Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Retail Therapy

Everyone knows I love to shop. To me it's retail therapy...I get a rush when I find the perfect item. I love the hunt of shopping and the whole process, really. All of my to-do lists have some sort of task that involves shopping. Buying groceries, shopping for a gift, adding something to our home, buying plants for around the home, you get the idea. Maybe it's just what women do? (Although I know some women who hate, even loathe, shopping for anything. *GASP*, right???) Maybe it's in my genetic makeup to be a shopper. Who knows! All I know is that I was born to shop. And, if I find a bargain, my day is complete!

On that note, I must say I love shopping for beautiful fabrics. I like to shop on-line and in stores. Sometimes I find the very best deals on-line. Other times, I like to look at fabric in person and make my selections in quilt stores. However, the level of customer service and selection can vary from store to store. I frequent 3 quilt stores in my area and they all seem to have their own personality.

One store, Golden Quilt Co., has a great selection of batiks and bright fabrics. There is a sprinkling of Moda collections, reproductions, and novelty prints too. The store is small, but well-organized, interesting to look at, and carries a great selection of notions and patterns. But, when I go there I feel like I don't exist. I am like the invisible shopper, only being helped when I beckon them to the cutting table. They never ask what I am making or how else they could help me. Is this kind of customer service wrong? Am I expecting too much? Is that giving me space to look and make my own decisions? Do I just not look like a "quilter" and I don't deserve their attention? All I know is that it makes me feel like I entered someones home without being invited and I don't like it. Which, by the way, makes me feel a little sad because it is a great little shop. So, this store is not the first stop for my fabric needs.

Another store I shop at, Fabric Expressions, is in Littleton, CO and the selection is wonderful! They carry a large selection of Moda Collections, charm packs, and jelly rolls. They also carry batiks, reproduction fabrics, novelty prints, flannels, homespuns, and just about anything else you are looking for. There are store samples neatly hung all around the store. (However they are sometimes just quilt tops, not finished quilts.) You can find lots of notions and patterns. This store has a personality all it's own too. It's quiet. You feel like you are in a library at times, looking for just the right book, I mean bolt of fabric. But...the staff knows me by name and are almost always friendly and helpful. I like this store. I really like it. I just wished it oozed a little bit more personality or life. Maybe a little music or better conversation? I can't put my finger on it...

Another store in my area is Holly's Quilt Cabin. Now this store is a bit of a drive for me. It's in Centennial, CO. But, without fail they always, I mean always, have new stuff to look at and ways to feed my need for retail therapy. New quilt samples, new fabric, new patterns, new kits, new notions, oh my! When they buy a fabric collection, they buy almost the entire collection, not just a few bolts. They have regular sales and offer 20% off the end of the bolt every day, not just on select days of the month. THIS store has a pulse. The staff is chatty and fun to talk to. My 4 year old will tolerate this store because they have a huge jar of candy at the register. I love everything about this store....BUT ONE THING. They rip fabric. They don't use rotary cutters to make neat and precise cuts. So, sometimes I tend to buy an extra quarter yard "just in case". I cringe at the thought of snipping the beautiful fabric and then ripping away! But, the selection and the staff courtesy is worth the drive for me.

With all of that said...what makes the perfect quilt store? Is it the selection? The staff? The location? WHAT is it? I guess I will have to continue finding new quilt stores to shop at to determine the answer... and I'm not a bit disappointed!

1 comment:

Sandra said...

I dislike quilt stores that rip fabric too.