Despite the economy, Karen decided now was the time to open her shop in the upstairs of what used to be a Pilate's studio her husband owned. When he moved across the street to open a gym, the space became available. "I saw the opportunity and decided to make the big leap and open my own business, " she said. When another local quilt shop closed it's doors, she saw there was still an interest and a need for a quilt shop in town. She sells fabric, patterns, notions and some finished items. She also teaches quilting classes, for those who want a hands-on learning experience.
Like most entrepreneurs, Karen faced some challenges in the beginning. About 15 years ago, she opened a sewing and notions shop, but it "didn't take off," Karen said. But, being an avid quilter, when the opportunity arose this time around, she decided to "....jump in and try my hand at opening my own shop....again!" When asked what advice she'd give other women thinking of opening their own business in the current economy, she had some sage advice. "You need to know your market," she said. "Also, you need financial backing. I don't think you can open a new business in this economy on a shoe-string budget. You also have to be willing to try new things to market your business."
One new concept she's doing currently, is hosting a group on Tuesday mornings starting at 10:00 A.M., where people can work on any project they want and get help with their project, too. "It's an open forum where you can bring in any project you're working on... it doesn't even have to be quilting," she said. Most recently the group worked together to make lap size quilts for the "Helping Hands" charity. The ability to blend the love of quilting with helping others in the her community is important to Karen. Both she and her husband have been long-time educators in the Kalama School District and she continues to work with students by occasionally substitute teaching.
If you love quilts and always wanted to learn to make one, or if you're an experienced quilter looking for new ideas, you'll want to visit Karen's Quilt Loft. Stop by and have a cup of coffee while you browse. Karen will be happy to help you! Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Don't miss the upcoming "BLACK FRIDAY SALE", the day after Thanksgiving. The shop will open an hour earlier at 9:00 am. There will be "staggered" discounts throughout the day. From 9:00 am to Noon, there will the following discounts: 40% off Fall and Halloween prints and 30% off Christmas prints. After Noon: 20% off everything else (except previously marked sales items).
Interested in taking a quilting class? The next class will be making Christmas potholders. The cost is $30.00 which includes the pattern and full instruction. Contact Karen to sign up, (360) 957-5485 or www.karensquiltloft.com.