Monday, December 01, 2008

Quilting in Tough Times




This comic strip says it well, I think. (Sorry, you have to click to enlarge.) How many of us have bought fabric, tools, etc., we don't need? And how many quilting shops are suffering as we don't buy more? In the short run, there are bargains: E-Quilter had 55 % off sale for over a week on a large selection of fabric, one of my LQS's had an equally unsual sale, but in the long run smaller, struggling shops may close, and will the fabric manufacturers themselves cut back? Will we no longer have the huge selection of fabric we've become accustomed too? And how about shows? Reportedly, Mancuso will not hold the November show in Chicago next year because of low attendance and low vendor sales, especially this year. Will other shows fold too? Sobering thoughts.

6 comments:

jettstream said...

Yeah, survival of the fittest will be seen more and more over the next few months. It always gets the little guys first, unfortunately.

Kathie said...

I have been thinking about this too
so I went out and did some fabric shopping!
I ordered a few quilting patterns directly from the designer...
its going to be a tough go for some of these shops

Liz said...

It is something I've wondered about. There is so much that can do damage to a small business and they have been disappearing even before the latest financial woes. I sometimes think we need the small businesses (especially quilt shops & so on) just to keep us sane! Americans are pretty resilient though. Sooner or later another small business will open and conditions will improve. I guess we will adapt in the meantime.

Debra said...

We need small, intimate businesses to balance out the big box, impersonal businesses. Unfortunately, my experience with small quilting businesses lately is that they are far from personal and want to cut the fabric, collect the money and rush you out the door way too fast. I think some real interest in what the customer wants would go a long way to keeping one's business in business.

But, like you mentioned, I have seen a real fast decline in the quality and the quantity of fabric lately. For someone who has been around fabric for 40+ years, it's very depressing and makes me want to cry. I feel like my first love is walking out the door and not turning back to wave.

Barbara C said...

Lately it seems like we have to think about the economy in a whole new way because spending more than we can or need to will not in the long run save small businesses. This is tragic for fiber-oriented businesses who rely on people's discretionary spending. In hard times, hobbies are down at the bottom of the priority list.

I feel like there are plenty of creative people that find ways to make do with what they have in their stashes or with what they can reasonably buy. Crafting will continue to be sanity-saving for plenty of resourceful people.

Quiltdivajulie said...

Just think about the quilts some of us have that were pieced and quilted by our grandmothers and great-grandmothers. They surely did not have local quilting shops nor did they have online shopping... and yet their quilts touch us with their resilience and beauty. I feel for the LQS owners of today but some of the issues mentioned in earlier posts (notably customer service and attitudes) are things they should have dealt with long ago. Good times make people careless ~ more difficult times stretch us and reveal the character that lies beneath. I pray this crisis will straighten itself out sooner rather than later, but I hope the lessons learned are remembered.