Today I want to talk a little bit about my suppliers where I get the awesome fabric from. Like most people when I first started 2.5 years ago I did not know where to find suppliers, but I also thought it would not be that difficult. Boy was I wrong! I started my search online and came across multiple articles where it said over and over again that once you find the list of potential suppliers, most of them would not even consider you because your store is too new, too young, not enough budget and there is a million other reasons. Moreover I learned that you, as a customer or in this case me needs to know all the suppliers lingo and it is almost like a test and if you fail they will definitely decline you. Needles to say I felt very discouraged and shocked to say the least. I of course only wanted the good quality fabrics; I made a list of potential brands I wanted to carry and then found suppliers that carried them.
I quickly learned that a lot of US companies do not sell to Canada. I also learned that some of the suppliers had outrageous minimums, and most of them would not list their price and would only give it to you once you are registered and that means that different customers had different prices and it is all a blind game. I did not like that, so I was slowly eliminating the potential suppliers one by one off my list.
In the meantime just by total fluke I saw a posting that the lady who owned a quilting store in the area where we liked to go for vacation was retiring and selling off all her inventory. It was going to be the following day for a few hours and that was it. I also need to mention it was 3 hours away from home. I kept thinking about it all night, it was too sudden, too far and I needed a lot of cash at once, not to mention I did not even know if it was the right decision, but I almost felt like it was a sign. The following morning I woke up and I just could not stop thinking about it even though deep down I felt like it was maybe not the smartest move. My husband totally felt it, as I was standing there brushing my teeth he looked at me and said "Just go, you know you want to and you know it's a good move!" Oh how I needed to hear those words in that moment, I got out of the house as soon as I could making sure I would still make it in those hours as I had a long drive ahead of me.
Boy did I score that day!!! I filled up my car with bolts and bolts of fabric. I got it for good price, it was all amazing quality and I got it right away! I was the happiest girl in town that is for sure! This is how my inventory started, but it was still not enough fabric. I kept up my search and soon enough I was able to locate one of my suppliers, let's call them Company A. Once I registered and they approved my application the owner gave me a phone call and told me that the sales representative for my area would be in touch with me. The following day a gentleman phoned me, introduced himself as a sales rep for Company A and we set up a meeting.
You know when you talk to someone on the phone and you try to imagine what the person looks like in real life, but then they show up and you realize that they look nothing like what you imagined. Well, this was the case for me. I imagined a middle aged man, but there was quite an elderly gentleman who showed up. I learned later that he was 90!!! (I must say he looked amazing for being 90). Well, I placed my order ( I also realized by that time that quality fabric even at wholesale prices was quite expensive) I discovered that he loved to talk a lot :D We discussed everything from politics, governments, history to families and recipes, and nursing homes! While he was very pleasant I must admit that after a second cup of coffee and me exhausting all of my polite motions towards the door I started to get a tad frustrated. Funnily enough ever since that day whenever I want to place an order with Company A I think about that encounter and how much time I need to allocate for that purchase.
Since then I was able to secure a couple of others absolutely amazing suppliers and can proudly report that I have a wide variety of amazing quality designer fabric at BecksFabrics!
I just want to assure you that all the fabric that I carry has been carefully selected by me and I definitely did all my research before just signing on the dotted line.
I hope you were able to smile reading this post :)