Think Global, Craft Local: Strawberry & Rhubarb Quilt Shop in Burlington, Vermont

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Welcome to our fourth edition of Think Global, Craft Local, where we will share ideas and resources for staying within your local community for your crafting needs. When you shop from a local retailer you are supporting your local economy, and helping your neighborhood business stay alive and thriving. It’s not just good for them, in return you get the support of your local dealer, who can answer questions for you face to face, and may offer hands on classes, events, and groups.

For this interview we spoke to Gayle Schliemann, of Strawberry & Rhubarb Quilt Shop in Burlington, Vermont. Here is what she shared with us.

Strawberry & Rhubarb is located in the suburbs of Burlington, Vermont at Maple Tree Place shopping center. It is a small store packed with merchandise that is hard to find in traditional sewing stores.

Although we are considered by most of our clientele as a quilt store, we label ourselves an everything sewing store focusing on technique education as opposed to specific projects. There are exceptions, of course, hand bag classes in particular are always popular.

I started Strawberry & Rhubarb in 2005, when I was just 31 years old. Not specifically trying to target a specific age group, my natural tendencies to carry avant-garde and “yard sale chic” fabrics landed a next generation of sewing followers. Our recycle and reuse projects helped the store establish itself as the place to go for the unexpected.
Our selection of fabrics, notions, patterns and the like pales in comparison to our dedication to our toys – the Bernina sewing, embroidery, overlocking machines and software. We are inspired by the technology everyday and are on a mission to get everyone who comes into our store into a Bernina (however, we welcome all brands, and would never want anyone to feel pressured into anything :)). Having worked for the areas previous Bernina dealership for 7 years, I made the decision to not even open a store if I couldn’t sell the brand. Thankfully I was blessed with the opportunity.
We’ve faced the uphill battles like everyone else in this industry and I am shocked and delighted to have accomplished several tough achievements for a 1,400 square foot store in one of the smallest markets in the country, a couple of them being a rookie of the year candidate for Bernina and the #8 best website for Best Business Practices.

Strawberry & Rhubarb is our customer’s sewing room away from home and a place to go for creative ideas, inspiration and relaxation. The staff and clientele are inspired by each other and can’t imagine doing anything else.

Thank you for taking the time to talk with us Gayle! It’s an inspiration to hear your story!

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  1. jungrrl says:

    What an awesome looking store!!

  2. Sandy says:

    Shop heare all the time. Nice to see them getting some press !