I went to a local quilt history gathering in my town with a quilting girlfriend of mine. One of the speakers was well-known, at least to me, and I looked forward to putting a face with a name.
During her talk, she spoke of supporting our local quilt shops, which I do. More than Hunnybunny would like. And she spoke of her own online shop, which I thought was kind of contradictory, but I let it go. After the meeting, I stood in line to speak to her about my favorite online resource, Quiltshops.com. I guess it's the hormones, but the polite thing to do when someone is waiting to speak to you is to acknowledge your presence. Well, she walked away. My friend and I stared at each other and wondered who did what to her Wheaties. I then followed this woman across the room, where another woman got in front of me and she again walked away. Finally, I caught up with her by touching her shoulder:
"Wow, you're hard to catch!" I laughed. For the record, she didn't.
"I wanted to tell you about Quiltshops.com. You didn't mention them in your resource list." And I told them about the search engine, how you can put a Boolean search to look for this, not that,ect. She proceeded to give me a lecture about supporting our local quilt shops and how using the internet was a way to put small shops out of business.
"I do use them. However, if there's a fabric I can't find, I'll look there next." She again tried to dissuade me against using the internet to find fabric. Finally, I asked her,
"Did I understand you correctly that you have an internet shop?" She nodded.
"How is that any different? Most shop owners are savvy enough to have a site along with their shop's goods. That way, you don't waste precious gas money if they don't have it."
I honestly can't remember what she said in rebuttal, but I remember walking away thinking that maybe I don't need to go to any more of these 'educational' meetings. The sad part is she is part of our local guild, and if I re upped, I'd run into her. I guess I'm struggling with this mentality of "you have to do it this way". The internet has lots of options for people and fabric ordering is probably my favorite. I utterly despise walking into a quilt shop and having to look through all those bolts of fabric.
It's nothing personal, usually I'm dragging some child or husband with me and they are less than enthused. So, what do you think? Is the internet going to be the downfall of the local quilt shop or can they co-exist?