkedIn. Outside of connecting with other quilt retailers, it could also be beneficial in starting conversations on how to perfect your company’s brand (or social personality in other words).

Other platforms to explore include Snapchat and YouTube. If your business has tutorials, classes, or a variety of video options, a YouTube account might be beneficial. If your business has events, you might want to create a Snapchat account to showcase the fun time your customers are having.

Other options include Twitter and email campaign systems. If your business is focused on driving information, then Twitter is the platform for you. However, check into email campaign systems like MailChimp and Constant Contact to send newsletters and other information to customers who subscribe to your company’s email. Whatever you feel important enough to send in an email blast could definitely overlap in your social media.

It takes time, experimenting, and practice to find out what works best with your audience. Keep track of impressions and other social media data to see what works and what doesn’t, and be sure to tailor your social media schedule around that. Use polls on all your platforms to find out what your audience wants to see. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and remember that if you’re going to make an account, use it!

Social media is a great way to create conversations, offer giveaways, or grant discounts. With work and time, your social media can be optimized to drive more traffic and increase your business revenues.

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.