Quilting Books Patterns and Notionsquiltingbookspatternsandnotions.com
- Avg. revenue /month$21,805
- Avg. sessions /month32,978
- Avg. profit /month$6,529
- Inventory value$15,000
Why this business was started
I started my original business in April of 1990. I also worked at the local Elementary School and worked as a Real Estate agent at the same time. By October I decided to dedicate myself to the business. I started with 250 bolts of fabric and had a 500 square foot business on the second floor of a grocery store in my small rural town.
After a year of growth, lessons, more inventory and business, I decided to move to a 1000 square foot space on the ground level. I stayed there for another 8 years when I finally outgrew that space. The next move was about a mile away to a space that was 2500 square feet.
After a couple of years, I again needed more room, so when the day care in the next space moved, I opened up the rest of the space for a total of 5000 square feet with over 4500 bolts of fabric and everything else that goes with it. Rulers, patterns, books, notions and employees!
Years went by. September 11th happened and the economic slide started.
When the economy started its downward slide, I had to start downsizing. In the meantime, I started the Quilting Books, Patterns and Notions website. I had had the Sunshine Carousel Quilt Shop website for years, but decided on a new name for the site and to focus on Books, Patterns and Notions.
In October of 2009, after almost 20 years, I closed the quilt shop. I had already downsized it to half the size and decided I needed to change my business. I closed the store with a four day sale, moved across the parking lot to a much smaller space and continued with the remainder of my classes and continued quilting quilts for customers with my Gamill quilting machine. All the time, promoting the Quilting Books Patterns and Notions website.
After about a year, I closed the smaller store, sold my quilting machine and moved the business to my home.
It has grown consistently through these past 13 years. I signed on with Shopify about 6 years ago. I had a custom site built and launched my new site 6 years ago on August 1 of 2015. I had the original site from 2009 which did very well, but it was getting old and I was having problems with it.
I just recently, in the past couple of weeks, had the site updated. It's clean, easy to use and has the most recent coding.
Changing to a Shopify site was the best move I could have made. It’s so much easier to use, well maintained, up to date, has great Analytics and Reports and I highly recommend a Shopify site to anyone !
Through the years, my mailing list has increased to over 27,000 emails. No duplicates.
The reason of selling this business
I’m now 69 years old, I’ve been doing this quilting business for a total of 31 years. I’ve built 2 good businesses and now it’s time to take care of my 92 year old parents. My five Granddaughters and a Great Grandson are calling me.
I do wish I had another 20 years or so to work the site as it’s growing exponentially and it would be fun to see how far it can grow. It is definitely virus proof. May was the biggest month I’ve ever had at $46,633.98. More sales than even the 5000 sq ft quilt shop and all done from two rooms.
I have several ideas that would make it grow out of sight and would love to put them to practice but it’s time to pass it on. I would be glad to share these ideas.
What's involved in running this business
Products are ordered from one major distributor and many individual designers.
The products are easily uploaded onto the site with as much information as possible. Name, description, product number, price, tags as to what type of product it is. Pictures of the product are uploaded - the more the better and videos of how to use the product can easily be uploaded if available.
The main marketing is direct marketing to the 27,000+ email addresses. I send a newsletter out one to two times a week. Newsletters work! Once a week I feature new products and once a week I feature items that I have in stock that may have not been selling. That lowers the inventory kept in-house.
Shopify now provides the marketing software to send newsletter. Quick, easy and World wide. The only other monthly software expense is my Shopify service of $79 per month and whatever postage that I incur though the Shopify postage option..
Product is uploaded - easily, newsletter sent out, orders come in, product is either pulled from inventory or entered into the carts of the various vendors. I like to keep my inventory as low as possible as most items are to me within a few days as a rule and I would rather not hold that much inventory. I keep inventory on the best selling items for quick shipping.
I place orders at least 3 times a week. Product arrives most days from my main supplier or from the various individual designers. I have two part time employees that help package and ship products. One of those employees and a third work on the site. Taking off unavailable items, adding new items.
I take care of the customer service, answering emails, printing orders, shipping that may need to be done on my part time employees off days and I take care of all ordering.
Occasionally, I will have a “pop-up” sale and always have a Black Friday through Cyber Monday weekend sale. This year we were so busy selling over 15,000 yards of elastic and face mask templates, I had to forego my annual spring birthday sale. Would have been great but we had no time with the amount of business we already had.
I have a great relationship with all my suppliers. I’ve done business with my major supplier for well over 25 years.
I’ve been with Shopify since August 1, 2015 and am on the Shopify/Monthly plan. I’ve been very pleased with Shopify. They are always improving the usability of the site and I can’t ever remember my site being down.
Most of my shipping is also done through Shopify. It has streamlined my shipping process greatly. Shipping confirmations as sent to the customer as soon as I print their shipping label which is a huge timesaver.
I find using [REDACTED] is better for me for International orders.
Why should someone buy this store?
This site is fresh, easy to use, provides a good income and allows me to have flexibility in my schedule. It has been increasing in sales each month since its inception and has an unlimited potential.
Working on the site and the business procedures are easy to train employees to use. If I were to keep the business, I'd move my employees to full time which would cut my work hours substantially.
How can the future owner improve the business?
I believe customer service is the most important aspect of owning any business. Answer questions, communicate any information important for the customer to be aware of.
Keep on top of new products to make them available to the customers.
I'm at the end of my career and it's still increasing. If the right person were to take over the site with new ideas and energies, the sky is literally the limit. More specials, sales, and promotions.
More active with Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
What work have you put into the store?
I have put 31 years into the industry. Many years of learning the industry, marketing, dealing with suppliers and designers, ordering product, sales, website development, business and employee management, teaching, hosting quilt retreats. All of that has help to build this successful quilting site.
Traffic and Performance
- Avg. revenue /month$21,805Verified
- Avg. sessions /month32,978Verified
- Avg. profit /month$6,529
- Inventory value$15,000
- Profit Margin48%
- Avg. sales /month997
- Shopify plan
- Inventory warehouse
Logo and branding assetsThe Logo goes with the sale of the website. The management of the Facebook account and Pinterest account will all be updated with the new owners information.
Personal support after saleI would be willing to train and to help with the set up, if requested. I would help in any way possible and would be willing to stay on as a consultant for a few months, if requested. There will be a complete procedures manual at the time of the sale.
Product photosNot Included
SuppliersBuyer would have to create their own accounts with the suppliers. I will provide all suppliers and contact information.
How to grow this business
If I were to keep the website, I would negotiate with a reputable quilt shop to add their fabric to the site. Fabric is the most popular part of quilting. If I’m doing this kind of business with Books, Patterns and Notions, I simply cannot imagine what the sales would be if I could offer fabric and quilt kits as well. If they have a monthly program, even better!
If a quilt shop were to take over the site, all the better. Great way to move their inventory. There are so very many ways to grow this business even more.
I do wish I had another 20 years or so to have the site as it’s growing exponentially and it would be fun to see how far it can grow.
Skills to have
It isn’t necessary for a new owner to know this business, however, it would be a plus if they had an understanding of the quilting industry. It can be learned easily. It would simply lessen the learning curve if they had some knowledge of the business. A quilt shop owner would be fantastic! It's simply sales. Add product, advertise, order the product, ship to the customer. The occasional questions from customers are not generally to do with the process of quilting and if it is, we direct them to the designer for answers.
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