Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Power of Positivity

I mentioned it briefly in my last post and newsletter that I'm learning (relearning, actually) the power of positive thinking. I can be a negative Nellie sometimes. But this past week has been pretty awesome, though not without challenges.


As I opened this box the other day, I was struck by how awesome it is to try to earn your living doing work that is an extension of something you love. I mean, seriously? How awesome to open this box of quilting gloves, Sew Slip mats, rulers, and my favorite marking pens.


Then there's this wonderful machine in the corner of my shop for me to work my quilting magic on. I have a proclivity to rearrange my shop often to optimize the small space, so the machine is no longer in this little spot, but it's still good.

I also get to preview books that I'm thinking of getting for the shop. Of these four, I can really recommend Amanda Murphy's Free Motion Quilting Idea Book. It's full of ideas for how to quilt various blocks and shapes. I haven't gotten around to the rest yet.


I've been a little nervous about my shop and my online followers. I know it looks amazing to the long-time customers of this local business as little about it changed over some 30 years that it was operated by the original owner. But if you were new to the shop, especially if you've been to some of the gorgeous, large, colorful quilt shops that are out there, this shop is a bit of a let down. (There's me of course, but I'm not entirely sure where I rank in the scheme of things. LOL I promise I'm not getting a big ego.) I've had a few blog followers and Craftsy students come (sadly, I missed the most recent couple.) and I doubt it was really worth the trip.

But then one day, I was driving up the road to the shop, listening to my favorite Christian radio station and feeling all kinds of full with gratitude and I spied two young men wrestling this table (below) to the curb. Why do I forget the synergy that comes with feeling grateful and positive so easily? When you're in that flow of looking on the sunny side, things just fall into place. Sure, it still takes a lot of work, but it sure helps to have that positive attitude.


Here it is after I cleaned the top and before I moved it into position. I got it for free! It's huge and sturdy. I rearranged the whole shop and everything just clicked into place and it looks so much better!


The shelves on the wall then got nearly filled with fabric in the last few days. It's so exciting to finally offer customers fabric. It will sure help me plan classes too.


Above, the fabric awaits being unwrapped and shelved. The table the bolts are sitting on used to hold machines in the center of the shop. It blocked the flow of traffic and looked dingy. I'm going to make a fitted cover/tablecloth for it and use it for displays and samples.


Tada! My nearly full fabric shelves. I've got even more coming. This step in our business has turned out to require a bigger leap of faith than actually buying the shop. BTW, your support of my Craftsy classes and online shop made that first leap possible and continues to support us. Thank you so, so, sew much.


Here's another cat picture! Miss Bootsie has settled in quite nicely, though a trip to the vet and a round of worm medicine has her feeling a little puny. Poor thing. (Yes, that's a Walmart quilt. Oh the Shame. Oh the practicality! Give the kids another year or two and I'll make a nice quilt for my bed and maybe even replace our couch. Moms, I bet you understand.)


Imagine my delight as I cut fat quarters of this newly arrived fabric by Moda duo Bonnie and Camille. I'm making my happy life for sure. (With a lot of help from above!)

How about you? Life is hard. But it is harder when you let the myriad of blessings slip your notice. So keep looking on the sunny side. Keep quilting and don't give up.

15 comments:

  1. Running a shop is a huge undertaking...I think it comes down to customer service. My sewing shop over here is super small...they don't carry a whole lot of products but make up for it with their customer service. I have bought all my machines there, do all my service there, have done classes there and often they are my first port of call if I got any sewing issues. All comes down to trust, I reckon and for that I am happy to support their business. Your shop looks lovely and bright...I would not fret about its size or stock....in my sewing shop here you can hardly move it is that small!

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    1. Thank you Karin. Your local shop sounds wonderful and I'm sure they appreciate you. I have been in quilt shops with horrible service and it's my goal to be cheerful, helpful, and knowledgeable.

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  2. So well said, Amy; so well said. Your shop is changing quickly and it's nice to see you get to pour your love of quilting into it!

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  3. I haved owned a retail store in the past and it is a LOT of work. All the best to you. Here's to success!

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  4. What an amazing change! Sitting here remembering when you first posted about the shop and the pics - between now and then ( which wasn't that long ago!) it looks like a completely different store. How I wish your store was my local store. Well done Amy!

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    1. It does look different, doesn't it? I'm loving seeing the changes too!

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  5. I wish I lived near you to take advantage of your supplies and teaching wisdom! So fun that you are expanding into fabrics and notions!

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  6. Shop looks great! For myself, I just so happy local quilt shops stay open! I travel frequently around the country and stop at every quilt shop I can. I do my best to make at least a small purchase to support their business.

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    1. There's an article I read about just one spool of thread. It's about how we can keep our local shops open despite online discount sales squeezing them by just buying one spool of thread. I'll have to see if I can find it.

      Trust me, the LQS's appreciate your business.

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  7. the shop looks great.are you selling the FMQ book in your shop?

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  8. I agree that the book by Amanda Murphy is awesome! I have it! I've been FMQ for a while, and there is nothing earth shattering, but the way she pairs designs was good enough I bought the book (I am NOT a book buyer). I think you'll find it sells quite well.

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  9. Amy, my favorite quilt store was tiny in size, but huge in service and personality. It became a major part of my life. Each year we had "sewing heaven" to look forward to. It was a week away from everyone and cooking/cleaning chores. We sewed/ quilted 24/7. What commaradiere!! So, do not fret about size...you already have the most important ingredients. And a Janome dealer to boot...I've died and gone to heaven! Margit A.

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