Stitch shop combines high tech and high touch into a super-personalized shopping experience. But it may have to evolve with consumers’ changing habits, experts say.
Those changes include a growing number of people who turn to local fabric shops for inspiration and supplies. Lake Makerie, Selby Avenue’s Sewing Lounge and Treadle Yard Goods are among the shops reporting a steady stream of new customers.
Shop Your Stash First
Fabric stashing is a popular practice among sewing enthusiasts, as it allows you to have a wide variety of fabrics readily available for your projects. By exploring different fabrics, attending fabric swaps, and organizing your collection, you can create a well-rounded and visually appealing stash that will inspire your creativity.
Whether you choose to use a physical swatch book or download an app that catalogs your fabric, it is important to document your collection. This will help you find fabric easily, as well as save you time and money when shopping.
It’s also a good idea to regularly go through your collection and reassess whether certain fabrics align with your current interests or project goals. Donating or selling fabrics that no longer spark joy can allow you to make room in your stash for new fabric additions. It’s also a great way to earn some extra cash!
Support Local Businesses
Local businesses often pride themselves on offering high quality, handmade or one-of-a-kind products that you can’t find at a chain store. They may also have a specific focus that allows them to hone their craft and perfect production costs.
For example, a coffee shop might only offer drinks made from locally sourced ingredients which results in a more flavorful and higher quality product. Or a local clothing boutique might specialize in using materials that drape well on the body for better fit and comfort.
Jon McKay, founder of Stitch, noticed that many brick-and-mortar businesses had trouble joining the subscription economy and developed a platform to help them do so. It’s a software-as-a-service that helps businesses manage inventory across multiple sales channels. For instance, if someone buys something on Etsy, the company’s internal system will update that number and reflect in other platforms, like Shopify. That way, each channel gets accurate numbers and the buyer doesn’t get a duplicate order.
When you shop, whether it be online or in person, it is important to remember that every choice you make has a direct or indirect impact on someone or something. Choosing to buy local is a great way to ensure your money stays within the community and does not get funneled into the pockets of big businesses.
Shopping locally is a much more personal and inspiring experience than shopping at large chain stores where you are just a number. The owners of small fabric shops live and breath sewing and fabrics so will go out of their way to provide a positive experience for their customers.
Feel Good Shop Local aims to make it as easy as possible for buyers and sellers to connect. For shoppers, it offers a searchable online directory of local businesses and provides suggestions for gifts for family and friends that support local economies. The website also encourages shoppers to share their love of local shops and recommend them to others.
Don’t Forget About Your Stash
A crafter’s stash is just as essential as the tools they use to create. A fabric stash can inspire creativity and provide the opportunity for new projects. But it can also overwhelm the sewing space and cause stress if it is not carefully managed.
Keeping track of your fabrics is key to managing your collection effectively. Many sewists keep a database of their collection or download an app that helps them organize and document their fabrics. This practice allows them to easily reference their inventory and work with fabrics that coordinate with their patterns.
Additionally, proper storage is critical to keeping the fabrics protected from dust and pests. Consider storing your fabrics in clear plastic bins so that they can be viewed and accessed easily. Additionally, it is helpful to store the fabrics by color or project potential, as this makes them easier to work with. As your collections evolve over time, it is also important to donate or sell fabrics that no longer align with your interests and to periodically reassess your storage options.