What kind of business are you starting?
Dylan Fabrics, a brick-and-mortar retail fabric store, specializing in fashion, apparel, and costume fabric along with related trims and notions.
I love fabric. There are no good sources of fabric in my area, and many similar communities. Market research has indicated that others who sew feel similarly. Those polled scored their satisfaction levels with current fabric shopping options at an average of 5.6, on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being completely happy, and 1 being completely unhappy. More and more young people are returning to sewing as a hobby, and national retailers have not kept up with tastes and expectations in terms of quality, price, fashion trends, and service. It’s a growth industry, with major retailers reporting annual increases in revenue even during national economic recessions.
Are you going to sell it online?
No. At least not at first.
100% of people polled prefer to shop for fabric in person. Weight, feel, and true color have a lot to do with the fabric-buying process. Buying online means risking that one of these things will not be satisfactory. Online purchases can not be returned–because fabric is purchased by yardage, most fabric stores will not allow returns because it is difficult to resell once cut.
Additionally, the online market for fabric sales is much more saturated. I won’t be able to compete in scale and scope, meaning my pricing will not be competitive. Marketing would require an entirely different approach. Due to time and budget constraints, it makes sense not to pursue this avenue yet.
Where will you be located?
The first store will be located in Silverdale, Washington, my hometown. I intend to open additional stores in NW communities and throughout the West.
Will you offer sewing classes?
I hope to partner with an existing Sewing and Vacuum store to make classes available for my customers.
So you must sew a lot, huh?
I sew a bit. I found I spent more time shopping for fabric and supplies than I ever did making things. I’m a fabric connoisseur. I love running my hands over a clean, smooth sateen, or losing myself in a gorgeous heavy wool. I love fabric for its possibilities; what it could become excites me more than a finished product. I’ve become somewhat of a fabric hoarder, so having a store gives me a great excuse to grow my collection.
Seriously, don’t get me talking about fabric. I will never stop.
Will you carry any quilting or home decor fabric?
A little, mostly those with crossover potential for clothing or accessories. Eventually I hope to expand to carry full lines of quilting and home decor. Those are not currently my areas of expertise, but I look forward to learning. I have a feeling if I learn how to quilt I’ll never stop.
When will you open?
I’m hoping in May 2016. As of this post (March 23, 2016) I have purchased about half of my inventory and am in negotiations on a retail space.
Do you like spaceships?