So Nancy tell us a bit about yourself....
I grew up in the San Francisco Bay area of California, back in the days when all the girls took Home Ec, and all the boys took woodworking and metal shop. I sewed many of my clothes on my Mom’s brand new Singer (now an antique!) I studied Art, Music and Literature in college, then married a great guy. We have 5 children and 8 fabulous grandchildren. “Snappy” has been my nickname for about 15 years – ever since my friend Becky’s little twins were learning to talk. When she tried to teach them to say Nancy, they knit their little eyebrows in concentration, and very clearly said “SNAPPY”. It stuck and now my grandchildren (and various other people) call me Snappy. It seemed like a great name for the Shop, too, as it sort of describes our style.
I believe the process of creating something beautiful and meaningful is critical to a happy life. Whether it’s art, cooking, writing, business, raising kids, teaching, quilting, or whatever your passion may be, it’s important to see the accomplishment of something good. It is a thrill to see our customers’ completed projects, and share the joy of what they have done, and who it will bless. Quilts are stitched with emotion and love. It’s a great business to be in. SnappyQuilts has been open for a year and half. We are just beginning this wonderful journey!
1. Tell us how Snappy Quilts got started. Why? When? Where?Who?
Like many quilt shops, SnappyQuilts was born of a dream and a prayer. Though I learned to sew back in the days it was standard curriculum in middle school, it wasn’t until my life-long friend Julie introduced me to quilt-making that I became seriously addicted. Julie and I spent many vacation hours searching for great fabric in her hometown of Mesa, AZ and mine in Denver, and anywhere we happened to travel together. We began to consider these shopping expeditions to be research time –what would we do if we had a quilt shop?
But in reality, we didn’t live near each other, and I was dealing with a significant health challenge, and our dream of a quilt shop was only that. But life can be so good to us – my health improved and Julie’s husband took a new job in Denver.
Now’s the time, we thought! Julie has a real job, so I pushed ahead with opening the Shop with her encouragement and as many hours of support as she could come up with. She’s still critical to our success, finding time to be Bookkeeper and Buyer with me. We go to Market together and she not only keeps me organized, but she has a great eye for fabric selection. She’s the one who first discovered Walter and the Art Gallery booth. We didn’t even know about them until our first trip to Houston. Wow! What a great find. We dedicate the front-door section of the Shop to Art Gallery Fabrics.
We considered our style to be Modern before we knew it was an actual quilting movement! We like bright, happy colors in bold patterns; and beautiful, rich colors in artistic patterns; and collections that work wonderfully together. We love to hear customers comment that our Shop is a cheery place full of inspiration and irresistible fabric.
3. Boast your bolts… what is your current bolt count?
We have more than 3000 bolts of fabric, and I honestly don’t know how we fit them into our little 1400 square feet of floor-space!
4. What goes into fabric selection? What do you consider and how much of a role does personal taste play?
Fabric selection is such a fun aspect of having a quilt shop. Many great designers are doing very exciting work. We can’t carry even a little bit of everything that’s available,so we select what we feel we cannot live without! We go to Art Gallery and Westminster/FreeSpirit first, and try to budget our resources to allow for other lines we want to carry. Pat and the AGF team make it hard for us – we could easily take home everything they offer!
5. Social media is one of the biggest tools out there right now… How do you incorporate it on a daily basis and how have you seen that impact your business?
We have just adjusted all our “work hats” to better address social media opportunities. Our blog and facebook page are coming along nicely. We really enjoy the conversational aspect that online quilting is offering. We girls like to chat and share! Customers often call and come in with questions, ideas, and fabrics they have found online.
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)
Our online store will open in October, offering kits and coordinating fabrics. Annie is our Shipping Dept. Queen, and Lorrie is the Kit Wrangler. So Annie will collect orders in the morning and process them the same day. We are impressed with USPS shipping services, and expect that US customers will receive their orders in 3 days or less. (Of course, there will be other shipping options at checkout.)
7. Tell us about your staff.
I am so lucky to have a strong and charming staff at SnappyQuilts. In addition to
Julie, Lorrie, and Annie, we have Twice, Janice, Jane, Jan, Kay, Lisa, Stacy, and Nettie who all work part-time in the Shop. (We have 3 Janices, so Twice volunteered to go by her old college nickname!) I could go on and on about all their respective talents –but in the interest of space, I’ll just say they are wonderful and I love and appreciate them!
8. If you didn’t run a successful fabric shop what would be your dream job?
I have been very fortunate to realize 2 of my dream jobs – SnappyQuilts and being a Mom to 5 great kids. I studied Humanities and love art, music and literature. I wouldn’t mind being a concert pianist in my next career (HA!), but in the meantime, I enjoy accompanying my Church choir.
9. You carry a variety of Art Gallery Fabrics products. Can you tell our readers what do you like about our products? What are your hot sellers from AGF right now?
We are crazy about Art Gallery Fabrics for several reasons. One, of course is the fabulous hand and drape. We also find the patterns and designs are always artistic and sophisticated. Then there’s the gorgeous color – Pure Elements solids are just yummy. LillyBelle is a big hit right now, and we almost had fights over Poetica (just amongst ourselves – we never fight with our customers).
10. What kind of feedback do you get from consumers that buy AGF?
Customers always notice and appreciate the soft and smooth feel. They use AGF for quilts, bags, skirts, tops and even boxer shorts! The only complaint we get is that it’s too hard to choose from so many beautiful options.
11. What is your favorite AGF collection so far?
I am currently dreaming up a project to use only Pure Elements – the colors are so lovely. I’ve had many favorites, and couldn’t possibly limit myself to only one.