** I know I’ve been gone for almost a month! :0 So sorry. I have been frantically working on relaunching TipStitched, my clothing line and online store. I’ll be announcing it next week (hopefully). I’ve missed sewing just for me and doing my reviews. I also have an exciting announcement to make but I’m not sure I can tell you just yet!**
By now I’m sure y’all know that Hancock Fabrics has filed bankruptcy and is currently liquidating their stores. At first it was supposed to be just 70 of the lowest performing stores. None of the stores near me were on that list and I breathed a sigh of relief, then last week it was announced that all stores were closing.
I’m pretty sad about this and not just because Hancock is the nearest fabric store to both my home and work. Hancock was the first store I visited when I decided to start sewing. I “borrowed” my mother’s machine but I purchased some of my starter notions there as well as the fabric for my starter project, Mimi G’s 30 minute pencil skirt. I purchased a yard of both yellow and blue matte jersey fabric from my local Hancock from the flat fold table. Back then it was just $3.95 a yard and I felt that was a perfect price for something that might not work (and it didn’t). The manager at the time, whose name escapes me now (all I remember is it starts with an M), helped me so much that day. She asked what I was making, helped me choose the yardage and gave me some starting tips like “use the flat fold fabric while you are learning so you haven’t wasted too much money”. Several of the other ladies were helpful at that store were helpful as well as most had had years of sewing experience.
As I fell in love with sewing this store became my default store, though I did visit others. Every time I stopped by I would try to wear something I had sewn and would look for Mrs. M. She would ask me if I made my outfit and complement how my skills were improving. I don’t know if she knew how much that encouraged me to keep sewing, but it did. The other ladies were helpful as well and I went so often they knew me by face. There was (and still is) another location nearer my office and I would go there sometimes, but I much preferred this location because of these ladies.
Sometime last year that particular location closed and was reopened a ways away. This made it more inconvenient for me to drop in (which my pockets and husband definitely appreciated) but I still shopped there. Soon though Mrs. M quit and so did the other helpful ladies. Some of the new people were nice (others not so much), but it wasn’t quite the same. Still I prefer Hancock to Joann partially for pricing and partially for the fact that Hancock seemed to find workers with some sewing experience.
Alas I guess all I have now is Joann, which ironically is opening a new location where the first Hancock was originally. This is the only good news because previously the closest Joann’s was at least 20 miles away. I have a local wholesale store that I love to shop with but they are also 20+ miles away and though they have an amazing selection of fabric and notions, they do not carry patterns. This new Joann will fill my “I have to have it now” and pattern sale fix. I don’t buy patterns online (unless they are out of print) because I can always find a better deal in store and not deal with the shipping. I do shop for fabric online (I love Fabric Mart and Girl Charlee), but sometimes you just want to feel the fabric, ya know?
Though I know many are excited about the upcoming sales and rock bottom prices, I can’t help but be sad about my “spot” leaving for good. Not to mention the 4500 people who are now out of a job. Many years ago when I worked in retail sales, the company I was working for when out of business and it was devastating. Many of my older coworkers had worked there for years and leaving the company was like leaving family. I hadn’t been there as long but it was no fun working a job you knew was ending while frantically looking for another one. It all worked out for me and I got into my “real” field soon after, but I’m not sure all were as lucky. I really feel bad for these employees because let’s face it retail can suck and the liquidation shoppers are the worse. I mean why are you mad or picky when you are only paying 10-25% for an item? Take that deal and run and stop hounding me about an extra $1. Sorry for venting LOL. My point it please be nice to the employees if you plan on shopping the sale. I know you want a deal but remember while you are trying to save a buck some of these people are losing their only source of income.
I do plan to shop the liquidation sale. I actually went yesterday and picked up 6 New Look patterns. Sadly at this point this is the only “deal” worth grabbing. The whole store is only 20-50% currently (except for those first 70 stores, they have increased discounts already). Most fabric and notions are only 20% which is no match for their usual sales or the 40% coupon that was always offered. Spot the bolt fabric is actually much more because it is not 20% off the original price when it was previous 60% or more off. Patterns are 50% off which is only 10% extra off the old every day price of 40% off. That make all but the New Look patterns still much higher than their stock up sale low price of $0.99-4.99. The New Looks are now $1.99 instead of $3.99 which works because they NEVER go on sale. I’ll be checking back at a few of my local stores over the next several weeks. I will post here and on IG if I see the percentages increase.
Were you a Hancock shopper? Do you have any found memories of Hancock? Which do you prefer JoAnn or Hancock? Have you snagged any great deals?