Your Store and You

When was the last time you walked into a small business and it took your breath away?

If you have to think about it, maybe it’s time to revamp your store!

I’m sure we’ve all had that wow moment, when we opened up the door into a shop and came into something completely unexpected. That’s the feeling our stores should give us every single time.

This blog talks about having your social presence reflect who you are, but shouldn’t your store do that too?

On the surface, being a business owner doesn’t seem to give much room for creativity. But when it comes to your store, you have just that.

We as creatives know what image we want our product to have, so curate your store to be like the life you want to have, too.

hunt and gather.jpeg
The facade of one of the best curated stores I’ve ever been to. (Hunt & Gather in Minneapolis, MN)

That means if you like your life a little cluttered and messy, then that’s okay to have your store like that! No, I’m not kidding, throw away that traditional cookie cutter nonsense and give your store that thrift-shop vibe if that’s what you want.

If you like things cookie cutter, then go way cookie cutter. If purple is your favorite color, then have everything in your store be purple. If DIY is your thing, then DIY everything in sight until it’s exactly what you want. Heck, even have your husband help you make the tables!

Have what’s next for your store constantly on the back of your mind, curating an appearance takes time so take it, it’s the one thing on your to-do list that can wait. Start with what you have and do some experimenting to see what works and what doesn’t, what customers like and don’t, but most importantly what takes their breath away.

There’s always something to do with our stores, and it’s easy to become complicit in the way they look. If you keep changing up things around the store though, you never have to worry about it staying the same.


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.

What does Labor Day mean to you?

With Labor Day just a few weeks away, American Quilt Retailer took some time to reflect on just what this holiday means.

To some, Labor Day is just another day off.

To others, Labor Day is more symbolic, representing the end of summer and the beginning of a transition to colder months.

Some people use the extra time to look at what their job means to them. Yes, it puts food on the table, but how can we motivate those we work with? How can we add value to the workplace? Do we make people excited to work by our sides every day, or proud to say you’re their coworker?

Some people use the extra time to give back to their employees. Maybe your store isn’t having a huge sale that is going to bring a lot of extra cash into next month’s budget, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find some wiggle room to take everyone out to lunch.

Labor day

Others use Labor Day to catch up. What’s been on that to-do list for far too long? Maybe you can dust the shelves (yes that means you have to take everything off them first)! Or write some long overdue thank you notes-because we all know it’s better late than never when it comes to thanking someone. Or you can tackle two birds with one stone; throw an event on Labor Day to get the best of both worlds. You can use the event as the only time you’re going to work that day to still get some time to celebrate yourself.

And speaking of, don’t forget to do just that! After all, Labor Day was made for those who labor, you can worry about the work load again on Tuesday.


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.

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.

The Pursuit of Design

I was reading an article today about UI/UX design and I couldn’t help but to think about the quilting industry.

UI/UX design is a cousin to graphic design, think about every time you open an app or even turn on your computer. The words and graphics on the page start the user experience you are going through, what happens when you click on those words or graphics continues that experience and overall influences—subconsciously or not—what you think about that company or brand. (Check out the above linked article for an even better/more in depth explanation if you’re interested.)

So what does UI/UX have to do with quilting?

UI _ UX.png

Honestly, nothing. But the word “design” does.

What does design mean? As creatives, I think we can relate to the fact that design isn’t a concrete idea, nor are the tools and processes used to get to a design.

Think of your store as a design. (After all, you did design it!) Every time a customer walks through your front door, the experience begins through sights, smells, sounds, and more. Every time someone visits your website, or scrolls through your Instagram or Pinterest, that experience continues. And subconscious or not, they will start making assumptions to associate with you or your business.

When you think about it like that, doesn’t that change how you view every thing you put into your store? Doesn’t that change your perspective on where you get inspiration, and what you do with that inspiration?

I don’t know about you but it made me begin to ask questions about the companies, brands, and products I love. It ultimately made my creations more creative because this idea made me see things in a new light and look for things I hadn’t been searching for.

Even if this article doesn’t give you food for thought, I hope you have the same epiphany moment that I experienced to get your store one step closer to what you want it to be.


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.