The better rivets that I've found are sold by Ohio Travel Bag, but they only sell to businesses with Tax ID numbers. They also have a minimum purchase of $75 or $100, which probably doesn't fit in with your needs.
However, the fact that you're using fabric is certainly a problem.
If your Tandy is a nice one, and many of them are, you might ask them if they'll let you use their rivet press to try to set them correctly. I'm not even sure such a thing is possible with fabric; I've never tried.
It's really strange to me. I've had some phenomenally great retail experiences. The Woodcraft that I mentioned earlier, along with a Tandy Leather. When I had a small wood/leather business, going shopping for supplies was always fun.
A good retail staff can make such a difference. The two aforementioned stores were always, always, always more than willing to demo things I was thinking of buying. They were happy to undersell when they saw no difference in performance between to disparately priced items. They were aware of my status as a frequent customer, and I would often show up to the store with the owner having gotten something in their latest shipment which they had set aside for me. (A nice piece of wood, a nice side of leather, stuff they knew I'd be interested in.)
I wonder if its the transient nature of Las Vegas that makes it harder to pull this off? St. Louis is pretty insular, and it can be hard to penetrate if you're perceived as an outsider. Perhaps it was my good-old-boy status?
Whatever the case, I think it's easy to run a successful, small retail business. Or small restaurant. Or any non-franchised, non-big-box, business. It really just boils down to the owner asking themselves: How can I make myself different that the WalMarts of the world? If the answer "I can be nicer and more knowledgeable and more attentive to my customers' needs!" doesn't immediately come into any potential owners mind, they have no right starting a business and expecting it to be patronized.
When I was selling custom leather goods, it made me HAPPY to think that I was able to more adequately meet my customers' needs. I strove to be in-tune with them. To check up weeks, months down the line to make sure everything was still in fine, working order. They were giving me money, after all! Allowing me to do what I loved to do!
Tandy also sells something called "Chicago Screws" which are rivet-esque but feature the added ease of the two halves screwing into one another. Rivets, especially the cheapo Tandy variety, can be hard to hammer straight. The screws alleviate this problem altogether.
My grrl and I are newish here. (She's rachelo.) We've been in town for about three months now. Aside from the traffic, life is great. In short: We're frigging loving Las Vegas.
I wonder, though! What if we Las Vegas Craftster folks united to... do stuff! Think of the potential purchasing power! The voting blocs we could form! How many of there are us, anyways? What if we laid out who we were, what we did, what we could offer - why... We'd be Voltron-esque! We could storm the Wynn and take it over in the name of STUFF!
I'm talkin' unlimited upward potential!
I'm Tom. 30. I teach ESL Writing at CCSN. I just started knitting and am thinking about getting into spinning. I'm an old hand at leathercrafting; did it as a bidness for a spell, as a hobby long before. I've got a bit of experience in woodwork, but none of the tools to be useful. But if anyone needs leatherstuff or leatherhelp, I'm yr man! I'm also half-proficient at tuning/fixing bicycles and motorcycles. And teaching ESL. Hm.