This past week, we had the chance to speak with Fran and Bruce, owners of Paradise Quilting, a boutique quilt shop, located here in Concord NH.
When we asked about how Paradise Quilting came to be, Fran tells us, “Growing up, I was always interested in sewing and quilting. I was around 5 years old when I got bit by the sewing bug and learning from my mémé. Then, in March of 2017, one of my Tuesday chicks came in where I was waitressing, and was talking about “In Stitches” in Concord, and how it was closing because the owner had fallen ill. I had taken long arm classes with Donna, the owner, so I called her, and six weeks later, we had quilt shop.”
And this was just the beginning of Paradise Quilting. They wanted to expand, so they moved to the Allison Street Market. Two yeas later, they needed more space, and more parking. That’s when they opened up their current store front at 163 Manchester St Suite 5, in Concord in June 2019. This has proved to be a much better arrangement, offering a larger workspace and classroom area. And with more space means new inventory, fabric lines, and their ever popular, Ever-Sewn machines.
But 2020, given all its difficulties due to COVID-19, Fran and Bruce had to make some adjustments to their business.
Fran says, “Since we sell fabric supplies, we’re an essential business. We have been practicing all the recommended and required practices to keep our team and customers safe, such as wearing masks, social distancing, and wiping down surfaces. We also installed the ActivePure Air Ionization System to help kill air and surface viruses. We’ve expanded delivery and offered curb-side pick-up as well.”
But that’s not all they’ve done. At the beginning of the pandemic, Paradise Quilting helped supply the Elliot Hospital with handmade gowns for their ICU medical personnel. Fran also mentioned that many local businesses ordered supplies to make their own masks, such as Grappone, Autofair, New England Grocers, as well as many individuals.
Paradise Quilting shares a space with another business next door, Aerus, a manufacturer of air purifiers and treatment systems, which Bruce, Fran’s business partner, manages. This helps them save on costs, but also presents a unique opportunity to make use of the Aerus air purification systems.
Bruce tells us, “In the Paradise Quilting shop, we’re running an Aerus, which has recently shown to kill the Coronavirus. It’s the same developed for use on the space station, and kills the viral particles in the air or on a surface. We have it running all the time. We know it works, and we feel safer for it.”
Now, Fran and Bruce tell us they have been busier than ever. They’ve recently decided to enhance their product lines, and a new website and are working towards an e-commerce style webstore, as well as additional product shipping options.
Another unique part of Paradise Quilting is doing their popular Facebook Live series. Fran says, “We go live on Facebook once a week, every Friday at 9:15AM. We do giveaways, and talk about some of the new product lines in stock. Our customers love it, and I have a lot of fun doing it.”
Classes like “Cutting 101” or “Know Your Seam 101” have been tremendously popular, and she’s looking forward to bringing those to customers that may not want to travel. Paradise Quilting also offers tutoring services, with “plenty of social distancing” for groups of four.
Fran also mentioned an upcoming holiday promotion Paradise Quilting is running, “The 12 Days of Christmas,” for the “Quilter or Quilter to be.” It’s something “the quilting elves will put together,” according to Fran. “We put 12 individually wrapped items in a personalized pillow case made by Paradise Quilting, and the recipient gets to open one present for 12 days starting on December 13th.”
When we asked about which of their products are “customer favorites” Fran tells us, “Definitely SlideLock, it’s made in the USA, and we’ve been selling their line for four years. But also our Tula Pink fabric, Timeless Treasures, RJR, and our ‘Batik Island’ which a whole wall dedicated to their products!”
Lastly, when we asked what else Paradise Quilting has in store for the coming months, Fran told us about a “traveling suitcase” project she launched on November 27 on Facebook Live.
In talking with Fran and Bruce, we really got the sense that they love what they do, and they love working for their customers. It’s efforts like these, that really make all the difference to the community and local shoppers.
If you are looking for a great selection on fabrics and quality quilting materials, we absolutely recommend checking out Paradise Quilting!
You can visit Paradise Quilting on their website here:
And their Facebook page with weekly Facebook Live giveaways here: