The VDTA•SDTA is excited to announce our September Dealer of the Month: Creekside Fabrics, Quilts & Yarns. Owned by Sandra Pirdy and located in Arcade, New York, Creekside Fabrics, Quilts & Yarns was established in 2004 and employs a staff of 8 full-time and part-time employees.
Upon opening Creekside in 2004 after the Pirdy's youngest child went off to college, the store sold fabrics and Elna sewing machines. A few years later, Sandra tried her luck with the Baby Lock brand while adding yarn and eventually longarm rentals, all of which proved to be judicious decisions. The store has experienced steady growth, survived the financial crisis of 2008, and reported a banner year in 2016! After contracting Norm Himebaugh for staff training, they have also significantly grown their repair department.
Creekside believes in multi-faceted marketing, which includes hosting "Sewing Celebrities," participating in Fab Shop Network's "Marketing Strategies," and subscribing to Snap Retail for newsletters and Facebook postings. Sandra and her staff record their own radio ads and write their own copy, working diligently to bring in customers from their rural community.
Speaking of community, Creekside is committed to serving others far and near. For the past four years, the store along with the Wyoming County Arts Council has sponsored a Visual Arts Scholarship award to a Wyoming County Youth. This scholarship allows the students to sit with Masters of their craft for one year. In addition, Creekside is home to Cozy Quilts Ministry and to date they has created and donated over 5,000 quilts to patients around the globe battling cancer. Further community involvement includes: 4-H's Clothing Review, the bi-annual Hope Lutheran Quilt Show, the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk, and Sardinia's Historical Society.
Besides quality products and commitment to community, customers love Creekside because of the education and events! Sandra and Creekside offer classes that include the latest trends, classes for kids, and of course, Quilting 101. They have even hosted Paint-N-Canvas nights, book clubs, 4-H meetings, "Big Girl Birthday Parties," and anything that will make them a hub of entertainment.
For advice, Sandra says, "Never say no to an opportunity to talk to and show people what you can do – at Senior Centers, libraries, quilt guilds, you name it! Our store has an open door policy. And don't go it alone. Reach out and join organizations like VDTA, Fabric Shop Network, magazine subscriptions, and Chambers of Commerce to make yourself a resource."
This philosophy has proven fruitful from the many awards Creekside has been bestowed: Wyoming Co Business of the Year – Retailer (2005); Wyoming Co Tourism Award (2006); Harold Upton 4H Memorial Award (2009); WNY Employment Consortium Award (2010); American Public Works Assn Project of the Year (2012); Arcade Area Chamber Business of the Year (2013); and additional recognitions from industry companies.
Congratulations to Sandra and the staff