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Company Culture: If you can’t find it; make it!

Work culture

Culture. It may seem like a trendy word, but it is everything in the workplace. Read on to learn how you can improve yours.

What is culture?

Have you ever found yourself in a job you like, but the culture was holding you back? When you’re removed from the situation it can be hard to remember how horrible it was.

Before we jump into that however, what is it? Obviously, culture is about people, and company culture is how your work environment makes them feel. It goes without saying, but your business’s culture should make your employees feel welcome, secure, and optimized to succeed.

What benefits your employee benefits your company also. Recognizing and valuing your employee’s skill set, giving them opportunities to learn and grow, and leaving an open door for dialogue are all great ways to accomplish a positive work culture.

Pros and cons

The negatives of a poor culture are obvious. High turnover, struggling employee mental health (that ultimately impacts customer interactions), and feelings of defeat.

Being open to criticism on how you can improve is critical for improving your current work culture. It’s amazing that even in 2021 there are still books being written about things such as gender and strategizing around the workplace as it currently is. I’m just taking a stab in the dark here, but I think it may have something to do with the close-mindedness of managers in all industries.

Finally, keep in mind that the stress you feel about the direction your business is heading rubs off on your employees. It’s not easy to run a business, but it sure is rewarding. Make sure your employees can feel that too.

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. And don’t forget, you can always purchase single issues if you prefer that instead.

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Re-Opening: What have we learned?


To wrap up our re-opening series, we thought we’d conclude with some reflection. And upon reflecting, we kept coming back to one word: appreciation.

The impact of COVID-19 is far from over, and as we re-integrate back into society we will be learning a new normal. We appreciate the lives we had. We appreciate and understand community in a new light. And, we have a new appreciation for our work.

How community has changed

Community has taken on a new meaning. During this time, community means staying away. Community means learning new technology to stay in touch with those you loved.

One thing we’ve noticed through staying in touch digitally are the new routines. At the end of virtual classes or quilt-alongs, do you leave time for sharing? Time for friendly faces to take the screen wearing their familiar smiles? That sort of community seems to make things feel normal again.

A new appreciation for work

All of us have had the confirmation during this pandemic of what we already knew; quilters are essential workers. How many masks have you made? What (or who) are you thinking of while you’re making those masks? How many frontline workers are made safer because of the skills you have and the effort you put in?

As you think about those “when this is all over I’m going to…” ideas, also try to think about what sort of lessons you’re going to take with you. There’s no feeling quite like lending a hand during a time of need.

American Quilt Retailer sees the work that you’ve done and feels the stress of what you’re going through. We will continue to be as much of a resource to you every step of the way.

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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Pets in the Workplace

Pets at work

Pets in the workplace; yay or nay?

As of 2015, eight percent of workplaces allowed employees to bring their pet to work, a three percent increase from 2013. More recent numbers haven’t been released, but with prominent companies like Google and Amazon allowing employees to bring their furry companions, I’m sure that number has grown.

Benefits of Pets

Does your shop have a pet? If it doesn’t, you may want to reconsider.

According to this research, dog-friendly workplaces had less rates of absenteeism and higher productivity. They even reduce stress among pet-owning employees and are said to make a workplace more friendly.

Allowing a pet at work is not only a cheap wellness option (pets lower blood pressure), but could also come in handy when recruiting new hires too.


Of course, there are many variables to take into consideration including allergies and checking with the landlord if you don’t own your building.

Other risks might be jeopardizing new business if your customers don’t like pets at work, or unforeseen risks.

To minimize these risks, make sure pets have fully updated vaccinations, maintain good hygiene, introduce them to the workplace slowly, and inform staff of dietary restrictions and needs.


Be sure to do your due diligence. What pets are allowed? Where are they allowed? Should you pet owners sign a waiver?

Ask around at other local businesses that include pets and think how your business compares. What do customers think? How long have the pets been around? What problems have they had?

What is your opinion on furry friends in the workplace? Leave a comment below to weigh in on the conversation.

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.