A great staff—we all laugh and engage our customers and truly love to work at Hip Stitch. It really is true—“You’ll never work another day in your life if you love what you do.” We have music playing that our customers hum along to, and let us know they like, or groan along with us if it’s a terrible song. We always have candy, and often have snacks. The coffee pot is ready for anyone who wants a cup. Come in late on a Friday, and you might even get a glass of wine. As one of my co-workers says to customers jokingly, “We have an on-going house party where we occasionally remember to sell some fabric.”
What motivates you to succeed besides the desire to make money?
My love of sewing, and the personal relationships and deep friendships I have with my customers. They can come in and share what’s going on in their lives, We laugh together, and we cry together. I see their children and grandchildren grow. We provide fabric for their kids’ weddings. We provide the fabric for their holiday celebrations and gifts. I’ve helped to create a community, and I’m proud of that.
What significant changes have you implemented recently?
We’ve grown tremendously. We’ve added much more inventory and this expanded selection now numbers thousands of fabrics. Customers who haven’t been here in a couple of months are awed. Customer response has been wonderful. They are able to find theme fabrics which inspire them or color match with blender fabrics to create stunning one-of-a-kind projects. Best of all, we get to see the incredible things that local textile artists are creating with our fabrics.
What do you offer that the competition doesn’t?
We hold a modern niche in fabrics in Albuquerque. All of the fabric shops have their niche, and I’m proud to say that folks come to Hip Stitch for modern and eclectic fabrics. Other stores have their focus on traditional batiks, Southwestern and Native American designs or traditional quilting fabrics. We bring the brightest colors and the latest, most fashionable fabrics and sassiest prints to Albuquerque.
Whether they are attempting to make a Paul Klee-inspired quilt for a son’s wedding, a pillow in homage to Frida Kahlo, a precise replica of a Guardians of the Galaxy leather jacket or any another original creation, we have fabrics to inspire and expertise to help.
We don’t monkey around when it comes to crafters, either—our fabrics are ideal for those who sell gift items at craft fairs. We even have sock monkey socks in three sizes and multiple colors.
What do you think is the biggest obstacle in operating a successful business?
Balancing work and home. Sometimes work has to take priority, sometimes home. It’s never perfectly balanced. It’s sometimes frustrating and an obstacle to being successful. I just have to roll with things and be flexible and keep a sense of humor always.
What contributions to the community (charitable or otherwise) are you most proud of?
We support several formal charitable groups. We are a drop off point for Project Linus. We host Days for Girls in making reusable feminine hygiene kits and Baskets of Hope, which delivers goodies to kids in hospitals. And those are just a few.
Informally, we provide a place where talented creative fiber artists can gather, work together, play together and support each other. This is essential to Hip Stitch. and the main reason we exist. The store itself is ... not a gang of sewing hoodlums. But it is a community in Albuquerque. Visiting crafters from out of town seem to understand instantly what we’re about. You are always welcome at Hip Stitch. And we prove it—with a free fat quarter on your first visit.
How has the internet affected your business and how do you think it might affect your business in the future?
I think it’s helped tremendously. New customers find us on the internet; we now have our full store on our website, which is an additional venue for folks to shop at Hip Stitch. Those quilters, crafters and fiber artists who visit us when they are on vacation can shop our eclectic selection of fabrics and notions from anywhere in the world and at anytime of day. We don’t know, but we suppose some of them are doing so in their pajamas.
What’s your favorite saying?
“Bloom where you’re planted.” No matter where I’ve lived, I think it’s important to find contentment and appreciate where I am. Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be.
What inspires you?
Other people, everyday. Whether it be customers, or my fast-growing teenage daughters. I learn from and I am inspired by the incredible kindness and creativity in others.
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