Where: Cary, North Carolina, USA
Julianne Walther is not your average woman. As well as being mother to four kids, she also has time to run not one, but TWO start up businesses. Cary Quilting Company is the second thriving store that Julianne has dedicated to the art and craft of quilting. And though all of these pursuits keep her busy, Julianne still finds time to donate her skills and beautiful quilts to charity. We think she’s kind of amazing, we’re just not entirely sure she’s human… perhaps more of a Saint.
What’s been the journey of Cary Quilting Company so far?
I began quilting in 1995 with a do-it-yourself book. Having sewn my whole life, I immediately fell in love with quilting! Fast forward about 10 years… I have four children aged five and under, and I’m itching to get back to quilting. My husband created a website for me, and I started a small business making quilts for people from my home, which I did mostly when the kids were napping or sleeping at night. Fast forward 7 more years, and that little business has grown! We needed to move to a retail location, as we had 11 staff members, and we were still working out of my house. We found an historic house in our small town’s quaint Downtown area. It had been one of my favorite quilting supplies shops for many years, but the owner retired and closed the shop a few years ago. We took a tour of the house, and decided it was the place for us!
We moved in during November of 2012, set up Patchwork Memories on the second floor, and began making preparations to open Cary Quilting Company (a quilting supplies shop) on the first floor of the house. On an icy day in January 2013, we opened Cary Quilting Company to the public. Throughout the past year and a half, we’ve increased inventory over 500%, and met so many wonderful customers! The house is now a bustling whirl of activity, with Patchwork Memories staff sewing away upstairs and Cary Quilting staff cutting fabric and helping customers downstairs. We offer quilting fabric, patterns, notions and other supplies, classes, machine quilting services, and custom quilting – start to finish.
What brought Vend into your life?
We did lots of research, and loved the way Vend integrated with online platforms. We enjoy the report functions in Vend, and the scalability that it offers as we continue to grow. I enjoy being able to access the shop data from my phone and from the comfort of my home (when I’m not at the shop). It’s worked very well for us in our first year and a half of Cary Quilting Company!
How have you found using Vend’s Loyalty System?
We were excited when the loyalty system was introduced, and have enjoyed working with it (rather than using a separate system). The integration is very nice, and we enjoy the fact that we don’t have to do anything to keep it going. Our customers love that they don’t have to carry a card to get rewards, and that they don’t have to wait to spend their rewards. Customers are happily surprised when they realize that they earn loyalty cash on every purchase too.
How is the future looking for Cary Quilting Company?
We plan to continue expanding our inventory, our class offerings, and our reach into our community. We feel like our first year has been a wild ride, and we look forward to continuing our journey with Cary Quilting Company.
Do you have any words of wisdom for new retailers?
I feel like I sort of fell into a business-owner’s position. After all, I just wanted to quilt during kids’ naptimes! Having never taken a business class, I’m not sure I’m the best for dispensing advice… I think that having a passion for your business is the most important thing. As so much time of the business owners is spent on their businesses, you have to love what you do. I get excited every time a new fabric shipment comes in – it’s like Christmas to get the box opened! I think never losing the love of what we do is what makes this life so special.
– Julianne Walther, Founder, Cary Quilting Company
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About Grace O'Hara
Grace is a Marketing Assistant at Vend and helps make cool things happen behind the scenes. She enjoys talking to incredible Vend retailers from around the world and making the world a better place with her side projects. You can get in touch with Grace by email or connect with her on Google+.