Hey Y’all!!! We’re excited to share with you the winner of our Blog Shout Out from our National Quilting Day Event on Facebook! Abby Brooks (shown below) won an 84 piece fat quarter bundle of Harmony! Per the giveaway, Abby tagged her local quilt shop, Austin Sewing Machines & Quilting and so it is… our Blog Shout Out winner!
National Quilt Day is once a year, but we eat, sleep, and breathe fabric and quilting every day! 🙂 We were thrilled to see the photos of consumers enjoying their time spent in their local quilt shop! There is so much of a spirit of camaraderie when shopping local; we love to encourage people to go to their local quilt/fabric shops! You’ll find you can get guidance on a project or technique, inspiration, and of course, FABRIC!!!!! 🙂
I reached out to Austin Sewing Machines and Quilting to find out their story. Another perk of being in this industry is learning about our new friends and their experiences!
QT: Tell us about you and your shop:
Austin Sewing Machine (ASM): ASM has been owned by my parents, Bob and Ruth Clark since 1984. My name is Robyn Smith and I have worked in the sewing industry for most of my life. Sewing is a love inherited from my mother and I created my first garment in 4H in the 7th grade. ASM started out as a sewing machine business and we currently sell five brands of machines: Pfaff, Viking, Brother, Janome and Juki (including Juki’s long arm).
In 2001, premium quilting fabric, patterns, designs and notions were added to our inventory. I soon was addicted to quilting. In addition to teaching new owners’ classes to those who purchase machines from us, we also have a monthly Sewing and Embroidery Club meetings to encourage our club members with new techniques and designs as well as recognizing their own creativity and patronage.
QT: Are you more motivated by color or pattern?
Currently, with approximately 3,000 bolts from various manufacturers, I’m motivated by color rather than pattern. I especially love bright colors and since I am the fabric buyer for the store, ASM has a lot of color! Batiks, stripes, dots and metallic finished fabrics provide our customers with a selection towards the modern look rather than the traditional or civil war style.
QT: If you had to make only one type of project going forward, what would it be?
Quilts, hands down. Though I sewed garments for many years, fitting is not a strong point for me – if it didn’t fit, it never got finished! Fortunately, quilts do not have to “fit”.
I especially love machine embroidery which plays very well with quilting. We sell Anita Goodesign embroidery collections as well as various other companies’ designs. We just completed an event with Anita Goodesign with over 50 participants which was a lot of fun.
QT: Finish this statement: To me, success is…
In connecting with our customers, of course face to face is the best. We use email a lot and we do have a Facebook page. We are exploring using Instagram. To me, success is creating the most positive experience for each customer that makes a contact in our store.
QT: What are your future goals?
Our goals for the future would be: to continue to greet each individual who contacts our store with the genuine intention to get to know him or her and meet their specific needs; to provide customers with the best service possible; and to keep our “brick and mortar” business going well into the future.
A wonderful story and legacy for this family-owned and operated business. So often, in this digital age, we forget the friendly smile and welcoming spirit when walking into a brick and mortar shop. We love to learn from our shop customers and see the positive impact they have on their community.
I can’t wait to head over to my local shop tomorrow to see what types of events they have going on! Maybe, just maybe, my friends there will be able to help me figure out a technique to keep my stitching within the seam allowance for once! If crooked sewing/stitching was an Olympic sport, I’d tie for 1st, 2nd and 3rd 🙂