Friday, March 25, 2011

Brick and Mortar shops or the Internet????

It never ceases to amaze me when customers come in and are surprised that a Quilt Shop is closing, and in the same breath takes out fabric that they ordered over the internet.

Well, here's a few things that can be considered in response.

#1. Every time you order on line, instead of at your local quilt shop, you contribute to the closing. I realize that every shop can't possibly carry all the new lines, notions or patterns. But if you want the item, ask if it's possible to get it in for you. Most shops will be more than willing to do this.

#2. You would be surprised at how many times we hear customers say to their friend - "Don't buy the pattern, I'll make you a copy of mine". This makes me sick when I hear it. That's what they call Copy Write Infringement. How do you think Celine Perkins, Terry Atkinson, Lynette Jensen or any other hard working designer would feel if they knew you were copying their patterns. I have a feeling you'd be hearing from them. Every time you copy a pattern and take the sale from the shop and designer it hurts both.

#3. Cotton is going up as are the costs of printing fabrics. These increases are not helping sales at the shops but there isn't much any of us can do about it. Before you go to JoAnn Fabrics or Mill End stop and think about this; With all the work you put into your quilts do you really want to use cheap fabric? Take a piece of your JoAnn's fabric, put it in your washing machine a few times and wash it.... did it fade? Is it feeling a bit whimpy? Don't ever mix your top quality quilt shop fabrics with JoAnn's fabrics - when washed, you'll be able to pick out the inferior fabrics right away.

You put all that work and quality fabric into the top - then turn around and buy the back from a craft store.... this too helps close quilt shops.

#4. Where are you going to go for advice, help and inspiration when the Quilt Shops are gone? This is one of the benefits of a Brick and Mortar shop. The clerks at JoAnn's are there to cut fabric and stock shelves, they're not there to take the time to help you pick out a quilt, give you the name of a machine quilter or just sit and help you learn to do your binding. We enjoy helping you succeed with your project no matter how large or small. We take pride in your accomplishments the same as you do.

If this continues to happen, you'll see more and more shops close. I don't mean to sound nasty about this but it really is disheartening. We put all the effort into making the shop a nice place to come, offer you top quality fabrics, samples to enjoy and kits to make your shopping easier, only to hear about the Internet - pattern copying - and then Mill End and JoAnns.

We all appreciate you and your business and look forward to helping you with your projects. By patronizing the Brick and Mortar shops you help us keep our doors open. For this I thank you.



Pam said...

When looking at patterns to purchase, I tend to look more towards buying books than individual patterns. With the books which tend to run from $20-30 which have 8-10 patterns in them in color versus buying one pattern for $9-$12 (sometimes in black and white). It is hard to justify buying one pattern for $9. I don't believe in copying patterns either. But food for thought.

badlandsquilts said...

You might be interested in the 3/50 project...the idea is to spend $50/month in 3 independent local shops. I do shop on line but also appreciate & support my local shops. Nothing can beat being able to run to your local shop at 3 or 4 in the afternoon to get a bit more thread/backing for that quilt that you want to finish asap.