Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Going Out of Business!

It has been a very difficult year at Yellow Bird Art.  Between the economy and the fierce competition for a limited customer base with other quilt shops in the area (there are 18 quilt shops in a 60 mile radius!), we finally decided that we just couldn't keep on.  We've heard from many customers who've owned a small business in the past, and they all said the same thing.  You just become weary after a while of trying to wait out the economy, or thinking up some new promotion or event that will bring customers in the front door - and then have them buy enough of what you're selling to keep the vendors, utilities and rent paid, the shelves stocked with inspirational goods, and the employees employed.  Please understand that we are not bitter or angry, just sad.  During challenging economic times, this is something that happens to some businesses, and we're certainly not the only quilt shop to go out of business right now.  Of course, hindsight always provides alternative endings if only you'd done this or that differently, but honestly Amy and I think we did the best we could.  There are so many people suffering in the world that we are always conscious of the multitude of blessings we've received during our four years of Yellow Bird Art.  Naturally a winning lottery ticket, or finding that danged missing trust fund might have made a huge difference!  

The thing that has been most difficult in making the decision to close is that we truly love running a quilt shop.  Being able to spend your day in such a lively collection of colors and patterns is absolutely a dream come true.  However the very best part of owning a quilt shop has been the opportunity to encourage, assist, and/or teach our patrons and then viewing the most amazing works of creativity that resulted.  Getting to know our customers personally has been the greatest gift of all.  It has been an honor to be your friends and cheering squad.  Amy and I both deeply believe that everyone of us has a beautiful gift of creativity and our mission in owning Yellow Bird Art has been to support you in your quest of finding your own gift and developing it!  When any of you came through the front door while we were occupied with normal shopkeeping tasks, you often apologized for "interrupting" our work.  I think we always told you that you were never interrupting - YOU were and still ARE the only reason we opened the store!  We know over the course of the 4 years that Yellow Bird Art has been open that we've occasionally made some incredibly dopey mistakes, but we've always aspired to make sure they were corrected to your satisfaction - at least that was our sincere intention.

SO...... as of today all our fabrics, patterns, notions, books, kits, needle felting and embroidery supplies are 20% off regular price.  Fabrics require a 1/2 yard minimum cut.  (Consignment items like the fused glass jewelry and hand dyed silk scarves are not on sale.)  All our shop samples are for sale at prices much less than what it would cost to purchase the fabrics, batting and quilting - we did not include the cost of sewing labor - so these are a huge bargain.  Our BabyLock sewing machines are 30% off MSRP.  If you purchase one of our demonstration sewing machines, we'll add an additional discount which depends on the machine you purchase.  All of our shelving, display items, and antique or vintage furniture is on sale as well.  The marked  prices on those items are firm, and the items will be available when the shop closes or when we no longer need them.  Our Accucut Studio fabric die cutter and an extensive collection of dies are for sale.  The Accucut has been lightly used over the past year, and the majority of the dies have never been used.  This would be an awesome purchase for a guild.  Did you know that you can precision cut the fabric for three quilts in less than an hour using the Accucut?  You can call Amy at 563-538-4350 if you have questions about any of the items for sale.

Now, I know this may be an unusual request, but we hope many of you think of us as friends. If we've earned a place in your heart, and your budget allows, I'd like to ask you to visit Yellow Bird Art soon and bless us with your patronage.  Our goal is simply to get out of the business being able to honorably pay off all our financial obligations.  As a mom, I'd love to know that Amy could conclude her life at Yellow Bird with a modest fund that will enable her to make this difficult transition in her life. We know there are LOTS of quilt shop options available for you - many with great collections of all the newest fabrics available.  But we still have beautiful fabrics for quilts, bags and garments in stock at great prices and we really need your help - we just can't do this without YOU!  I know we all love finding the super shopping bargain.  Who doesn't love  buying something at 70% off the retail price?  But Yellow Bird Art is just a locally owned teensy business, not a natiional corporate entity with deep pockets, and every dollar that comes into the shop goes to other small businesses owned by real people who are depending on our ability to pay their bill so they can pay their bills and so on and on it goes.  This type of honesty is surely not a normal business practice, but then we've always been more interested in making real heartfelt contact with our customers, not just being interested in how much each sale brought in!

We would be remiss if we didn't mention all the wonderful women who have worked at Yellow Bird Art.  Each woman brought her unique talents, creativity, strengths and insights that enriched our working environment and made it a joy to come to work each day.  We've had so much fun at work with our "birds"!  We've missed each one who has moved on to other life interests, and will miss those we currently work with.  Our deepest thanks to Sue, Deb M., Deb B., Marsha, Kathy, Sandy, Barb, Eileen, Kristina, Carolyn, Peggy and Joan for sharing your lives with us and being a part of Yellow Bird Art.

We have NEW HOURS!  We are now closed Sunday and Monday (although you'll find us at the shop for the next 2 Mondays).  We are open 10 - 5 on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday, and 10 - 7pm on Thursday.  We are always glad to be open earlier or later if you have a group that would like to come at a time outside normal operating hours. 

We will be mailing only one postcard about our "Going out of Business" Sale.  To learn about sale updates, or new shop news, check our website, blog, or sign up for our E-newsletter at our website:,
We will be putting together some super fabric bundles and other specials for those of you who can't come into the shop, so please check our blog out soon again! 

P.S.  We don't know when we will be closing the shop yet - we're just working our way through this day by day!

Posted by Angela


veronica said...

I came across your wonderful, eclectic and artful shop through the "10 Best" magazine issue. I wish I lived closer as I would have no doubt been a frequent customer. I'm sorry to hear another small business is closing. Wishing you the best in your future creative endeavors.

Anonymous said...

are you selling on line?

Anonymous said...

Take all of your inventory and go set up a store at the new home I have found on There you will meet friends you never knew you had. People will love your products and I strongly believe you will turn this into a place people will flock to.

See you there.


Anonymous said...

I am so sorry to hear that you are closing the shop. I own a quilt shop about 6 hours away from you, and your store has been a wonderful inspiration for us! I have visited several times, and have always listed Yellow Bird among my absolute favorites. I wish you all the best in the future, and good luck with your sale.

Anonymous said...

My mom always tried to get me to sew. I didn't want to learn. At age 34, with 2 young kids, I went on a road trip...walked into your awesome shop and have been sewing ever since. It has become the creative outlet I was I missing and has filled a void in my life. I have been into many fabric stores in my life and it was your fun, beautiful, arty store that inspired me. Thank you. I appreciate all your helpfulness, encouragement, and your amazing eye for color. I will make the trip again soon to support you and will bring friends. So sorry to see your shop go.