Saturday, May 12, 2012

Market Update with Marilyn at QuiltWorks!

Quilt Market begins next week in Kansas City!!!  Which means that there will be a whole bunch of new products, patterns and fabrics released.  I thought it would be interesting for me to sit with Marilyn and pick her brain about "Market."  Not every shop goes to market. The expense of travel and hotel is not in the budget for some quilt shops. Others go because of the design component of their business they will have booths at market where they are showing off their latest line of fabrics and patterns.

Marilyn, owner of QuiltWorks travels with the owner of Material Girls.  This provides friendship, support and sharing of some of the travel costs.    Wednesday they head to Kansas City and by Thursday morning it is non stop!  Marilyn attends "School House" on Thursday from morning till evening.  There are 20 choices about every 30 minutes of classes.  These classes offer information to attendees on business plans, product demonstration, technique demonstration and programs that will help increase customer base.  One of my fondest market memories was sitting in a class by Eleanor Piece Baily a flamboyant doll maker...really 30 minutes was just about the right amount!lol  In the 3 days of market Marilyn will attend about 20 classes.  This gives her first hand experience of what is coming down the pike and how to keep her business fresh and healthy.

Her approach to market is well planned and efficient.  With such a huge facility to cover and decisions to be made it is best to have a plan.  She will do an overall walk through of the entire market picking up flyers from all the booths that she gets an immediate response and file them in her case so she will know which ones she will want to spend more time with on a second trip through.  Since the fabric reps visit the shops looking at fabric in lower on her lists of must do's.  High on her agenda is to check out new patterns, books and notions...I love notions....((sigh)) a convention center filled with notions!!

Each market has a different theme depending on the location of the market.  Since they try to appeal to those shop owners who are making the trip.  This means a shop owner has to pay particular attention to what will or won't be popular in her area.  Thank goodness Marilyn has a keen eye!  On the last night of market Marilyn will enjoy a much deserved meal out on the town...after 3 days of eating in the convention center.  Everything ordered at market will start to arrive a couple of weeks later and the girls at QuiltWorks will be making up samples in time for Quilt Show week in Central Oregon! Be sure you keep your eyes open for the new and innovative!

Enjoy the slide show of Tues. Woolies...even though it is Saturday and don't forget the Give Away! you must be a registered follower AND click the link and leave any 'ol comment on that blog post!

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