Happy holidays everyone!
No matter how you celebrate this time of the year, Rick and I want to reach out and wish you peace, joy and a wonderful new year!
We also want to say THANK YOU! As we look through the data for 2023, we’re reminded just how important ALL OF YOU are to The Quilting Connection. Whether you’re a Handi Quilter owner, renter, class attendee, shop customer or some combination thereof, we wouldn’t be who we are without you!
Hopefully you’ll get a little break over the holidays. We want to remind you that we’re going to take some time off too. Both the Elkhorn and Appleton shops will be closed from Sunday, December 24th through Tuesday, January 2nd.
I mentioned looking at our 2023 data. Well, I thought I’d share a little of it with you today so you can get a glimpse into the nuts and bolts of The Quilting Connection.
2023 Highlights – A Great Year in Review!
Let’s begin with some sales statistics. 60 customers either purchased a new or used Handi Quilter OR upgraded their machine. The most popular model this year was the Amara 20 equipped with the Pro-Stitcher computerized quilting system.
Of the machines purchased, 56% of them included the Pro-Stitcher. Of the upgrades, 5 people added the Pro-Stitcher.
We also serviced 85 machines this year to keep them happy and running for years to come!
And you know how we offer local setup/delivery and service? Have you ever wondered what “local” means? In 2023, we drove over 42,000 miles (which did include a trip to Utah for our annual Handi Quilter training at Retailer Academy). Our closest customer stop was in Elkhorn, just 1.6 miles from the shop. But we also drove to Lino Lakes, Minnesota which is 330 miles (or 5 hours) one way!
Actually, our furthest 2023 service call took us to North Carolina, a trip of over 900 miles. But we flew for that one!
Renting time on our Handi Quilter longarms is also a big part of our business. In 2023, over 205 customers rented machine time in either Elkhorn or Appleton. They spent over 1,080 hours on the machines. Of that time, 82% was spent using the Pro-Stitcher computer system and 18% was spent doing either pantograph or free-motion quilting.
74 quilters completed our beginning longarm rental class in 2023. That’s 74 more quilters trained to work on the Handi Quilter longarms in our shops!
Have you ever wondered how much batting and thread our renters use?
We sold over 188 yards of batting in 2023. The most popular choice was the 80/20 cotton/poly batting. A close second was the 4-ounce polyester.
Over 700 bobbins were used by our renters this year. That calculates to over 64,000 yards (over 36 miles) of thread! Now double that figure to account for the top thread too!
And what about th