Saturday, September 01, 2007

Is it me or is it my age??

I have to say this is a question that comes to my mind very often when I go into a new quilt shop. When I was on vacation last week I went into a quilt shop that I've never been in before. There was only one other customer at the time and they were having a great conversation then she left within a minute of me coming in. I said hello to the owner and smiled the owner just smiled at me and said "Let me know if you need anything" and proceeded to go and sit down in the back and start to sew. I looked around the shop for about 10 more minutes and took some bolts off the shelf looked at the fat quarters. I was the only person in the shop and she didn't even look at me again. I was going to purchase some fat quarters but then I thought "No way! Why should I after that service!"

At another time I was in a quilt store and I asked a question about a pattern for a Lone Star type of a quilt. The worker looked at me and handed me a pattern for an easy nine-patch quilt and said "Maybe you'd be better with this pattern." I couldn't believe it!

Now don't get me wrong I've had great service all over the place; but, I have to wonder if it is my age that's the problem. I am in my mid-thirties and I have been quilting since my late twenties. I ask this question because I have seen women of an older generation getting excellent service from the same quilt store employees. I've even been in one store several times and I keep getting the same service (I've stopped going there now). Do people assume that because I am younger that I can't be a serious quilter or that they'd be wasting their time with me? You'd think that store owners would want to foster the younger quilters not discourage them. I guess I just don't understand this one. I would love to know your view-points on this one :)

8 comments:

joyce said...

I usually find quilt store people very friendly but then I am up there in the 60's so have no experience like you. I do have a similar experience when doing anything computer related. They always want to talk to my DH who knows a LOT less about computers than I do.

Nancy said...

I think it has to do more with the "personality" of the shop and less to do with you. A shop near us is famous for ignoring everyone who comes in. It is funny -- the clerks will all gather at the cutting table and seem miffed to be interrupted to be asked a question!

HanneJ said...

I know exactly what you mean! I'm 25, and love to quilt. There are 3 quilt-stores in my town, and in two of them they treat me like a child, or someone who doesn't quilt "for real"
I came in to one store to buy a walking foot for my Elna. The store carry Janome, and I knew it fitted. The owner looked at me like I was a little girl, "if you say so"
I regret bying the foot, but what can a quilter in desperate need do? ;)

Karen Dianne Lee said...

Katrina, I'm going to take a little different tack with this one. I'm glad you shared this experience and perspective. I'm...gosh...closer to 40 than 35 that's for sure. I tend to believe that a young woman with skill does in fact carry herself a little different. She's open to knowledge yet not needy for "hand holding." Sometimes you meet up with the "clerk" rather than the "quilter" in the Shop. Naturally, the Clerk is intimidate whereas the Quilter is excited to share, play and meet a new customer. Just my own thoughts... *karendianne.

Hedgehog said...

I have had this experience at a quilt shop in Florida. It's now closed. It never happens at the shop near my mom's house. I only visit once a year and they treat me like a regular! Hope people in your neck of the woods catch on soon! One thing I love about quilt blogging is how multi-generational it is.

michael5000 said...

Oh, you have no idea.... Here's what life is like in my world:

http://stateofthecraft.blogspot.com/2006/04/invisible-man.html

Juliann in WA said...

I have found over the last few years that quilt shops are quite as friendly as they used to be. It is almost as if the people are enjoying themselves working in a quilt shop. But there is one near me that has wonderful ladies working there, very little changeover in staff, and is a fun place to visit.

Shelina said...

I recently went to a store where the sales lady asked me if she could help me with anything. I said no, I'm browsing. So she left me alone to browse. I really prefer that kind of service - as long as I know you are available when I need you - I would rather be left alone. I think this comes from being followed around at several different (nonquilt) stores like I was going to steal something.
I know that when I do ask questions, they are very helpful and will continue to help me no matter how long it takes to find that perfect fabric.
I think it also has to do with your mood when you go in. If you go in with confidence, you will be treated better than if you look afraid or unsure.