Tuesday, November 27, 2007
Big Changes at the Little Store
Okay. So, I know that Alewives Fabrics is not the biggest store in the world. It's probably not even the biggest store in the Midcoast Maine area. However, having said that, I definitely think that we hold our own in terms of keeping up with the times and thinking "Outside of the Box" (Whatever THAT means), and along these lines, I wanted to share with you some of the changes that are coming around at the shop. New Year's is when most of these changes will take place, but with the anticipation of the new year comes the ground work for some pretty awesome plans that have been (some of them) three years in the works.
First, a new logo for the store. We've had a GREAT logo, and having spent the past three years at Graphic Design school (and most of my life before that being a frustrated Graphic Designer), I think I am qualified to declare a logo awesome. The red building has been our logo for the past 32 (that's right, 32!!!) years, but it has seen it's day and it's time for something a little more fun and accurate for our new energy. This logo is, of course, of my own creation, so I'm partial to it, and the logo will be appearing on sweatshirts, t-shirts and canvas totes so that you, too, can take a little piece of the "Alewives Experience" with you wherever you go. I want satellites all over the country declaring their allegiance to the little store that could. Say it loud, say it proud: I'm an Alewives Girl. Or Guy (Because there are LOTS of Alewives "Guys" out there, too, believe it or not).
Second, all the fabric will be in the "Big Room" from now on. Why??? Keep reading:
Third, our last gallery show is currently up and running, but come December 1, we will no longer be holding shows for local artists in our gallery. We will still have artwork on display throughout the store, and there will still be a "Gallery" aspect to Alewives Fabrics, Gifts & Gallery, but the designated gallery space will have a different use. We are turning the Gallery into a classroom. A big, spacious classroom that can accommodate more people, more comfortably and more efficiently. Fortunately, we have outgrown our current class space and feel that the Gallery room would be much better utilized as a classroom.
I'm sooo excited about this. It's not a spur of the moment decision, but something my Mom and I have been thinking about for a long time. It's going to be a great space, with all those wide open walls for "Designing." No more crawling around on the floor, guys and gals, but "back-friendly," proper design walls. I have to admit, though, I'm going to miss having a "Design Floor," but not everyone is physically capable of the "Uppy/Downy" thing that we've got going on right now. If you've ever taken "Turning Twenty" with me, you know of which I speak.
Fourth, the "little room" is being cleared out to house 3 (Count 'em, 3!!!) Cutting Stations, at least 2 Ironing Stations and a whole slew of "Cubbies" for people to leave their stuff in. Now, don't go fighting over who gets a cubby. You know who you are, all our regulars and sewing loungers, and you get cubby priority. I am particularly psyched about this addition to the shop, because each of us gals who work at the store get a certain amount of "cubby" in our work space and MY cubby is being very generously shared by myself with no less than 5 other people at last count. Now, you get your own space, and "Obsessive Compulsive Disorder/ Anal-Retentive Rhea" gets her nice, organized, space back.
Fifth, (Yes, there's more!!!) We've had so much success with Sewing Lounge, and seen such a huge pattern of young mothers coming in with their little ones, that we are adding a THIRD sewing lounge on Wednesday mornings. But, there is a catch. The third sewing lounge is going to be a "Mommy and Me" sewing lounge where all you gals can come and toss your kids in a playpen with lots of other kids and sew and not worry about them re-arranging the bias tapes or eating the fat quarters. Plus, you get to spend time with other big girls like you. Sound good??? We hope so. I saw this pattern of women coming in with their babies on their hips and not being able to peruse the fabric like I knew they wanted to, so I thought, Hey, why don't we help each other out and then everybody wins. And, if you don't have a little baby you can still come to sewing lounge. We're pretty accepting and low-key around here, just as long as you're the same.
And, I think that's enough big news for one little post. Let me know if you approve of the changes. Sometimes change is hard, but I think these are all changes for the better and I, personally, could not be more thrilled.
Thank you so much to everybody who supports our business and makes a point to tell us we're doing a good job. We can't do everything we want to at once, but sometimes we get stuff done. Hearing people say how much they love the store makes it all worth while. I mean, that's why we do it, and I've made some of the best friends of my life through this little store we call Alewives.
Most of them are cubby-worthy... *wink*
Okay, enough mushy stuff. See you again soon.
Thanks, Erin (of www.bluebirdbaby.typepad.com fame), for the great photo of our fabrics!!!
Posted by Rhea Butler at 7:26 PM