How to discourage teens from sewing
Several days ago and as I often do on a Sunday afternoon, I made a trip to JoAnn Fabrics to purchase tulle for the flower girl dresses I’m sewing. This was the second type of tulle I’ve purchased, but that’s another story. While waiting to have the tulle cut I witnessed the most disappointing scene. Nearly frantic and obviously overwhelmed by the experience of being in a fabric store, a mother and her teen-age daughter came to the cutting table to ask for assistance. With a photocopied shopping list in hand it was clear that the mother and daughter were shopping for fabric and notions for a sewing class.
As usual for a Sunday afternoon, there were 2 clerks at the cutting counter and not another staff member to be found anywhere in the store. Already having waited 15 minutes I was holding “number 59”, the ticker was well past 70 and every person in line patiently waited with a cart full of fabric to be cut. By now you have the picture.
Frantic mother: “Is there someone who can help me find fabric. I’ve never been in a fabric store before.”
Teen: Embarrassed, she split to another more teen-friendly area of the store.
Employee: “You’ll need to take a number and stand in line.”
Frantic mother (looking around for assistance): “I’ll need to wait forever – I don’t even know where to start.”
Me: “I’m just standing in line – is there some way I can help?”
Mother: “My daughter is making a backpack for her class but I have no idea what type of fabric to buy”
Clerk: “Number 59”
Another customer: “I’ll be waiting for a long time – let me show you where the denim fabrics are.”
Customer service aside, isn’t it so sad that the stores who should be creating their future don’t have staff who have either the time or the interest to advance sewing and assist those who will be their future customers? What if this mother and teen had a positive experience? Maybe the daughter would have enjoyed sewing and would have become one of us “crazies’ who love to spend time in a fabric store?