November Cream and Sugar III

 

How was your Thanksgiving? We hope you all enjoyed the holiday and are feeling full and happy. We wanted to kick off the countdown to the next big holiday by giving away a bundle of our Cream and Sugar III fabric! Wouldn’t this fabric look beautiful in a winter themed quilt? To enter to win, all you have to do is comment this post.  You can also comment any link of this post on our Facebook page for an extra entry.  

 

As always, follow us on social media for surprise extra chances to win!

 

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*Contest ends December 5th, 8:00 am EST.  Open to US residents only.*

Cream and Sugar III Fabric Giveaway

 

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: A Beginner’s Guide To Swatchcards Part 2

For today’s blog post I want to continue with my explanation of swatchcards. (Click here if you missed part one.) There are times where we make selling swatchcards with actual fabric on them. This happens on only about 5% of our lines each year.  Here are some scenarios where we make fabric cards and don’t use printed paneled swatchcards.



Let’s take the Peppered Cotton solids by Pepper Cory for example.  Due to that fact that this fabric has some very subtle nuances, we would have done this line a serious disservice if we sold it off of printed color cards.  The truth is that it wouldn’t have sold off paper at all.  Therefore, due to the nuances in the fabric and due to the fact that we knew this would be a basic line, we dyed the required minimum quantities of fabric and made fabric cards.  In fact, we made 3 versions of the Peppered Cotton card each of the times that we added new colors to the range.  When it was all said and done, we now have a beautiful card with 50 colors. 

 

Oftentimes, in addition to the large 11×17 cards that we make for the reps, we make 8 1/2×11 cards for our reps to give to the customers.  These are great tools for us and the customers.  For the customers, they always have a reference for when they are ready to order, they can show the colors to customers for them to select colors they like and they can see if the colors match a project that they are working on. For us, having the mini card in the customer’s hand is like having another sales rep. So in the end, it is well worth the investment and we don’t have to pay them a commission.  In addition to the Peppered Cottons, we make these mini cards for a lot of our basic lines like Just Color! and Watermark to name a few.

 

Many of the lines that we print in India or Pakistan are often ultimately made in to swatched cards due to the high minimum orders required by the mills in those countries.  So for example, the cream and sugar line and any 108″ line fall in to this category because the minimum order quantity is 3000 yards of a pattern.  We first show the lines on paper and then after several months when we have the fabric in the US, we make it in to a swatchcard.  Usually, by the time the fabric card has been out for a couple of months with the reps, we often sell out of the line which is a good thing.  

 

Another occasion where we would make a fabric card is when a line has been selling for a while and the sales have slowed dramatically, but we have a lot of inventory left. A way for us to revive the line is to have the line sampled on a fabric card.  It is amazing how this helps to revive the sales of the line.  It is almost as if the customers are seeing the line for the first time.  Then you have to wonder whether the line sold better because it was on fabric vs. a printed color card.  If I only knew.  What do you think?

 

Happy Thanksgiving!  

 

Swatchcard Scott 

 

 

November Pearle Giveaway

 

Congratulations Joanne Hubbard for winning the Rush Hour giveaway! This week we decided to follow Fave Quilts’ lead and giveaway one 18″ x 21″ quarter cut bundle of our Pearle line.  So if you missed their Pearle giveaway that ended yesterday, here’s another chance to win! To enter to win, all you have to do is comment this post.  You can also comment any link of this post on our Facebook page for an extra entry.  

*Contest ends November 28th, 9:00 am EST.  Open to US residents only.*

 

Pearle giveaway

 

 

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: A Beginner’s Guide To Swatchcards

An integral part of selling fabric is the fabric samples and swatchcards.  With respect to samples, there are a couple of options that I will discuss below.  Some companies print their fabrics up front (i.e. before getting orders) and show all of their lines on fabric.  This is a really nice option as you, the customer, know exactly what you are going to get.  On the other hand, it might be a complicated way to manage inventory for companies that sell that way.  Without boring you with the minutia of selling this way, the problem arises when reorders need to be placed and minimum order quantities need to be achieved. 

 

 

Using a simple example, if the initial order placed on a pattern is sold out and the company has to go back in to reorder to cover additional orders of say 400 yards, the problem arises because the mill requires an order of say 1000 yards.  Therefore, there is the potential to have 600 yards of closeouts which drags down margins dramatically, if not totally.  In there lies the crux of the problem.    

 

 

All of our quilt shop only companies (Studioe, Henry Glass & Blank Quilting Corp), on the other hand, sell off paper on what we call CAD (computer-aided design) cards.  Essentially these are printed selling boards.  We mock up the cards on the computer and send them to a company called Swatchcraft who ultimately prints the cards for us and distributes them too.  One of the most difficult aspects of producing the cards is matching the colors.  As you can imagine, you don’t want to find out that a line you thought was red was really pink.  

 

Our team spends a lot of time color matching the cards so that customers can feel confident that they are actually getting what they paid for.  At this point in the game, being that we have been selling this way for many years now, customers understand how this works and have confidence in our color matching and our fabrics.  In any case, I always tell people that that fabric looks better than the paper and it feels better too.  As for the feel of our fabrics, the majority of our goods are printed in Korea on 60×60 cottons and most customers can feel confident about the product they are getting from our companies.

 

The reason we prefer this method of selling is that it allows us to sell the lines for anywhere between 5 and 8 months before we ship the actual fabric.  So for example, the lines that we just showed at the Houston quilt market in October will start shipping starting April next year.  That gives our reps a long time to sell the fabric.  When it is time to place our orders we have built up a nice book of sales.  We then take the total number of sales and buy a percentage of backup fabric for reorders.  The upside to this is that we don’t have an exorbitant amount of closeouts.  Moreover, we are what people call “one and done.”  That means that we print the lines once and typically don’t go in for reprints.  This is what we have found works best for us and we are sticking to it.  Hope it works for you! 

 

What do you think?

 

Until we meet again.
Scott

November Rush Hour Giveaway

 

Thank you everyone for entering the Just Color! giveaway last week, and congratulations to Cheryl Jackson for winning!  This week we’re giving away a fabric bundle we know you all will enjoy.  Remember those beautiful projects Madame Samm and her readers made?  Well, we’re giving away a bundle of Rush Hour so one lucky winner can make their own! To enter to win, all you have to do is comment this post.  You can also comment any link of this post on our Facebook page for an extra entry. 

*Contest ends November 21st, 8:00 am EST.  Open to US residents only.*

 

 

 

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Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Blogger’s Guilt

I am going through some serious blogger’s guilt of late.  I had a legitimate excuse to not blog while I was at Quilt Market in Houston, but last week I had no such excuse.  In general, I am not big on excuses because all they are is excuses anyway and no one wants to hear them, including myself. Rather than make excuses, I prefer to apologize.  I feel that I have let down my followers… so Laurie (my wife) and mom, sorry.    

Now that I got that out of the way.  Let me show you the real reason why I couldn’t blog last Monday.  All the candy and trick or treating has taken its toll on me and buzz light year.      

Laurie and Mom, I promise to continue to blog every week until the end of the year.  Until next week!

Just Color! Giveaway

 

Happy Friday everyone!  Last week we gave away TWO bundles of our Watermark line to celebrate the holiday and today we are giving away 18 x 21 quarter cuts of our Just Color! line.  To enter this giveaway, all you must do is comment this post telling us what you would make with this fabric. You must be a fan of Studioe on Facebook (and doing so might give you other chances to enter) to win.  Good luck and don’t forget to tell your friends!

*Contest ends November 14h at 8:00 am EST. Open to US residents only.*

 

Studioe giveaway

Studioe

Studioe

 

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