Friday, November 22, 2013

Ordering fabric for the shop

One of the perks of being a shop owner is getting to see all the new fabrics that will be coming out in the next season.  Representatives for the fabric companies and distributors visit the shop on a regular basis bringing with them suitcases full of samples and swatches of hundreds and hundreds of new fabrics and collections that will be shipping in the next 6 to 9 months.  Out of the suitcase comes swatch card after swatch card of every color and print that you could imagine.  They pile up high on the counter until the case is empty - then she starts folding them up and putting them back.  We watch carefully as they go - "No, not that one." "I love it but we don't need it." "Hmmm, interesting, but not quite right for our store."  "That one is really unusual - maybe a little too unusual for our customers."  But - there are a few that we pull aside and put into the MAYBE pile.  After 4 suitcases have been shown, our MAYBE pile is pretty big.  We only have room and budget for a small percentage of what they show - which means we have to make some very hard choices!  We ask ourselves:  What do our customers want to see when they come into the shop?  What colors, types of collections, novelty prints, do we need in the shop right now?  We also wonder what is the next popular notion or fabric that will hit the quilting community - so we can have what is new by the time our customers look for it in the shop.  Above is pictured Kristy Osborne, who reps for a number of fabric companies. She spent 3 hours today showing and advising us on fabrics for the next year.  We hope that the 100 bolts of fabric that we ordered are just what our customers will be looking for.  These fabrics will be arriving from now until next June. I hope to show you some of them here as they arrive and see if you are as excited as we are about what is new! 

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