Is Now a Bad Time to Start a Quilt Business?

In recent weeks there has been much online discussion about the “shrinking” of the quilting industry. Shops are closing. Magazines are stopping publication. Quilters seem to be aging and declining in numbers. And many commentators note the quilt market seems to be flooded with way too many fabrics, patterns, and products.

Should any of this worry you?

Maybe, if your dream is to open a physical quilt shop because this segment of the industry seems to be going through some level of struggle. You'll need to do careful research to make sure a local market can sustain the type of shop you want to run.

But if your vision is for a different type of quilt business, you may not need to pay attention to all the worries. And the biggest reason why … is you.

  • Your unique creativity that comes through in your quilts, patterns, fabric designs …
  • Your unique way of serving customers with longarm quilting, teaching, or producing custom or art quilts …
  • Your unique ideas for a quilt shop, whether online or yes, even a physical store ...
  • The special expression of your styles, passions, ideas that comes through in everything you do!

All of these elements will resonate with your “tribe” of customers, as long as you keep trying to find them. And with millions of quilters around the world, I believe the market is still big enough to offer plenty of opportunity.

Also important to remember: When starting business on a small scale, you don’t need a big market of potential customers to be a success. What’s more important is that you keep your willingness to try … To put your products and services out there, promote them in the best ways you can, then learn from what happens.

That’s my plan for pursuing my own quilt business ideas. And I won’t let any hand-wringing commentary in the industry stop me from trying.

What about you?