So, no sooner than I post something about all of our fabric vendors being shut down do I find out they are back at a limited capacity. This really speaks to the American desire to be self-sufficient.
After contacting a few of the East Coast vendors to learn when they would be shipping again and it was a surprise to learn a couple are working again. The in-side sales folks are working from home (sometimes with limited access to their inventory system) and a few brave souls are working in the warehouses.
This results in limited ship dates and slow processing. Can you imagine going from a full workforce moving, lifting, packing and shipping to a skeleton crew doing it all. They have got to be exhausted and very appreciative of their co-workers by now. I know that I am very happy to learn they working and we can expect some of our orders to arrive.
What is interesting in speaking with the folks in the different positions within the companies is their work habits have changed. No more shaking hands, washing hands ALOT, masks, and spending more time on the phone or online processing orders then direct contact. One has to wonder about the effect of social distancing and the isolation that comes from working at home. How is all this going to change us as a nation.
We have been told to expect our industry to change and to go to more on-line sales. Somehow this seems as a great oxymoron for quilters and sewist who have always been such social groups. From early times of quilting the quilters would gather around the quilt frame to finish the quilt. For my grandmothers this was as much a social event as it was a quilting event. This was the time that family and friends caught up with one another, shared a little gossip, shared new techniques, and planned the next church or family event. Quilting hasn’t really changed that much event with the advent of the long-arm machines. We still meet in groups (Quilds, sewing bees, sit and sews, etc.) the purpose of these get-togethers remains the same. The socialization and companionship is just as important today as it was way back then.
Buying online for some items I understand, but fabric. How can you feel or see the real depth of colors online. Or, know that a piece of fabric will perfectly match those in your projects. There is something about walking into a quilt shop and being surrounded by a sea fabric where you can touch, see all the colors in real time, hold that piece of your fabric next to those you are considering and being inspired by what you see. Plus, my experience over the years in visiting quilt shops they are always to so welcoming and helpful and treat each customer special. Not so convinced purchasing on line can replace that experience.
Call me old fashioned and out-of-touch with today. But, maybe not so fast. I spent 20 plus years in process management and in managerial positions over application development. That means through my past experiences I am fully informed about technology and its capabilities but also know that technology does not replace the human experience of sharing, belonging, and caring. Technology can’t replace that. So, while I fully support brick and mortar shops I will continue to build my website for those do prefer on-line shipping, can’t travel or don’t have access to a local shop.
Stay well and come visit, we are ready to welcome you to Miss D’s Quilts.