The Top Five Comments From Customers When We Tell them We’re Going Out of Business
(And my mental responses to them)
Some of you know that for the past two and a half years, I’ve worked in my local quilt shop. The owner recently made the tough decision to close. Since the announcement that the shop would be closing at the end of August, I’ve heard a lot of responses to the sad news.
Most of them are understanding and comforting. Some of them are just a gut reaction to the prospect of living in a community without a local quilt shop. Trust me, I’m just as sad about it. Some of them leave me scratching my head and wondering if people think about their words before they speak. I even got one that took a step back, gave me the side eye, and a strange kind of hostility that I didn’t quite understand.
Here’s a short list of the highlights, and my responses. (Which I mostly try to keep in my head and not my mouth)
1. YOU’RE KIDDING?! REALLY?!!!
(Yeah, it was just a joke. Gotcha! Teehee!)
2. What will we quilters do for fabric now?!
(Well, I guess whatever you’ve been doing for the past couple years because I’ve never seen you before.)
3. Are you still going to teach classes?
(Yes. Meet me at my dining room table on Tuesday, at 9) All joking aside, I have extended this invitation to a few of my favourite students and customers, but the question from random shoppers still feels weird.
4. Are you retiring?
(We’re 30 and 40.. We need jobs)
5. Is another shop going to open then?
(Let me consult the oracle on that one… Hmm, nope, the magic 8 ball says “highly doubtful”)
I totally understand the denial, disbelief, and sadness. I wish things were different. I’m trying to deal with my sadness by using humor. I’m sure I fail miserably at times, but I’m trying to keep smiling and laughing.
Unfortunately, a local shop can’t compete with online vendors. I’m afraid we will continue to see quilt shops closing all across the country. The nearest shop will now be a hour away 🙁