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Thread: Fabric choices

  1. #1
    Missouri Star

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    Default Fabric choices

    If you were going to open a fabric store:
    What colors would you stock your store with?
    Is there one designer that you just absolutely love and would have to have all their fabrics??

    I am jumping in the deep end and setting my studio up as a retailer with several fabric manufacturers and it's so hard deciding what to buy because I want it all! I tend to lean toward the soft muted romantic prints (think Paris Flea Market) but consumer feedback points to bright and bold being the in thing.

    I'd like your opinion on what you'd like to see/buy from a small brick and mortar quilt store....?
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  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    I lean more toward the brighter colors and batiks. That said one of the LQS here stocks a whole row of batiks, plus other lines, never seems like they get the complete line in, mostly what appeals to the owners when they go to market. I've bought 2 pieces of fabric there in the past 10 years, simply because I don't share their tastes, even in the batiks they carry.

    If you are keeping it small, you might think about buying what you like and can live with because it may end up being yours forever. I think MSQC has enough of everything to appeal to the masses. A small store has to have their niche.
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  3. #3
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    I would stock my store with all the collections from Moda.

  4. #4
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    I don't know about in or not, but from what I see online (mainly blogosphere) many use kind of vintage-y fabrics. I suppose that is what you meant with muted romantic prints?
    I myself tend to be attracted to bolder colours, think rainbow. I'd make sure to have a range of every colour. You might even want to make up your own precut kits. I also like modern quilts which are mainly made with solids. But I suppose your shop wouldn't be able to survive with just that! Would it be possible for you to get the colour charts from well-known lines (Kona, Bella, etc.), so that customers can directly chose which one matches best and then you can order these fabrics for them? That's (one of many! ) things I miss around here.
    As far as collections go, I really like Kaffe Fassett. Those prints are so dramatic! Even if you have a very simple bag, it still makes a great statement.
    Also, check what shops near you carry. If for example no one carries batiks (again, that's the case where I live), I would think about selling them.
    Hope that gives you some ideas!
    Last edited by Cat77; June 14th, 2014 at 03:53 PM.

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    I like most of Moda, Michael Miller, love love love batiks, bright and cheery things, and I'd have to throw in Tula Pink just because my sister likes her!
    pat.

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  6. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    Or you could specialize in "Made in America" fabrics. I've found Timeless Treasures Our Fabrics | TIMELESS TREASURES. in a special section at my LQS and like the variety and the quality. They've come a long way from specializing in the novelty prints in which they used to specialize.

  7. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    A local quilt store near me sells their own pre-cuts. The owner's daughter told me they have a hard time keeping up with the demand. You might want to invest in a good quality fabric cutter. One that does not have a lot of waste.

    Also, if you notice whenever Jenny does a tutorial that people want to buy the fabrics that she used. So, maybe make up a beautiful quilt for display and the kits displayed close by for the customer to buy.

    Maybe some 101 type quilting classes for projects that are seasonal. It's probably too late for 4th of July, but how about Halloween and Thanksgiving or just simply Fall/Autumn themed wall hangings.

    I go through fazes where I will really like a theme like 30's prints then switch over to brilliant batiks.

    Maybe you can carry some of M*'s templates. One of the LQS near me sells their templates.

    I'm about run out of ideas.

    Best of Luck on your new business venture!
    Vonnie

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  9. #8
    Quilting Guru

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    I love Vonnie's ideas! Having a sample quilt, offering a 101 on it, and having the precuts ready for purchase! Seems like you could not go wrong. Bet of luck to you with your venture.

  10. #9
    The Guild President

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    My personal tastes run more toward modern looking fabrics, and not dark, vintage looking prints. Two things I think are important--the first being what another poster suggested that be sure you like the fabric in case you're stuck with it. The second thing I think would be important is to have things (solids, prints, etc.) that can be used with each other.

    Good luck in your exciting adventure.

  11. #10
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Fabric choices

    So the majority is brights.

    I have a lot of Moda bolts and precuts on my list. I also have lots of black, white and cream because I know a lot of people use those.

    The only problem with having a customer "pick" fabrics is they are going to want 1-3 yards of a particular fabric, possibly 2-3 fabrics from a same vendor. Most of the fabric distributors have a minimum of either a $ amount for an order or a minimum bolt amount (usually between 10 and 15). If you can't meet the minimum, you can't order. Robert Kaufman and Moda/united Notions have the hugest minimum amounts off all the distributors, so I have to be a little more diligent about making sure what I purchase from them will sell.

    I already offer classes and have some sample quilts done up. I can add classes as people show interest.
    We plan on having an open house and doing some giveaways-like a free fat quarter to the first 100 customers and some other raffles and prizes, just to get the name out there.
    "You've never really learned to live until you've done something for someone for which they can never repay you." ~Ralph Hall

    "Party like a BLOCK-STAR"

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