When Lori Holt first opened Quilter’s Corner in Faulkton in 1998, she knew one key that her business would need to thrive.
“I knew it had to be a destination,” Holt said.
“There aren’t enough quilters in Faulk County. … They say it typically takes about five years to get your roots. It grew rapidly, but it took about five years to establish the clientele. Quilters are destination shoppers. They’ll get out the map and find out where the different quilt shops are and plan their vacation accordingly.”
Quilter’s Corner has moved to four different locations in Faulkton over the years. Now, once again located on a corner, the quilt shop offers more services and sewing needs than ever before. Holt and her business partner, Stacy Hadrick, have added in-house retreats, a long-arm quilter, sewing machines, sewing machine service and sewing furniture to their store in recent years.
The co-owners say personalized service is what sets their store apart. Holt and Hadrick strive to create a welcoming, creative, and beautiful environment for all who walk through the door. Their door does not list “Store Hours,” but rather “Fabric Touching Hours.”
“We encourage people to come in, play, and create,” Hadrick said. “It visually makes you happy.”
“We always say there’s no ‘quilt police,’” Holt said. “If it’s not fun, you’re not doing it right.”
Classes are held at least once a week, teaching skills from beginning sewing to techniques for more advanced quilters. A recent class focused on “Learning Your Sewing Machine Feet” to encourage participants to use more of their sewing machine’s features.
Many of the Quilter’s Corner clientele use modern technology to “visit” their favorite quilt shop. The store’s Block of the Month Club reaches customers all over the U.S. through its Facebook page and website,
Holt and Hadrick are constantly looking for ways to improve their business and services to customers. They strive to offer both nonintimidating and challenging projects.
“It’s basically seven days a week because when you’re not here, you’re planning your next activity,” Holt said. “The quilt world, we are kind of a cruise ship entertainment when you constantly have to have your next special event going.”
“You can’t rest and get complacent,” Hadrick added. “You just have to push and reach for what’s next. You can set those goals and dreams and know that that’s where you want to reach. We’re pushing ourselves harder than we pushed ourselves 12 months ago.”
A small-town business comes with the unique challenge of finding employees with specific skill sets, Hadrick said. “I think that’s one of our biggest challenges. In a rural area, that’s probably your hardest thing. It’s not necessarily the wages you can pay … It’s just the skill set of the people available,” she added.
Quilter’s Corner has reached an even broader audience with the addition of The Weathered Door, a refurbished furniture business owned by Holt’s daughter-in-law, Lora Holt. The Weathered Door also offers the Paint Couture line of paint.
“We want people to know we’re worth the trip. You will walk in here and be excited,” Hadrick said. ⎨
Laura Melius is a Cresbard, S.D., area multitasking farm wife and mom of four who sneaks in freelance copy editing and writing whenever possible.