This month we have the honor to get behind the scenes of one of the most popular and loved online stores in the country: Fat Quarter Shop. Over the last few years, thanks to hard work, great selection and customer service, they became a referent for where to buy quilting fabrics and patterns. You can find everything you need (and more!), and their website is great to navigate! Each item is perfectly categorized (and we mean each because they have thousands!) Another feature that we love is the "coming soon" section, where you can preview upcoming collections and enter your email to receive notice when this particular line is shipping... cool, right?
Kimberly Jolly is the owner and she has a beautiful family! We sent her many questions that we would love to know (and we think you too!)
1. Hi Kim, and thank you very much for answering these questions! Tell us how Fat Quarter Shop got started. Why? When? Where? Who?
I learned to quilt about fifteen years ago, and it quickly became my passion. I just could not get enough of it, and it was always a challenge to find the exact quality fabrics that I wanted. There was one fat quarter bundle in particular that I could not find in stores anywhere. I decided it was time to open an online quilt store where I could carry all the wonderful fabrics and precuts that I had trouble finding! I started out of my home, still working my day job and cutting and filling orders at night. Eventually word got out about Fat Quarter Shop, I quit my day job, and the rest is history! With my husband’s help, Fat Quarter Shop has become a store with a variety of fabrics, precuts, kits, patterns and much more. Tons of work and dedication have gone into building my store, but I still marvel at how much Fat Quarter Shop has grown in nearly 10 years.
2. Some shops have theme… what would you say is your shops theme?
We do not have a theme so much as characteristics for which we’re known. We are known for the large variety and wide selection of fabrics we carry, our great original and exclusive kits, our fast shipping and amazing customer service! Many of our loyal customers know us on a first-name basis and vice versa, and that will always be the case!
3. Boast your bolts… what is your current bolt count?How many bolts?
(Fat Quarter Shop's AGF Stash)
4. What goes into fabric selection? What do you consider and how much of a role does personal taste play?
I like to think that over the years we have become fabric connoisseurs. Generally we are attracted to groups from many different genres that are artistically strong and will be sought after, but of course personal taste comes into play. That’s what makes fabric buying fun! I will never stop swooning at the sight of a delicious new fabric collection.
5. Social media is one of the biggest tools out there right now and Fat Quarter Shop is all over it. What forms do you partake in and what are some of the features you’re most proud of on FatQuartershop.com?
Social media is a huge way for us to stay connected to our shoppers. We are active on Facebook, Twitter, and now Pinterest. Our Facebook fans and Twitter followers get to see weekly specials every Wednesday! Right from our home page, you can preview the latest post from our blog, the Jolly Jabber, where we have lots of designer interviews, fabric features, and giveaways. It keeps our shoppers in the loop about what’s going on in the fabric world, and we try especially hard to provide lots of coverage on Quilt Market, which is always exciting! We are on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and update our Blog regularly.
(cutting Oval Elements - Cranberry)
6. So let’s say I just bought some fabric online… describe the process and time frame from order to doorstep (without letting out any secrets)
If you place your order before 3pm CST, your order is processed on the same day! Once your order is received we fill the order within a few hours. If there are any issues, we contact you to see what you’d like to do (substitute fabric, wait until a fabric is restocked, etc.). Once it’s all cut and packaged prettily, it goes out to you at lightning speed. Our US shoppers love us, and our international shoppers LOVE us for this. We also upgrade all UPS orders to 3 day shipping (instead of ground shipping) for free which speeds up packages to US customers that are far from us! Barring an issue with your order, US customers receive receive their orders within three business days and often sooner.
(Kim Jolly, Owner)
7. Kim, you have kids, a husband and a successful business.. how do you do it? Whats the balance like?Balance, what’s that??
Life is certainly crazy with four kids (our oldest just turned five!) and the shop. I’m not sure how I do it – I have good help, but mostly my mind never stops! I am always dreaming of ways to make the store better, so when the kids are asleep or at school, I get straight to work on my newest ideas. I don’t think I will have balance for a while, but I wouldn’t trade anything for the family I have and the job I love!
8. If you didn’t run a successful fabric shop what would be your dream job?
Since FQS is my dream job, I can only think of an outlandish job I would try for a day – reality TV star! I don’t know how exciting it would be for the viewers – it would be me trying to play with my kids while emailing and sewing all day!
9. You carry a lot of Art Gallery Fabrics products, from fabrics to patterns to kits. Can you tell our readers what do you like about our products? What are your hot sellers from AGF right now?
Art Gallery Fabrics is unlike any other fabric we sell. Your collections are so fashion-forward, contemporary and bold. It’s a pleasure to see how the individual prints stand on their own and mesh with each other. AGF’s best sellers for us have been Poetica and Pure Elements Solids.
10. What kind of feedback do you get from consumers that buy AGF?
Shoppers who buy AGF are very fun and always excited for the newest fabrics! They have done their research, are inspired from something they’ve seen (maybe something from your new videos!) and ready to make something! They make bags, skirts, dresses as well as quilts and they are always ready to rock their newest creation. We also get a LOT of comments on the nice feel and quality of AGF!
11. What is your favorite AGF collection so far?
My current favorites are Summerlove and Poetica. I love them for their different moods. Summerlove is retro, sunwashed and cheerful, while Poetica is more contemplative, vibrant and romantic. I am also a sucker for the Oval Elements! The colors are wonderful!
Hope you have enjoyed the chat! Make sure you visit this awesome store to find your favorite Art Gallery Fabrics :D
the AGF team