I am one lucky lady. I get to visit sewing machine dealers all over the country. I have seen everything (and taught there) from vac shops to full-service machine emporiums to a stitcher’s haven chock full of machines, notions and fabrics.
When I walk in the door of a sewing machine dealer, the first few minutes tell me quite a bit about the owner, staff and customer base. Sometimes I’m stunned; occasionally disappointed but often inspired. The first thing that hits me is the overall layout of the store. Next, the greeting from the staff (or lack of) and finally, the merchandise displays.
A well-thought out and inviting layout draws me into the store. It makes me want to get in there and see what’s on display. By this time, I would hope to have been acknowledged by a staff member, just a friendly, “Hello!” is all that is required here. I know some staffers in the industry know me by my photos but you’d be surprised how many don’t recognize me until I identify myself. It’s my feeling that all who enter should be verbally welcomed.
Now it’s time to get down to the merchandise displays – the real reason why we enter a sewing machine dealer – because we need something! This is the one area that kind of grates on my nerves. I believe sewing machine retail locations should be beautiful, colorful, clean and up-dated. The light – and lots of it – should shine on gorgeous quilts, clothing, soft accessories, framed or hooped stitch-outs, racks of thread and bolts of fabric. I may have traveled into this store to buy blue thread but I’d really like to go home with new goodies such as a pattern, fabric, a new ruler or machine foot.
Sewing machine retailers enjoy complete freedom in setting up their stores. It is the one retail outlet that can really reflect its geographical location. I visit malls all over the country – each one practically identical to the next. But our sewing machine retail stores can be so personal, so representative of their region. In Texas shops, you can expect to find western-related fabrics, buttons and the like. In Minnesota, warm woolens and flannels are often in abundance. Florida offers tropical prints, flamingos by the flock and lots of beachy-themed accessories. Sewing machine retail stores have personality and we’ve lost that in retail as a nation. That’s one of the things I love about our industry – it has personality!
Tell me about your sewing machine dealer. What do you love about them? Do they have personality? Is it reflected in their store, in the way they treat their customers?
Last week we asked what your favorite emberoidery tool or notion was. So many of you can’t live without your curved scissors! The winner is Bernie Webre!
“I have two favorites – Wonder Tape for my embroidery hoops. It holds the fabric in place to make the hooping process so much easier. My other new favorite is a “loop puller” to camoflague those annoying loopies that sometimes pop up – usually near the end of a stitch intensive design.”
Join Designs in Machine Embroidery Editor Eileen Roche and her Stitching Sister, Marie Zinno for a week of fun-filled, embroidery aboard the Carnival Cruise Line to Mexico. Arrive with suntan lotion, comfortable cruising attire and a big smile.
For more info click here!