Saturday, October 11, 2008

Brand Loyalty

Surfing the online fabric sites this afternoon and then looking at photos of recently completed garments...I realized that I really don't have any brand loyalty. That's online fabric store brand loyalty...

See I will search high and low, near and far for a great piece of fabric. I've also noticed that there are very few internet fabric sites that I haven't purchased a length of fabric from...almost all of them get a chance in my book!

Now I know I really tout my allegiance to Fabric Mart...sometimes even saying it's name softly like a prayer...Fabric Mart...Fabric Mart...Fabric Mart...but my last wardrobe doesn't feature a single piece of Fabric Mart's goodies! There are fabrics from Emmaonesock, Fashion Fabrics Club and Fashion.com but no Fabric Mart.

So it got me to wondering about fabric store brand loyalty! Since so many brick and mortar stores are closing and online fabric shopping is definitely the wave of the future...I began to wonder...do we sewists have online fabric store brand loyalty?

Or do we just buy fabric from where ever our mouse and a few keyboard strokes take us? Are there sites that we always search out first? If so, why do we go there so often? What needs does that particular site fulfill? And if we don't purchase primarily from the internet, why are we so attracted to the dwindling brick and mortar fabric stores? Is our need to touch so strong that we will seek out and drive or go anywhere for that pleasure?

Tell me, do you have fabric store loyalty? And if so, is it internet or bricks and mortar? Because I'm really questioning whether I really have brand loyalty at all or do I just love fabric! *LOL*

33 comments:

  1. I don't think I do, although I have certain favorites that I go to again and again. Thanks to you, Fabric Mart is on the list. I discovered Lucy's Fabrics recently and I'm very happy with the fabric I got. I also have several other favorities--I guess it depends on what I'm looking for. Different stores definitely have various strengths in the types of fabrics they caryy.

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  2. I have yet to purchase fabric online. I've been tempted, because they're so many beautiful fabrics on the net that I know I won't be able to find here.

    But despite the temptation, I feel strongly about going to the store and purchasing fabric in person.

    There's something about touching the fabric, that can't be replaced with just the online photo. Plus, I'm afraid that if I buy something online, it may or may not look the same in person. So then, do I really know what I'm buying? It's a little scary.....

    I've been doing research about fabric stores here in San Antonio, trying to discover new places aside from those that are closest to my house. It's a fun adventure. Plus there's always the nearby towns (fun road trips) and Mexico, which is not that far. So I'm good with going to the store in person. If I can't find anything here....then I'll just have to plan antoher trip to NYC. Yaaaaayyy!!!!

    Lory

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  3. hmm,, metro tex. is the only store I have fabric loyalty too I swear its the only reason why I would ever move back to NY, lol

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  4. Sure, I'm loyal to whoever has good fabric! Seriously, once I find an online store I like, I tend to be a frequent shopper (providing the quality and service are good). I don't have the option of choice even for brick and mortar stores here (there's only a Joann's within a 100 mile radius), so the internet is my only option. One day, I'm going to take a trip to NY JUST to shop fabric!!!!

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  5. Since, i live almost an hour from Hancocks and over an hour from San Antonio, I go for internet alot, esp. Fabric.com. I have tried Fabric Mart as well. Cottons from various on ebay. We now have an indep fabric shop here in town, but it's quilting cottons and limited, but a good source for the kids. I can say Fabric.com is my favorite, but the only downside of online is finding out something is too sheer to wear unlined or the color is not exactly right.

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  6. I have one brick & mortar store here that I love and support, but I buy most of my fabric online - the prices and selection can't be beat! I check my favorite online stores at least once a week, even if it's been months since I actually purchased from them - you never know what's going to pop up...

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  7. Despite the fact that I love to finger the fabrics I purchase, I buy exclusively online. The only local fabric store is Hancocks; need I say more? My daily stop for fabrics is FM, due to the price for the quality. I have had 4 or 5 duds there, but most quality and price is really good. Purchases from EOS, GF, Fabrics.com, Silk Baron, and 6 or 8 others have also received my fabric $. All of this has ben bought in the last year, so I'm taking a fabric purchase respite for a while.

    Karendee

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  8. I don't have brand loyalty to anything. lol I buy what I like :)

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  9. Let's see now. I check in with certain places on a regular basis: EOS, FFC, Fabricmart, GF. I wish people would move to the same system that GF uses with the Pantone color guide; that would be a huge help in terms of putting coordinates together that don't come from the same place. My other beef is that I wish I could find a source for wool knits, esp double knit. I can find the occasional wool knit but never in the color I want and nothing with a print. If I could find someone who did THAT on an ongoing basis, I'd stick with them.

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  10. I have only one place to which I'm loyal, and that is my brick and mortar locally owned fabric store. After, that it is a free for all. I actually ordered fabric for DD's Halloween costume from Hancocks of Paducah rather than buying from Joann. If I get it set in my mind that I need a certain thing, I will search far and yon to find it. I had an incident where I was needing stretch linen, and even considered a purchase from Australia then.

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  11. no brand loyalty here! i buy the most from fabric.com but if i like it and the price is right, i'll shop anywhere!

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  12. We recently had a lovely bricks & mortar fabric shop open in our town - that is what brought me back to clothes sewing! I shop from them as much as I can but will shop elsewhere when I have the oppurtunity to pick up fabrics they don't stock.
    I have only recently begun making fabric purchases from on-line store so I will see how that experience works out...

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  13. My first stop has always been Michael's Fabrics. They were the first people from whom I purchased fabric online/over the phone. I have a couple others I like to check out, namely Gorgeous Fabrics and Fabric Mart. I'm usually very slow to adopt a new fabric place.

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  14. I always go to Textile Studio first and Michael's Fabric second. From there it's FabricMart, Gorgeous Fabrics and whoever. The reason for my loyalty to the first two is customer service. Both Textile and Michael's have worked with me when I was trying to find a certain type of fabric. Michael's going so far as to hold the fabric for me while they sent me swatches for me to decide upon. All this while they were having a big sale. This is just one example. So, yes, I do have loyalty.

    laura

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  15. Hi!
    No brand loyalty here! I buy what I like. When I traveled several times a year with my DH, I shopped wherever there was great fabric!

    I have a quilt store that sells a very limited amount of fashion fabric here in town. Other than that it is 4 hours to a JoAnn's.

    I am so sad that Cy Rudnick's in KC closed. It was one of my fav's. I LOVE Helen Enox Fine Fabrics in Oklahoma City. It is the bomb!!!!!

    Love twin set from a few days ago. Of course you tend to look good in everything you make!

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  16. In different parts of the country there are what are called Shop Hops! It's where you go to like 12-14 (or more) shops in a period of at least 3-4 days! A lot of quilt shops do this... anyway, I like quilting, but I love to sew clothes too. I go because I do like to feel the cloth! Sometimes, that's the only way you can tell if it's a good quality fabric or not! Although, at Hancock Fabric's 2 monthes back I found a beautiful cream piece on one of their $3.95 tables... it was marked this low because it had one of those... unknown content on it! Low and behold, I did the burn test on it and it's either a wool/poly blend or wool/cotton! The feel is wonderful! I bought what was on the bolt.... ahem, 8.5 yds... but, I'm going to try dyeing some of it a pretty purple! I was pretty excited! Now to get to work on something other than blog hopping!

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  17. I don't think I have a brand loyalty really. I buy most fabric online and if someone is a good seller I remember them but I mostly shop with a specific fabric in mind so I will go to whoever has that fabric (and is willing to ship to Canada LOL)

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  18. I'm more of a looker than a shopper, especially for fabric (patterns and notions is a different story) and this is mostly because shipping from the US to Hong Kong is huge. It has to be pretty special or hard to find fabrics (or a moment of madness) to really justify it.

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  19. Cy Rudnick's in KC Closed?! Of course I hadn't purchased there in years. Maybe that's why.

    I've been brick and morter. but the last good one in town closed. Happily I have a considerable stash, ah, collection. I did get some decent stuff from eBay and etsy, but I guess I'll have to go online.

    Thanks for all the info you have for us.

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  20. In NYC I love Paron especially the annex. I have been shopping there for 30 years or more. Long before the internet and I would call up and speak to Lucy, who is still there, who would send me fabulous samples. I scored 2 gorgeous pieces half price yesterday during the PR day. We missed you! I also had a better time at Metro because I knew what I wanted and asked. I usually have trouble there because it's so crowded. I love Mood. It is my one stop place when I am in a hurry.
    On line I am a confirmed Emmaonesock fan. Because of you I have scored some great stuff at Fabric Mart and I buy from Manhattan fabric (Paron's on line)
    I look elsewhere, but the color palettes are wrong for me, or their taste is different from mine. So while I have ordered occasionally from Sawyer Brook or Fabric club, I spend most of my online dollars at EOS.

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  21. Michael's is my favorite brick & motar store. It is too close to resist. I shop different places on the internet depending on what I am looking for.

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  22. I'm just a fabric floozie--I'll go home with just about any piece, from anywhere (B & M or 'net shop) if I like its looks. LOL

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  23. I buy mostly at brick and mortar stores. The couple of times I have bought on line, I have been very disappointed. The weight of the cottons was either too heavy or too light. But I'm a newbie, so I don't know my fabrics very well yet. I will wait to buy on line for when I'm more fabric savvy. My fave store right now in NYC is Metro Textiles. Kashi feeds the addiction!

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  24. I'm a Fabric Mart Fabrics online shopper. It's almost the only place I shop at any longer due to the consistency in the quality of their fabrics, value pricing and shipping. I do browse Emma One Sock though. As far as brick and morter stores? I'm a fan of Treadle Yard Goods for my apparel sewing fabrics and Crafty Planet for crafting cottons.

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  25. I tend to buy from brick and morter stores, but you enabled me to look farther and recently made purchases from Fabric.com and as of last Friday Fabric Mart.

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  26. I gave up on local B&M stores about 10 years ago when the largest one changed their focus to quilting. They always had a large home dec section. They are int eh process of liquidating and closing right now. Gee, I wonder why?
    There are a few left around here, very hit or miss, they must get their stuff from jobbers in NYC because the stock is highly variable.
    The good thing is, it takes less time to shop via the internet; you can do it when you are available; and once you get used to it and find some vendors you can trust (and what's different about that from B&< stores? NOTHING.), then buying via the internet is easy. And uses no gas.
    The bad thing is: the basics: notions, linings, buttons, thread. I have not yet gone over to the i-side there. I have to see the matches in my hands to make a decision.
    I only buy from 3 or 4 internet retailers although I regularly look at a dozen others. So I am loyal, I suppose, to the ones I've found whom I trust to ship me what I think I bought. I am most loyal to the one I have actually met in person.
    Great question, Carolyn, BTW.
    BetsyV

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  27. Carolyn, your dress and jacket look like they cost about a million dollars. Well done, once again ! Very very elegant.

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  28. I buy fabric where ever I can get what I want for "regular" sewing. For art garments, I am very, very loyal to the Silk Baron. I buy all my dupionni from him. He's got gorgeous colors and great prices ($10.50 per yard for 54" wide!).

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  29. Duh. Forgot, http://www.silkbaron.com.

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  30. I'm definitely a fan of Fabric.com! And Fashion Fabrics Club if I'm in a patient mood.

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  31. I'm loyal to Fabric.com. It used to be that FabricMart was my favorite, but then I disovered the designer knit section and the jersey and the patterns, not to mention other cool fabrics, in addition to the deal of the day, Wednesday's sales, and my box stuffer coupons... well let's just say they had me at Hello. The only brick and mortar store in my town is JoAnn's, so no, I don't have a brick and mortar store to visit.

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  32. I have had good luck with VogueFabricsStore.com. They sell the fabrics used in the featured patterns published in Vogue Patterns magazine. They also suggest coordinating items for fabrics you have chosen, which I really like.

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  33. Part of the whole sewing process for me is going to the store, looking and touching fabrics and picking out something I like. I'm VERY loyal to Paron's in New York -- their customer service is fantastic and they have a great selection of fabrics and a whole annex of 1/2 price fabrics. I've never bought anything online, mostly because I'm not sure I'll be happy with the choice.

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