Ripping Down the Road

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New Starts

Posted by Julie Luoma on

I'm not someone who makes New Year Resolutions but for both our online and traveling shop, the new year is a great time to roll out new products.  I thought I'd share a little bit about what goes into offering new products.

First, we are constantly watching at shows and online on social media for new and interesting products.  We want useful and fairly unique products for our line.  We need to have a good balance of products we produce and products we order from other companies.  Why is this?  We make a better profit on items we produce and we can control the inventory much easier as well.  Of course when we are on the road we can't produce anything so that can potentially create a different problem.  It's much easier to simply receive a box of items that are ready to sell, but since we travel so much it becomes a juggling act to time the delivery of shipments to a location we know we will be at.  We've had a couple of missed deliveries!

The products that we select must be useful and affordable.  We must limit the number of products that require demonstration to understand as we can only demo one or two products at a time at shows.  We must be able to order the products easily and in reasonable quantities.

New products are always risky.  Asking customers if they would buy an item if we carried it is far different from the reality of actual sales.  We take a risk investing in new products but it sure is exciting!

Read more

New Starts

Posted by Julie Luoma on

I'm not someone who makes New Year Resolutions but for both our online and traveling shop, the new year is a great time to roll out new products.  I thought I'd share a little bit about what goes into offering new products.

First, we are constantly watching at shows and online on social media for new and interesting products.  We want useful and fairly unique products for our line.  We need to have a good balance of products we produce and products we order from other companies.  Why is this?  We make a better profit on items we produce and we can control the inventory much easier as well.  Of course when we are on the road we can't produce anything so that can potentially create a different problem.  It's much easier to simply receive a box of items that are ready to sell, but since we travel so much it becomes a juggling act to time the delivery of shipments to a location we know we will be at.  We've had a couple of missed deliveries!

The products that we select must be useful and affordable.  We must limit the number of products that require demonstration to understand as we can only demo one or two products at a time at shows.  We must be able to order the products easily and in reasonable quantities.

New products are always risky.  Asking customers if they would buy an item if we carried it is far different from the reality of actual sales.  We take a risk investing in new products but it sure is exciting!

Read more


Shopping At Quilt Shows

Posted by Julie Luoma on

Selling products at quilt shows is both incredibly fun and frustrating.  We manufacture many of our own products and order others from individuals and distributors.  It's always a guess as to which products will sell the best and what sells well one day, sometimes doesn't sell at all the next.

Recently, we determined that our stemless wine glasses were outselling our traditional wine glasses about 10 to 1.  We decided that we would discontinue the stemmed glasses at the end of this year and wouldn't you know it?  The next two customers bought wine glasses with stems. We're still going to discontinue them, though, and expand our drinkware line in general.

Another example is our wood ruler stands.  A simple description would be boards with slots in them.  The process of making them, however, requires a radial arm saw, a router, a belt sander, a drum sander, spray paint and a drying rack, or a hand rubbed finish.  They were selling really well last winter after being featured in AQS Quilting magazine and we made several hundred before setting out on our long road trips.  The boards sold well on the East Coast, but not on the West Coast.  Does that even make sense?  We sold very few from May - September.  Again, we decided we'd probably discontinue them at the end of the year.  And then in our October/November tour of shows, we sold out!  We'll be making more.

This leads me to wonder what inspires a quilter to buy a particular item at a quilt show.  Is it mostly impulse?  Is it the endless search for the perfect tools?  Is it a color?  We once had a customer buy one of everything in our booth if it was pink. 

What do you look for at quilt shows?


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Read more

Shopping At Quilt Shows

Posted by Julie Luoma on

Selling products at quilt shows is both incredibly fun and frustrating.  We manufacture many of our own products and order others from individuals and distributors.  It's always a guess as to which products will sell the best and what sells well one day, sometimes doesn't sell at all the next.

Recently, we determined that our stemless wine glasses were outselling our traditional wine glasses about 10 to 1.  We decided that we would discontinue the stemmed glasses at the end of this year and wouldn't you know it?  The next two customers bought wine glasses with stems. We're still going to discontinue them, though, and expand our drinkware line in general.

Another example is our wood ruler stands.  A simple description would be boards with slots in them.  The process of making them, however, requires a radial arm saw, a router, a belt sander, a drum sander, spray paint and a drying rack, or a hand rubbed finish.  They were selling really well last winter after being featured in AQS Quilting magazine and we made several hundred before setting out on our long road trips.  The boards sold well on the East Coast, but not on the West Coast.  Does that even make sense?  We sold very few from May - September.  Again, we decided we'd probably discontinue them at the end of the year.  And then in our October/November tour of shows, we sold out!  We'll be making more.

This leads me to wonder what inspires a quilter to buy a particular item at a quilt show.  Is it mostly impulse?  Is it the endless search for the perfect tools?  Is it a color?  We once had a customer buy one of everything in our booth if it was pink. 

What do you look for at quilt shows?


>

button

Read more