6 Keys To Consider Before Starting A Quilt Shop


Want to start a quilt shop? There is so much more to owning and running a store than loving fabric and sewing. I cover the key points here.

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6 Keys To Consider Before Starting A Quilt Shop

Do people keep telling you, “Oh, you should own a fabric store! You are such a good quilter!”?

Do you have enough stash to start one already?

Do you eat, sleep, dream, fabric?

6 Keys To Consider Before Starting A Quilt Shop


Well maybe you should start a shop, but there is so much more to owning and running a store than loving fabric and sewing.

Here are a few things to consider before going out and doing some real number crunching.


1. Location Location Location

This adage has been used for a long time because it is true!!!

So start by looking at where you live. Are there any fabric shops in the area outside of the big chain stores? Where are they? What do they sell, service and teach?



2. Top Notch Service

Today, it is VERY difficult to sell enough fabric and notions to compete with the internet. You must be the kind of shop that offers top notch service, gives accurate information, and stellar customer service. The other side of the market that is needed is a shop that will sell and service sewing machines.



3. Your Level Involvement

When are you personally willing to work and can you teach classes? Are you willing to give up your nights and weekends?

to do list


4. Ability to Get Help

The average age of quilt shop owners is on the plus side of 60. This is a good thing. Folks at this stage of life have the time and resources to pursue other interests. They also have a store of accumulated wisdom to share. If you are in the AARP age bracket do you have someone in the family in their 30’s or 40’s who will be joining you? If you have a plan to be in business longer than your personal longevity it is much easier to stay in the market.



5. Visibility

The store I work in is in view of a major highway and we have HUGE bill boards to the east and west of town giving folks a heads up that we are easy to find. We participate in shop hops. We have a major website and everything we sell is available online (except the sewing machines, you can’t ship those). We also have a big presence on QuiltingHub, Facebook, Instagram and pinterest. If you don't know what some of those last things are check with a teenager they will be happy to fill you in!

The bottom line is if you must be on the internet and easy to find.



6. Know Your Numbers

It is important to understand your costs and target profits before you start.

My owner figures we need to do $2500 of business a day. We are open 7 days a week so that is about $75,000 a month. In addition, we need to sell around $35,000 worth of sewing machines a month. The $35,000 worth of sewing machines pays the rent and the advertising. The other covers salaries, sundries and keeping the store stocked. We are in a community of 115,000 in the Midwest. Your business costs will vary but this is a good number for you to keep in mind. A store in a small town can have a big impact and have MUCH lower overhead. (Look at Missouri Star Quilt Company!)



Your Conclusion

So after reading this quick overview are you energized or ready to run?

Owning a store is not for the faint of heart but it sure is rewarding!

If your ready check out the next article to dive into some real step by step details.


Editors Note:

QuiltingHub has been devoted to helping quilt shops be successful since it's inception in 2010. We put a great deal of effort in to education and marketing to help you.

Become a member today and read the many articles below. Member shops get considerably higher visibility. Read the benefits of QuiltingHUb membership and watch the video on the top right of the benefits page for more information.


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A small V shape that is clipped out of a seam allowance to make a curve shape flat when the seams are joined.
Small sewing supplies such as pins, scissors, rulers, seam ripper, and so on.
A large central star, made up of diamond shaped fabric or a square with right triangles, to form the star points from the center out.
A quilter's personal collection of fabrics. Buying more fabric is adding to your stash.
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