Planning and Hosting Events in Your Shop

Getting customers through your door is the key challenge for any shop owner. Here are some ideas from Janice Pope, Sales Manager at Blank Textiles about how to use events to attract new customers and keep your existing customers interested.

  1. Sip & Sew: One week night every week invite friends to bring a project and their favourite beverage to the shop for a sewing get together. Charge a minimal amount for help with a project or pattern (£5.00). They will use this opportunity to purchase items for their projects, as well as, seeing what is new in the store.
  2. Bolt of the Day: This can be an ongoing program every hour of every day. Choose a bolt of fabric that has been in the store for over a year.  Leave it on the cutting table at a reduced price and mention it to every customer who has something cut that day.  Have a laminated sign that sits on top of it when not being cut which says, “Bolt of the Day” along with its reduced price. 
  3. Potluck Supper:  When you have taught a multiple day class, celebrate the accomplishments of the students by hosting a pot luck dinner on the last day of class. This builds unity with the members and good feelings all around! 
  4. Gift Wrapping Event: Around November each year, have a gift shop owner come in and show gift wrapping techniques. This can work well with December events too. 
  5. There are a lot of great ideas to base around the Christmas holidays. For example, you can offer the 12 Days of Christmas where you have 12 days of gift ideas for quilters to the customers in the shop as well as everyone on your email list. 
  6. Floral Arranging: In the spring you can have a florist demonstrate floral arranging as part of a demo day where you also have floral fabrics on sale, or rulers to help with fussy cutting. 
  7. Kid’s Crafting Event:  Have a kid’s crafting day so that they make something for their parents (could be centred on Mother’s Day, Father’s Day or Christmas) while the parents shop. 
  8. Christmas in July: This event can be huge if you plan it ahead of time and host it every year. One store collects all their Christmas fabrics and holds them so no customers see them until the “DAY” of the reveal. Others put them in shelves and cover the shelves creating anticipation until the reveal day. On that special day (usually a Saturday) the customers come in, refreshments are served and the fabric is unveiled. Discounts are available to those attending. 
  9. Bagettes, or Bag of the Month Club: Each month participants make one bag with a different pattern. By varying the patterns and materials used your customers can discover and become familiar with different designers and products.