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  1. #1
    Rotary Pro

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    Default Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    Hi all! I was wondering if anyone out there in forum land has ever owned, run, or worked in a quilt shop?
    I live in Ellijay Georgia and there aren't any quilt shops close by, so.....I'm thinking about opening one. There were 2 in surrounding towns when I moved here, but both have since closed. So now I have to drive 40 miles to the nearest fabric shop/ quilters. Heck even joanns is 50 miles away.... unfortunately, I don't know why the shops closed. A bad economy? I know one of them was expensive and had a lousy fabric selection. I hardly bought anything there even though I did go in.
    Can anyone give me some idea how much it would cost to start a business like this? I would buy a long arm for quilting ( i want one anyway) I know long arms are pricy, but there has to be a market for getting things quilted right?
    Help!

  2. #2
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    I have three quilt shops on this island, more than any other. It's a very much a tourist destination. One is so busy you can hardly move around in there. I think their appeal is to display a lot of local made products and patterns and of course Hawaiian fabrics. They have a bench outside for the weary and can we go back to the hotel please people.

    What's funny is Hawaiian fabrics with monkeys. We don't have monkeys over here. lol

    Good luck on your venture!



    Lorie

  3. #3
    Rotary Pro

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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    I live in a big city with lots of fabric stores. My favorite has what I think is a really interesting business model. Besides carrying fabrics, yarns, notions, etc., they have lots of classes, machine rentals, a long arm rental, as well as open times for people to just come together to chat and sew or knit. (The shop offers free tea.) They've done a nice job of creating a community gathering place with a lot of loyal patrons.

    Good luck!
    Last edited by kayj; May 10th, 2018 at 06:54 PM.

  4. #4
    Machine Stitcher

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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    I think it's perfect timing. There's a whole generation of baby boomers that have time now to quilt and the money to spend on equipment and material.

  5. #5
    Missouri Star

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    Apr 2015
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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    I would try setting up an appointment with someone that owns a quilt shop in a non-competing area to have a discussion with them. Also, look for a class at a major quilt show, they may have a lecture all about doing this. Would you want to do online sales as well as physical shop? Before doing any customer quilts on a longarm I recommend practicing on charity quilts and/or some of your own. You want to make sure that the quality is there before doing customer quilts. Bad comments can take down a business quick. Things to think about. Linda V Taylor has a book about starting a longarm business. As I recall it was very thorough. You might want to check it out. Is there a guild near you? Please note I am not trying to discourage you, just want you to go in with eyes wide open. (I have an Accounting background, and am still going back and forth of whether I want to quilt for others on my longarm, now that I have retired from corporate America) Good luck

  6. #6
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    It would be a sizable investment with all the fabric, thread, notions,ect. you would have to stock.
    Some other things to consider
    Are you an experienced quilter that could help customers of all levels or would you need to hire experienced help
    Consider the rent, utilities, insurances, ect. that come with a shop
    How many hours you have to put in, do you want to work weekends

    Once you factor in all those things it might give you a better idea if you could manage it.
    Nobody is going to stand up at your funeral and say she had a really expensive sofa and great shoes Life is not about stuff.



    Visit my Flickr page, sewing and cakes!
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/90704986@N07/



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  7. #7
    Missouri Star

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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    Owning a business is work and requires more than just being there. The govt is going to want you to spend hours on their paperwork for employees, fica, ss, state and local taxes, business licenses, insurance, workmans comp. Then the rent. And finding competent employees who wont steal from you.
    That being said, it will be fun and an exciting adventure. The advice you receive here is good and valid. Pay heed.

  8. Thanks SuzanneOrleansOntario thanked for this post
  9. #8
    The Guild President

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    Jul 2013
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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    All ventures require much more than what appears on the surface. Time is the biggest investment in any business, if you think it will take forty hours a week, bank on eighty. Know your strengths as well as your weaknesses(so you can have both covered). Will your family and friends support you in this venture? Visit local guilds and ask what they would like in a shop. Talk to an accountant about actual expenses. My guess is it will require a very real amount of an investment, can you repay it if things do not work out? All this sounds a little negative but it is part of starting a business. The more homework you do, the better your chances are when you go to a bank for a loan. Oh, have a very good business plan written up when you do. Good luck if you decide to go for it.

  10. Thanks SuzanneOrleansOntario thanked for this post
  11. #9
    The Guild President

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    Jan 2017
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    MN
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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    A good business plan will answer most of those questions for you. I wrote one once (a requirement for a class in my Master's program), and it was a LOT of work. So many things to consider. What inventory will you need, and who will be your suppliers? Where will your business be located? Even bricks-and-mortar only shops need a website and social media presence. Do you have the skills to set that up and maintain it, or will you have to contract it out? How will you advertise? You have a lot of research to do before you dive in. Also, consider whether you quilt as a hobby (for fun), or if you are willing to commit to deadlines. For me personally, having to complete a project on someone else's time frame takes all the joy out of it. See this recent thread:

    http://https://forum.missouriquiltco...ad.php?t=76786

    As others here have said, I don't mean to discourage you. Succeeding with a start-up business is a challenge. If you decide to take the plunge, you must understand the risks as well as the rewards. Good luck with your decision.

  12. Thanks SuzanneOrleansOntario thanked for this post
  13. #10
    Missouri Star

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    Colorado
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    Default Re: Thinking about opening a quilt shop??!!

    Several shops in our area have closed within the past year. I think more & more people are buying fabric & supplies on line these days. There must be a good reason why these shops are closing.

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