Sunday, April 15, 2007

Midsomer correction

Ok, Turns out I was a bad 'journalist' amd forgot to check my facts about Midsomer Q in my last post. It turns out that the shop is now soley in De's name and Chris was flattered but apparently 'elevated' to be called a co-owner. Ooops. He and Birgitta now work there - get this- as a a hobby!

Now it never occurred to me that anywhere in the world was anyone lucky enough to have a hobby that involved looking at fabric and quilts and stroking the fabric and arranging it in pretty piles .... and not ever having to buy the stuff to do it! ( I gather that Birgitta does actually buy some - I'm not sure about Chris!) How cool is that?

But it got me thinking. How about if the quilters in an area all thought, as I do that some part time working in a quilt shop wouldn't feel like work at all. And if at least one or two of those quilters had professional experience - or the abilty to learn - so that they were competant to run a business sucessfully. And if the people who worked there were all volunteers co-ordinated by someone who could maintain some order. ... (I don't do committees well!)

Surely then the overheads of the busienss would fall - no staff costs, just rent and utilities, accountants fees etc ( although see above: volunteers/ experience). So the fabric and notions could be sold without making a profit over overheads... kind of like a co-op...... and that could even be done on line - perhaps with a yearly membership fee to cover some basic costs, so that we could all benefit....

Now I'll take it as written that De will think that a VERY bad idea! But what do you consumers think? A good dream or shall I go and get a cold compress now?!


Diana said...

It would take a VERY dedicated person to coordinate all that--are you up for it? LOL!

Actually, the quilt shops in this area do something like that because they work on such a tight budget they really can't afford to pay their helpers. They pay in fabric--one yard per hour of work! I helped out at our LQS during the last shop hop and managed to pick up some things I wouldn't have bought otherwise.

Jennifer said...

I think on the whole your idea is a great one, and could really benefit many shop owners (and quilters!). But you'd need at least one paid person (or owner) on the schedule at all times. I have a LOT of experience working with volunteers (much of what goes on at the school where I work is in the hands of volunteers) and the downside to the arrangement (if you were to attempt to staff your shop entirely that way) is that people who are volunteering feel very free to not do, or to stop doing, whatever it is at the drop of a hat because after all they are "only" volunteers and not being paid. So that means that at the last moment, if some conflict of ANY kind comes along, it's the volunteer effort that gets dropped. You can't blame people, really -- it is human nature -- but without the connection to a paycheck, people's commitment isn't enough to be able to rely on them. Still, I would put in hours someplace if it were owned by wonderful people who otherwise couldn't run the shop.