How to find and hire the right employees for your quilt shop

In the last couple of weeks, we have talked about how to compete against the big guys, finding resources and allies to grow your business, and how to offset the cost of inventory at your quilt shop.


There is still one last thing to talk about leveling up your business: finding the right employees.


I have found in the last couple of years that it’s been hard to find good employees. It’s one of the biggest challenges businesses face. If you find the wrong employee, it’s costly. And that’s tough for any type of business!


When you lose an employee, you have not only spent money hiring and training them, and you also have to spend even more money to hire their replacement. When that happens, the expenses can start to pile up. It’s essential to find great talent and focus on retaining them.


What should you look for when hiring an employee for your quilt shop?

First, you want to find somebody that can work the schedules you need. Most quilt shops hire part-time employees because their employees are only looking to work during the day when their kids are at school or don’t have many responsibilities at home.


It’s also possible that they don’t have kids, but are in college or school themselves, so they want to work the shift later in the day.


Next, it’s essential to find people that are interested in sewing as a hobby. They need to understand the industry, the products and be able to answer questions from your customers. Sometimes this can be a little bit tricky.


Where do you find good employees?

One of the best ways to find employees for our quilt shop is to put a sign in the window that says we are hiring. We keep one in the window and on the counter. Those that come in often see the sign and often make recommendations. Some of the best employees we’ve had have been customers.


If the customers aren’t interested, they often have referrals of granddaughters, nieces, nephews, friends, or neighbors.


When you have built relationships with your clients, it has many benefits, such as helping you find great employees.


What should the job posting say?

It’s essential when creating a job posting that you set forth the expectations for the job. You’ll want to tell them the pros and cons of working in your shop. They will most likely be on their feet for 8 hours a day and walking around the store. They’ll be carrying heavy bolts of fabric too. So you’ll need to find someone that is physically capable of working in your store.

They’ll be talking with customers and answering questions, so they’ll need to be comfortable engaging with everyone that comes into the shop. They need to have a smile on their face and be welcoming to customers. They need to know how to fold fabric, measure and cut fabric, and keep the store in order.

Sometimes we get so excited about hiring a new person that we miss some crucial elements in the job post. You’ll want to include those to help weed out those that aren’t interested in helping you run your business.


You don’t want to hire the first person that comes along because you’re desperate for help. You’ll want to set the expectations and have a good interview process too. Get to know them for at least 30 minutes, then always do a second interview. You want to make sure you feel as good about them the second time around as you did the first.


I also recommend showing them around your shop and introducing them quickly to the other employees. This allows you to see how they interact with their peers.


Employees are your biggest asset

Employees are one of your biggest assets, so you want the right ones in your store. They are your eyes and ears in front of your customers. They are going to know what customers like and don’t like about your store and the products.


And sometimes, whether we like it or not, we have to let go of bad employees. If they aren’t doing their job, being an asset to your store, and supporting your customers, then they cost you money.


You can’t just hope that they will change. You’ve got to have firm rules and guidelines for hiring and firing your employees.


And that may be hard because your employees are people too, but you’ve got to take care of your business. You have other employees, your family, and your customers that need taking care of too. If you’ve hired the wrong person, don’t be afraid to admit the mistake and move on.


Are you ready to hire someone new? Or do you need help with budgeting for a new employee or creating a hiring process? Grab a time on my calendar to talk more! I can help.





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