April 8, 2013

Crafty Threads: Why a Quilt shop?

I get asked this all the time and the answer is easy, you.  My customers are the best and are so supportive.

When I pieced my first quilt in 1990 while pregnant with my daughter, there was no bigger plan.  My life has been a series of opportunities like many of you: Electronic Engineer in the US Air Force, Customer Service for several insurance companies, Postal letter carrier, Financial Advisor and Senior Staff accountant for Raymond James, and Honeywell test board creator.

Every opportunity teaches you things about yourself and I learned to, "do what you love and love what you do".
Having once owned/operated Libra Tax Service, a bookkeeping and tax business from my home, opening another small business seemed right.

My husband and I started Crafty Threads in 2005 as a Custom Embroidery service.  In 2008 I expanded to include longarm quilting services.  Again, you were so supportive that I started researching opening a brick and mortar quilt shop.

This research included a 3-day Shop Hop on the East Coast of Florida with my friend Cindi C.  We hopped along scoping out shops, looking at layouts and sizes, and talking to shop owners.  Quilters are so sharing, and the owners didn't disappoint as they offered ideas about what to do and what not to do.

It was quickly apparent this meant doing it my way and being different.  There is soooooo much fabric available, as well as, books and patterns.  There is no reason to 'copy' the ideas of another shop.

Crafty Threads Quilt Shop opened in August of 2010 offering what none of the other local shops were offering:  In-house Longarm Quilting, Cuddle, which is Minky on steroids, hand dyed wool, and a large variety of 108" wide backings.

Every job has its down side and I really don't like being in the back doing paperwork because it takes time away from talking to the customers, and I still REALLY enjoy longarm quilting.
It is all worth it though when I get to enjoy my 2 favorite things about owning a quilt shop:
2.  Shopping! Meeting with the fabric reps to buy new fabrics, or shopping at the distributors in search of new patterns, books, and notions to bring you.
1.  Share in the Camaraderie of Quilters!  You bring in some of the best ideas for new items and that allows me to go find it so I can share it with other quilters.

I tell my customers that they are always welcome to come in just to pet the fabric, fondle the wool, or gaze at the shop samples.  You can get your fabric fix without feeling obligated to buy something.

One of our customers wrote on Facebook that we were like the 'Cheers' of quilt shops:

"Everyone knows your name and we're always glad you came"
We ALWAYS are and can't wait to see you again.

Crafty Threads LLC. 12230 Race Track Rd. Tampa FL 33626.
Hours: Mon-Fri: 10-6 open til 9 on Tuesdays! Sat: 10-3 Sun: 11-4
(813) 855-3066