Featured Designer -
How long have you been a stitcher?
Before I started school, I had a babysitter that did embroidery and I loved it ! When I was 6 years old, my mother bought a stamped dresser scarf for me and one for each of my two older sisters. I stitched my scarf and had to finish theirs before she would buy another project for me. That scarf is still on my dresser but the tablecloths, towels, pillowcases, and hankies are all worn out. Now, I do not have to finish a project before I can start another one since I stitch most of the models in my shop. I do eventually finish all the projects.
How important is the social media?
Sharing has been an important part of the business as there has always been a round table and chairs for anyone to sit and stitch. When a project is finished, someone actually gets to " do the dance." We do have a website, www.TennesseeStitching.com " that gives information about the shop, location and a map to find us. Conventional advertising has not provided many growth opportunities for us as we have found that word of mouth works best. Stitchers loves to introduce their stitching friends to their source. Just last week, the elevator opened and I heard a new customer announce to her friend, a regular customer, that she was now in cross stitch heaven.
What products do you offer?
Being a shop owner, you start out with the things that interest you and then fill in with other things that customers want. I think it is really important to be a member of the professional association and attend the markets that are appropriate for your inventory. I like to tell customers about the designers and encourage them to keep up to date with the newest designs.
Cross Stitch & Crafts offers a room full of fabrics and a room overflowing with threads, not to mention the beads, buttons and charms to embellish. I thought the shop should do one thing well, and tried to carry everything needed to stitch each pattern in the shop. I expanded quickly as I learned that we use the same threads for other stitching like needlepoint, tatting, punchneedle, hardanger, and beading.
My husband, Fred , and I have two children. Becca and her husband live in Huntsville, Alabama. They have three children and she is the 7th and 8th grade math teacher at their school. Becca is one of those rare birds that stitches one project at a time. Granddaughters Mary (8) and Kate (11) love to spend time in Nonna's shop and are good stitchers. Thomas and his wife live in Marshall, North Carolina. They have a one year old son. I also like to knit and quilt for the grandchildren, and read romance and mystery novels.
My customers will tell you that I like to share my philosophy about stitching. If you will stitch for 15 minutes before going to sleep, you will sleep better. It relaxes you and soothes the worries about your job that you may have brought home with you.