Who wants to help me shop?

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Who wants to help me shop?

New postby Pudge99 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:02 am

I'm trying to decide how to fill up my store. Since the other fabric store is still in business I thought the best way to get people to come to me would be to carry items that they do not. Working there last year gave me an in on what the store is lacking in some respects.
Here's what I have decided so far...
I am going to try as much as possible to get inventory that is "Made in the USA". I don't have a problem with say Japanese Silks, or Guttermann Thread. What I am going to avoid is the stuff that is made by paying the people pennies a day to slave for hours.
Also I plan to offer only "Green" batting etc. I've found a great line that uses sustainable plant fibers.
Machine Embroidery Supplies (Isacord thread and OESD stabilizers)
Kids craft items (felt, chenille stems, wiggly eyes, tacky glue, puff balls, etc.)

I am stuck on what general purpose and quilting thread to carry. I know I don't want C&C. Has anyone used Superior Threads? What about Robinson Anton? Guttermann? Mettler? Negative and positive opinions are welcome.

I am also looking for patterns that are created by an individual or group of individuals (no major corporations here) for Clothing, Crafting, and Quilting.
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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby DorothyL on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:25 am

Do you have a list of manufacturers and wholesalers?

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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby HeyJudee on Mon Feb 28, 2011 10:30 am

Superior Threads is supposed to be very good. The quilt shops around here don't carry it but this Cdn company does.
http://cottonmillthreadworks.danemcoweb.com/ She always has a booth at our quilt show which is held in May. And I have purchased items from her and everything I have purchased I have loved. IMO, she knows her stuff. You may be interested in reading her blog (link on that home page) to get some info as she is a Superior Threads educator.

Aurifil Threads is a thread that I use a lot and love. I can pick it up at various quilt shows around the area as there is a distributor in our area. It is an Italian thread but made of long staple Egyptian cotton. I have used Mettler and really liked it. But the fabric stores (Fabricland and Fabricville) around here have stopped carrying Mettler and are carrying Gutterman instead. Gutterman is OK and I use it quite a lot as it is carried in the closest store to me so is quick to go there and get what I need.
TTFN from Canada
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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby Pudge99 on Mon Feb 28, 2011 11:00 am

DorothyL wrote:Do you have a list of manufacturers and wholesalers?

Dorothy


There are so many manufactures and wholesalers that my head is spinning. Most of the larger manufacturers only do business with large retailers or people who have been in business for some time. I have found a few wholesalers who will talk to me as long as I have a credit card on hand. :roll: Actually one has been really great and has been a great help to me in deciding how much I need of certain things to get the ball rolling. I plan to do a lot of business with them, only because the were friendly and helpful even though I don't have the money in hand today.
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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby sewhappyrtr on Mon Feb 28, 2011 2:02 pm

Wish I lived closer so I could come and shop at your shop when its up and running. Sounds like you have a plan that will work!!
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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby missfleecy on Mon Feb 28, 2011 6:50 pm

Be careful: Stores tend to carry items that sell well, so the model of only carrying things that other stores don't can be disastrous. Remember that anything you purchase which doesn't sell is money you've thrown away!

Before choosing suppliers, first you'll want to research the average sales per square foot for the fabric industry in Nebraska. From that, you can calculate how much retail space'll you need to obtain and maintain profitability given the rental cost per square foot in your area. Then you can calculate how much inventory will you need to fill that space, and in turn how much of your initial capital investment you will need for inventory.

Here's a simple example. Suppose that you plan to mark up your prices by 50% over what you paid--you pay $100, you sell for $150 (so if you pay $166, you sell for $250). This is typical for a small, newly-established retail store. Then suppose your retail space costs $5/square foot per month and the average annual sales per square foot for the fabric industry in Nebraska is $250. With those numbers you can do the simple math to find that you lose $60 (24%) of the $250 to rental, leaving in $190 of annual income per square foot. Subtracting your inventory cost of $166 gives you a final figure of $23 per year of net profitability per square foot. That is a 13.8% profit.

So to make a total profit of $15,000 in the first year (equivalent to a minimum wage job at McDonalds) you would need to sell around $110,000 of inventory. If you expect to turn over 8% of your inventory per month (a typical figure for a small, niche store, which is also simple to use for calculations), that also works out to needing an initial $110,000 investment in inventory and roughly 650 square feet of retail space.

Of course, the above calculation assumes you have absolutely no other costs (for signage, shelves, marketing, additional labor, etc.) but those are easy to figure in. If all of that will cost another $15,000, for example, you simply need a 1200 square foot store with $220,000 of inventory so that you can still make your $15,000. And obviously you should use the actual annual sales per square foot in Nebraska, rather than the estimate of $250. (For example, stores in higher-traffic locations, such as malls, on average do as much as $350/square foot of sales.)

Once you've got that figured out, then you can start deciding how to allocate your square footage and exactly what types of inventory you'll want to carry.
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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Mon Feb 28, 2011 7:14 pm

Gina, you should definetly check out American and Efird Mills headquarted in Mt. Holly, NC. They are a very large thread co. Two of their products are Robison Anton Threads and of course, Maxi-Lock.. They also distribute lots and lots of other items (sewing notions, etc) too numerous for me to mention here. Mt. Holly is only 12 or so miles from Charlotte. My Boss at the bank before we retired was the wife of an A & E VP. He passed away a few months ago, but he always kept me supplied in sewing thread. He always made me buy my own Maxi-Lock though.
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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby Pudge99 on Tue Mar 01, 2011 12:57 pm

Libby,

I have come across them in my search. I'll dig into them a little more. Thanks.
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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby bridesmom on Wed Mar 02, 2011 12:07 am

When you say 'green' batting are you talking about bamboo and/or wool? They are wonderful battings to work with. Or ones that are called 'organic'?
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Re: Who wants to help me shop?

New postby Pudge99 on Wed Mar 02, 2011 8:24 am

When I say green I mean non-polyester, minimal chemicals. Let me see if I can find the link to the one I really thought sounded nice. Here it is. Cotton, bamboo and wool are on my list also.
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