One of the best jobs in owning a quilt shop is buying the fabric - that's also the easiest. The hardest job is not buying everything you see! Well, there are some fabrics that I look at and think "WHY?" Why did the designer think that this would make a great quilt? Or a wallhanging or anything? Those I pass on!
This is Jim sitting with Larry in the Timeless Treasures booth at market one year. Each company shows you their current line & if you're not careful, you could spend most of your time over market's three days, just looking at fabric while missing out on all the pattern designers, notions, books, etc., etc, etc.
When fabric representatives come to the store, they don't represent just one company - they could rep four or five. So you look through each company's selection - all the while wondering if the next company will have something better and you sould have waited. Or will you wait only to discover the best was in the first bag?
It helps to have some kind of a plan. When I first started out, if I liked it, I bought it. No idea of what I would do with it when it arrived. That buying strategy (or lack thereof) drove one of my reps absolutely crazy. I'd told him that I bought fabric this way - if it didn't sell, I wouldn't mind taking the remaining fabric home with me. He shook his head and I am absolutely positive thought to himself "There is no way she is going to make it. She'll be out of business in two years." The strategy worked well for years - until this past year and it seemed I liked WAY too much fabric.
Now buying fabric has become the most challenging one of my jobs - ok, it's still the best but it's a little more organized. When I buy a line of fabric now, I decide what's to be done with it when it arrives - lap quilt, big quilt for the lobby bed, table runner, baby quilt, purse, wall hanging, jacket? Or just mix it into the color wall? And it all goes into a looseleaf notebook - the Fabric/Sample book - each line of ordered fabric is in there by month it's due and then what the plan is for it. We started doing this last fall, I organized it a little better in January and now have "THE BOOK". It should make life much easier & keep our samples under control. (I live in constant hope that until my butler arrives, I will find little ways to organize the craziness which owning a quilt shop has become the "norm")
This organization does however, come with a cost. It adds more to the worst part of owning a quilt shop - paperwork. Ugh.
Till next time!