Monday, January 2, 2012

Amish Women Entrepreneurs; Inside Granny’s Quilt Shop

The new year brings in new thoughts, and many think of starting a small business. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing about Amish women who run businesses by doing things they love and how they succeed by treating their customers with respect.
I’ll start with Granny’s Quilt Shop, started by “Granny Weaver”. In my book, Knit Together: An Amish Close Knit Novel, you’ll see how Granny has a quilt shop. Well, I didn’t use my imagination at all; I used Granny’s real shop. Her son Roman built a shop next to her little dawdyhaus. It’s only the size of an enclosed porch, but filled with quality quilts, crocheted rugs, baskets, dolls, aprons and more that the whole extended family make, from children to the elderly.
What really impresses me about Granny’s store is that her prices are extremely low. I’ve noticed this in other Amish businesses. They come to a price they’re satisfied with and simply charge that amount. When I tell them they could get double, they don’t seem impressed. What I see are artisans who love doing their craft so much they feel that’s worth more than money. The Amish also don’t believe in overpricing their items either. If they get a good price for craft supplies, they pass on the savings.
The Amish I know aren't opposed to letting the English sell their items on consignment. Our online family business is looking into selling many of their items. They also aren't opposed to making things that they'd never use themselves.  I'm taking up measurements this week for PCs and Kindles so they can start making quilted covers for both. Super entrepreneural women.
Below are some pictures from Granny’s store with its many items. Maybe it will give you some ideas on starting your own small business.
Quilted wall hangings, placemats  and pot holders.


Over thirty quilts are on one bed in the store to save space. Amish women flip them over like
turning the pages in a  book.

Cross-stitch up close. Very even stitches.

Very unique pattern.


Amish women see what's marketable and make it. They know all about Vera Bradley.
I carry one of their purses, calling it my "Vera Miller". Extra-large purses are $20.00.

One of the ladies has a loom and weaves rag rugs.

This is one square on a quilt embellished with cross-stitch and straight stitch. 

The kids make cards to sell for extra money.

A crocheted rag rug.

Two of my many Amish baskets from Granny's store.

An Amish doll dressed in a "fancy" print dress. For some reason, they're more marketable, so the Amish make what customers want. I prefer traditional clothes, but couldn't pass this one up! She sits on my bed.

An apron my daughter bought from Granny for Mother's Day years ago.
 I hang it up in my kitchen, which is now teal to match the apron ;)

6 comments:

  1. Beautiful workmanship! The colors and patterns are gorgeous!

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  2. I especially like the PC and Kindle quilted covers, how cool!

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  3. Greg and Donna, thank you for leaving such nice comments. Roger, me too. I want an quilted Amish kindle cover with my name embroidared on it ;)

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  4. Exquisite! I come from a family of quilters (not me, though) and appreciate someone being willing to part with their creations.

    I like the idea of the Kindle covers and I'd love to have a quilted bag large enough to carry my laptop in :)

    Do they have an online store?

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  5. Hi Anne,
    I want a "Vera Miller" quilted laptop bag too. We're talking about putting their smaller items in our family store, Thrifty Christian Shopper. We've tried selling their quilts but S&H was too much...same with Amish Rockers. So I hope to have smaller items like laptop bags and kindle covers soon. Thanks for leaving a comment!

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  6. I would also LOVE to know if their items are available online. That doll, purse and apron are totally things I would love to buy. Thanks.

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