What is the true cost of saving?

April 13, 2020 1 Comment

What is the true cost of saving?

I know not everyone can afford to shop at a local quilt shop and not all quilter's have access to a local quilt shop. But if you do, then please consider this. Think about what our world would be like if all the local quilt shops were gone. It could happen. It happened with clothing stores. All clothing started getting manufactured overseas and sold in chain stores for a lot less. The price and quality went way down and all the mom and pop clothing stores went out of business. This could definitely happen with quilt shops.

In case you didn't realize, there is a HUGE difference between your local quilt shops (LQS) and the big chain stores. And not just in the quality of the product or the price. A LQS staff member is very knowledgeable and experienced when it comes to making quilts. A LQS employee will help you select the perfect fabrics for your projects. A LQS staff member will also figure what yardage you need for your project. And, your LQS staff will gladly get to know YOU. They will listen to what is going on in your life, laugh with you when you get happy news, cry with you over all the bad things that life can throw at you including illnesses, death, etc. Your LQS owner and staff will become your friends and your biggest supporters. You do not get this from a chain store or from an on-line store such as Fabric.com (owned by Amazon by the way). How many times have you been in a chain store and had to hunt down someone to simply cut your fabric?

People complain about the cost of fabric and supplies at your LQS? Well try being a shop owner and shelling out $2500 to $3000 for just 1 collection of fabric. This is a monthly expense and doesn't include other expenses or additional inventory. We are not like the grocery stores or chain stores where suppliers pay to have their product on the store shelves. Shop owners have to pay for the products you see in the shops and hope it sells so they can pay the rent, their employees, and keep the lights on. Think about how a shop owner feels when they see a product in their shop on a Walmart shelf or Amazon being sold for what they paid for it at wholesale.

I get the concept of saving money. I try to do this whenever I can. But I find it very sad that our country has traded quality and good customer service for cheap product and lousy, impersonal service. I am very tired of people who think quilt shops are expensive due to greedy shop owners. Or they think that the fabric you pay a lot less for in the chain stores is just as good as the quilt shop quality, when it is definitely not. "You get what you pay for" is just as accurate today as it has always been.

Having a quilt shop is not about money for shop owners. I can only speak for myself when I say I have my quilt shop because I love fabric, quilting, and providing the best customer service I can. My shop does not exist because it's making tons of money. My shop is here for quilter's and to allow me to spend my days doing a job that I enjoy. When you spend money at a LQS, you are telling the shop that you want them to stay in business. That you appreciate that they are there. This is the same for any small business in any town. So before you buy something, and you have a choice between spending more to buy local and saving to buy from a big chain, think about what the true cost of your spending choice really is.

- Laurel Kindley, Owner, All About Quilting LLC

1 Response

Leslie Salley
Leslie Salley

June 01, 2020

So sorry that you are closing your shop.I learned to sew from my mother who sewed our clothes ,made draperies for our home,& reupholstered furniture.Everything that you have said in your article is true.We live in the South & I have seen the demise of cloth stores & felt the pain of manufacture workers who lost there jobs,livelihood,when their company moved their production over Seas.Most plants closed down here around 20 years ago & now the plants are being torn down .May God bless you in his new plans for your life.

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