Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Lower Pricing?

A couple of weeks ago I blogged about a few FreeSpirit price increases that were necessary to implement immediately.  The increased prices were, in my opinion, based on things that were clearly mis-priced under the previous regime.  Today, on the other hand, I am going to talk about some lower pricing.  Yes, you heard that right…lower pricing.  More about that in a little bit after I introduce you to the amazingly talented Keiko Goke.

Have you heard about Keiko Goke?  She is an international self-taught quilt icon from Sendai, Japan who has embraced quilting for over 40 years.  She graduated from Setsu Mode Seminar fashion school in 1969.  In 1978, she founded Quilt Circle Kei and had her first exhibition of many in 1979.  She has participated in many domestic and international competitions and, of course, has received many prestigious awards.

Keiko’s style includes a variety of irregular piecing and applique techniques.  In addition, she sometimes utilizes hand quilting to create a more rustic vibe.  Other times, she uses embroidery.  Needless to say, she has tons of tools in her arsenal to make remarkable art pieces.  Keiko loves to play with colors and this helps her to create explosive pieces that stand out among the crowd.  Check out this beauty below that is called “To Tomorrow.”  Wowser!

Keiko has written many books.  Her most recent one being “All My Thanks & Love to Quilts” which brings together 70 of her most extraordinary pieces created during her lengthy career.  If you are a Keiko fan or just love looking at beautiful quilts, this is a must.

You should also check out her website.  Her work will blow your mind.  After fishing around the website, I have serious respect for her amazing talents and am glad to know that she is a part of the FreeSpirit team.  What she creates is nothing short of magnificent works of art.  It’s absolutely mesmerizing.  Here’s another beauty.

What was the point of this post anyway?  Oh yeah, lower pricing.  Now that you know all about Keiko and have the resources to learn a lot more, you should know that we are lowering the pricing of her line called “How do you do?”  I re-costed Keiko’s fabric and determined that it was way too expensive and what would result would be that her fabrics would be priced out of the market and wouldn’t sell much.  There are limits to what the ultimate consumer can bear with respect to fabric prices.  That is the reality.

With that, we have significantly lowered the price for future orders and we are also lowering the price for all orders on the books.  Yes, I really did just say that.  For all you quilt shop owners, please revisit this line with your sales rep and reconsider purchasing it based on this new and more reasonable pricing, but also because Keiko is an absolute master.  The line is still higher priced than most other fabrics, but know that these goods are printed in Japan and they are printed on a higher quality piece of fabric.

To wrap things up, I wanted you to know that it isn’t always about higher pricing.  It’s more about fair pricing and trying to sell as much fabric as possible so everyone can enjoy the beautiful products we are producing.  It also shows that we are paying attention to the reality of our market and that we are not just trying to gouge everyone with outrageous prices.  We like to stay within the realm of where fabrics are priced…preferably in the middle and not the top.  My family is in this for the long haul and we are about building the brand, building the designers and building the relationships.

Have a great week!

Scott “How Do You Do?” Fortunoff

P.S……Here is where you can find my Executive Facebook page.

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Author: Scott Fortunoff

Author of Tales of 4th Generation Textile Executive Blog. President of Studioe Fabrics, The Blank Quilting Corp. and A.E. Nathan Co., Inc. Co-President of FreeSpirit Fabrics. V-P of Henry Glass Fabrics. President of Scott’s Free Sewing Machines. Creator of the #sewrevolution.

28 thoughts on “Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Lower Pricing?”

  1. Fair pricing is most important. I will buy smaller cuts in the upper price range if they’re exactly what I *need,* but my go-tos are mid-range lines, where I can afford to buy bigger cuts of fabrics I *like.* I like lots of fabrics on hand to make showstopping bags, and fair pricing allows me that luxury.

    1. I am with you! As a retail store I would love to buy 7-8 yards of fabric instead of always having to do 10-15 yards. I can dream

    2. Thank you for introducing Keiko, amazing work. Currently my shop does not carry the line.

  2. I’m on social security and I hope I don’t get priced out of quilting. Fasset and Tula are already at $12.00 a yard here

  3. I love her work! I remember when I first saw some of her quilts. They included hearts and log cabins and I was instantly smitten. She has such amazing talent! I’m thrilled that her fabric prices will be reduced and hope that some of my “local” shops will carry them now. Happy Monday and have a great week!

  4. Wow. Keiko’s work and colour sense are fantastic. I will seek out her fabric whether it is a brick and mortar store, or online. Thank you for introducing me to her, and her work.

  5. I love her fabric and will be able to buy more if the shops will carry more of it now. Yay, thanks so much. You da man.

  6. Will definitely have to take a look at Keiko’s website .. I have never purchased her fabric … really don’t know if I have ever seen her fabric in some of the quilt shops I purchase from .. I. Will make it priority to ask for them in the future for sure !!! Love your blogs !

  7. I will have to stick with mid- priced fabrics. But, I still make show stopping quilts, so I’m told by several people. But I do understand about price raising. If you want quality to pay for it.

  8. The first time I saw one of her quilts just blew my mind! I can’t remember the name of it, but am still trying to figure out how she put it together for the last twenty five years. Love her stuff!

  9. This is wonderful news! I have long been a fan of Keiko’s work and her fabrics and have wanted to carry her fabrics in my shop but the price never made it possible for me to do this. I did notice it on the Checker site before the announcement to sell, I hope it gets back up on there again soon. Thank you for making this business work! I’ve been following your progress on Facebook and I am so excited that you and your family have taken on Free Spirit.

    1. Not sure why they don’t have it on the site, but perhaps you could inquire and maybe they will put it up for you and learn that they can in fact sell her stuff well.

  10. Thanks for introducing us to Keiko. I have admired her craftsmanship through ‘Quiltmania’ magazine. I had no idea she is part of the FreeSpirit family! AWESOME!! I hope my LQS gets on board and purchases some of her fabric- I can’t wait to check it out.
    Have a great week!

  11. I have never heard of this amazing woman until your post, and cannot wait to work with her fabrics and books. Thank you so much Scott, for choosing to run your business with integrity and flair! I greatly appreciate you and your family. May all the other fabric companies choose to follow your marvelous example and do the right thing for everyone instead of just for themselves. You are one in a million!

  12. My neighbors 10-year-old daughter sewed pillow cases, with the assistance of her neighbor, to give to a children’s pediatric cancer ward. She is planning to continue doing this. She is borrowing a sewing machine currently, but I believe she is deserving of, and would put to good use, one of the machines you so generously give away. Please consider Caroline for a machine. Thanks so much.

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