I have decided to make a few changes to how we do business at Handcraft Workshop. These changes are being made so we can focus on doing what we do best: teaching our fantastic award winning sewing classes to children and adults, giving sewists a place to hone their skills, and providing everyone with a place to relax and enjoy the company of other sewing enthusiasts.
The changes I have planned are going to be big and small. The first one is a big one. Beginning on June 1, 2018, we will transition to a sewing-only studio. We will no longer sell fabric, notions, and patterns to the general public.
Why is Handcraft Workshop changing? First and foremost, don’t worry! We are not going out of business! When I started Handcraft Workshop, my goal was to share my love of sewing with as many people as possible. Selling high quality modern fabrics seemed like a natural fit. Plus, I love fabric. Unfortunately, the market has changed considerably since Handcraft Workshop first opened five years ago. Increased competition from online and big box stores has made it very difficult for us and other small boutiques to succeed in the retail sector. We also faced challenges resulting from changes in the fabric design and manufacturing industry, none of which were favorable to a small business like us.
Okay. So, what do all these changes actually mean? Handcraft Workshop is your sewing studio. We will maintain a small selection of fabric and notions available for purchase by our students who are registered in our classes. If you have a gift certificate, it will still be redeemable for sewing classes. We will continue to have Open Sew several times a month but we will no longer have Sew by the Hour. After June 1, 2018 when you see the studio lights on, that means we are only teaching classes. We will no longer be open to the public for fabric, pattern or notion purchases.
The decision for Handcraft Workshop to exit the retail fabric business has not been an easy one to make. I am so grateful for all of our loyal retail customers and students. However, ending our retail sales to the public is an opportunity for Handcraft Workshop to grow in other ways. We have a wonderful committed community of sewists and makers and I intend to continue to help this exceptional group of people grow.
I love sewing and teaching people how to sew. I’m pretty sure it’s my super power. It is what gets me up everyday. I love teaching new techniques and tips to our students. I love it when our students have “light bulb” moments and they realize that they are making something! I love the joy that comes with teaching. I love the personal interactions that I have with all of our students and customers. I love trying to remember everyone’s name. It is these personal interactions that have made Handcraft Workshop what it is: a welcoming, safe space to create and to make mistakes.
I hope that you will continue to support us during this transition by taking sewing classes with us. After June 1, we may no longer have retail but we will continue to have a great lineup of sewing classes.