Quilt Market & Festival 2019: the Report


with the 2019 version of Quilt Market & Festival safely in our rear view mirror, its time to take a long hard look at what worked, what didn’t and where we can improve for next year! So here goes….

First of all, when we arrived in Houston this year, “World Series fever” was in full bloom. And since our hotel is right across the street from Minute Maid Park, we had a bird’s eye view into the festivities. We could literally watch the game on our TV or look out our window and watch it on the ballpark IMAX screen. On the one hand it was kinda exciting, especially since we’re both big baseball fans, but it was almost impossible to get into a restaurant, so in the end we were glad when it was over.

And things really didn’t start out so smoothly for us this year. Its was raining the day after we got to Houston (set-up day for Quilt Market) and per usual we made a beeline for the Marriott across the street where we could use the inside walkway to the Convention Center… glad that is, until I totally wiped out on the slick Marriott floor (my treadless Crocs aided & abetted the accident). Next thing I knew I was on my keister. It happened so fast I didn’t have time to react, which probably saved me a serious injury.

It could’ve been so much worse of course. With some big-time knee surgery scheduled for the 20th of this month, landing on that knee could’ve been catastrophic, so needless to say I was grateful!

Here’s a look at the full length of the Market Floor just before the opening bell. The flag you see in the center of the picture is roughly the CENTER of the vendor mall, meaning of course that this venue is so big that you can’t even see from one end of the floor to the other. And believe it or not, the festival floorplan actually includes FOUR MORE rows than the Market! So when they say that its the largest show if its kind in the world, they really are not kidding.

And here’s how our booth looked at the opening bell of the Quilt Festival. (Our Market “look” was similar but of course included our full line of hardware instead of the fabric and notions kits.) As I mentioned in our last post in this series, we were located on the 1st row this year, right at one of the entrances to the Quilt Exhibits, which is a primo spot!

And this was our “Sneek Peek” display which was located out in the glass cases in the lobby of the GRB. This was the 1st year that there were “Sneek Peek” displays for BOTH the Quilt Market and the Festival.

Traffic at Quilt Market was brisk with very good sales numbers and we made some really great, new contacts! The Festival however was OUT-OF-THIS-WORLD!

In every possible way this was our best retail show ever and I attribute much of the success to two things… our new Supply Kits and our floor location on the 1st row. We expanded out offerings for this show by having a hardware Kit prepared for most all of the designs we brought along with us. Our customers seemed to appreciate not having to hunt for the various items they would need to complete their project and it helped us out as well by keeping the lines at our booth manageable.

And so… that’s a wrap for 2019!

Since this is our last show of 2019, we’re officially closing the book on the most successful show year we’ve ever enjoyed. If you were among those who came to visit us in any of the four locations we vended at this year… THANK YOU! Our favorite part is meeting new customers and talking as much as time will allow.

But before you know it we’ll be heading out to California in January and the start of a brand new show season. Click here to see if we’ll be in a city near YOU!

And now…. it’s YOUR turn!

Will we be seeing YOU at an upcoming show in 2020? And remember, we love reading your comments and answering your questions too, so please feel free to leave either or both in the space provided below.

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  1. Don on November 12, 2019 at 9:59 am

    Congratulations on a fabulous year. Such well deserved responses.
    Looks like a bigger booth is the next step. I bet you could double your sales in no time.

    • Kat on November 12, 2019 at 11:04 am

      thanks Don. I am so hesitant to go to a double booth because unless we stay on a corner, the additional space of a double booth really doesnot afford us any extra linear feet of display, PLUS, since my husband is loathe to get involved with sales, it would be pretty hard for me to “man” the additional area. SO much to think about. 🙂

  2. Elaine on November 12, 2019 at 10:21 am

    This will be the first year I won’t be going to Road in CA. Since we moved to Texas…that is not on my list any more…BUT – I hope to get to Houston next year for my first time. I will start working out for the endurance test there.

    • Kat on November 12, 2019 at 11:06 am

      Houston is definitely a workout, but it helps to have a plan of attack to avoid unnecessary back-tracking. 🙂

      • Jan S on November 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm

        Don’t want to be negative, but it was impossible to get to any of the merchandise because of the crowds. Since everything is on the traffic area , I couldn’t get into the booth to get up close to the stuff. I ended up leaving in hopes of fewer people later. I don’t know how you keep people from walking away with zippers, etc since they’re on the outside and you’re enclosed in your booth. You were so busy checking people out that couldn’t ask any questions. Can your husband run the cash register?

        • Kat on November 13, 2019 at 4:00 pm

          Sorry you encountered such a crowd. We really do the best we can with the space we are allotted. My husband generally stands on the outside of the booth and handles security for the very reasons you mention, although we have had relatively few problems in that regard. He wouldn’t be doing his job if he were chitchatting with our customers. As per not being able to ask me any questions, I’m afraid that whether I stand on the inside or the outside of the booth, you would probably still encounter a waiting line at certain times of the day however, I try to answer all questions as best I can, even when we are really busy or there are waiting lines. Obviously i cannot take the time to chitchat when there are so many people in line, but that would be true whether I was inside or outside the booth.
          The best day to avoid the big crowds and waiting lines (at the International Quilt festival) is Saturday or Sunday, although you may encounter some out-of-stock items by then at some vendors.

  3. Dora on November 12, 2019 at 12:00 pm

    Stopped by your booth and browsed a bit. It was my first time to the Houston show. I can understand the hardware kit being a big seller.
    With so much to see, I wanted to be able to get what I wanted without spending too much time searching for items. I decided that I was going to purchase kits only and aside from new tools and gizmos and a few patterns that were $1 each, thats what I bought. Easy peasy. Loved every minute of it. Of course, it helps when you go with a couple of “sisters”. ALOT of laughter and good times. What happens in Houston, stays in Houston. LOL!