Tag Archives: small business

Why Amazon?

As of lately the question has been on my mind as to why people choose Amazon over small business websites. If both sites are carrying the same item what makes Amazon the better choice?

  • Pricing? Are these items being sold at the same price? Most of the time I see smaller business sites are pricing lower than Amazon to try to compete for customers. ( we do the same on our site)
  • Shipping? For prime members on Amazon I understand the free 2day shipping. It is a great option. But is that why people would want to buy a product from Amazon rather than the same item that is priced less on a different website?
  • Customer Service? Is it easy to get helpful answers from Amazon? What makes their service better than other sites? Most small business websites have multiple ways for a customer to get in contact with them.

As these thought run through my head I also wonder what other small business websites think as well as customers out there. Is Amazon just the BEST? Can small websites compete with Amazon? We have started to sell some of our items on amazon as well and we see that selling on Amazon has brought us new customers who may not have seen us if we weren’t on Amazon. Then at the same time we sometimes see traffic/ customer chats on our website asking for information/ searching around then only for these customers not to buy from us but to go back and purchase on Amazon.

It does not help that similar products are being offered on amazon at an insanely lower price. These come from vendors overseas who are selling these items at such a low cost it is hard to compete. We try to lower our prices as much as we can to the point that we are taking a loss and losing money to these sellers. We offer a great quality product and we see that price is always a main factor. Does the customer not care about quality anymore?

We just want a better understanding to why customers choose Amazon over us. How can we get the amazon shoppers to shop our website as well?

To my other business owners who are reading this I would love to know if these thoughts have ever crossed your mind. Are we the only ones thinking this?  What can we take away from this, and how can we better improve our sites.  At the end of the day we want our customers to be happy with our product and services we provide them with in hopes they will become loyal customers. We want to be given chance. We have a great team ready for when a customer has any questions. Our customer live chat is always available during our working hours. You can always email us or call too! We want to show our customers that they can get a more personal experience with us.  We take pride in our products and want to share that with our customers.

 

Enjoy!

~ Briana

New Year’s Transformation

It’s that time again. Everyone’s social media feeds are full of “New year, new me” status updates. Ambitions are high to start the New Year on a great note. I too enjoy setting goals to help myself grow as an individual.

I don’t want to just write about all the new goals you can set for yourself in the New Year. Quite frankly, there are too many to list! Every person is different and wants to better them self in a different way. For the past few months I have been really into reading all the amazing home decor blogs out there. Every one of the blogs that I have come across are inspiring and have made me think about my home in a different way than before. (I know you are wondering why I am blabbing on about myself… don’t worry there is a moral to this story!) Reading blog after blog on home decor, I have developed an interest in it. What better way to start the New Year?! I am challenging myself to re-do a room in my apartment. This is going to be a fun project!

Since football season is just about over, I am going to need a new hobby to take over my Sundays. This is something I have never really done before since this is really my first apartment, I have mostly passed-down items from my older sister, family and friends. I really want to take the time to make my place “my home” and add make some changes that will scream “Briana!” I have chosen the kitchen as the room to start. Here are some inspiration pictures I have:

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Photo courtesy of HGTV

 

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Photo courtesy of HGTV

I am a big fan of HGTV! The two images are very different from each other, but I do really like them both. I am not looking to copy them, but instead have them act as inspiration. I am looking to create something totally different that allows my friends and family to see my personality come alive in this room. I have a decent sized eat in kitchen. We spend hours around the table, sharing lots of laughs and wine! Since this is the most popular room in the house I want to make it warm, inviting, and comfy.

I probably will not be painting since I am a renter, but I believe I can still transform the place. Since this is something I haven’t done before I am super excited. There is a lesson to be learned. Not all new year’s goals have to be about saving or making more money, losing weight to be the better version of you. I challenge you too, to do something you have never done before. At the end of this project I know I am going to be proud of the outcome and to know I can do something I thought I couldn’t do before.

I know things like this will not happen overnight. With that being said I plan to post an update piece and a finished room piece. I will be sure to post all items used in the transformation! I hope this piece inspires you to think outside the box and try your hand at something new. You never know it might be something you love!

 

Stay Tuned!

Big things are coming in 2017!

-Briana

No tricks here…just treats!

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Adorable Halloween graphic courtesy of freepik.com!

Halloween weekend is here! I’m sure the kiddies have their costumes picked out and are all ready for trick-or-treating with their friends! (Get ready for the sugar rush, Mom & Dad!) As teenagers, my brother and I thought we would “maximize” the total amount of candy we could get by using pillowcases as treat bags. My mom always laughed as we ran around our neighborhood in our “cool” costumes paired with our embarrassing Power Rangers or Mickey Mouse pillowcases. (Looking back, I totally see why she thought it was funny at the time. We looked like fools!) At this age, I find myself looking forward to seeing the little kids in my neighborhood going around for candy as opposed to getting dressed up and going out myself. I get excited every time the doorbell rings and I grab the candy bowl with a huge smile on my face. The little babies in costumes are THE BEST! So precious!

If you’re crafty and creative like myself, it might be fun to try your hand at making bags for your little ones to take along for the night! With just your choice of fabric, webbing, scissors, and thread, you can easily put together a one-of-a-kind piece. I promise, it is much easier than you’d think!

I came across this great DIY treat bag project from Daydream Believers! Follow the simple steps provided and get crafting! Click the link for complete instructions and supplies needed!

For the coolest Halloween fabrics, be sure to check out our online store! Below are my favorite prints! They would be AWESOME for this project!

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New from Camelot Fabrics! The Nightmare Before Christmas Collection!

Wishing you all a very Happy Halloween from Fabric Textile Products, Inc.! Have fun and be safe while trick-or-treating!

Summer Decor Trend: Cabana Stripes

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Cabana Stripe tablecloth by Fabric Textile Products, Inc. (Available in assorted sizes & colors!)

When we think of summer decor, usually the first thing that comes to mind is coastal or nautical motifs. Throw in the occasional marine animal print and you have “summer”. This year though, the decor trends have changed slightly. One of the hottest summer decor trends this year is something you have probably seen a million times before and paid it no mind – a cabana stripe. Yup, that’s it. A simple stripe.

Throw pillows, table cloths, placemats, beach towels, tote bags, umbrellas, & so much more.  This classic stripe is EVERYWHERE. It’s simple, classic, & timeless. The cabana stripe can be in any color, but most common tends to be a nice black and white or a royal blue and white combo. The stripe can be small or large and it most commonly runs vertically. These stripes can be seen in almost every store you walk into – H & M, Home Goods, Pottery Barn, Target, Walmart, Pier 1, Kohl’s, the list goes on and on and on. It is also featured in more magazines than I can count on my 2 hands. Have you seen the latest issue of HGTV magazine?

I am a lover of stripes in general, but I absolutely love a good cabana stripe. It works year round, not just in the summer, and it can really bring life to a room. I prefer black and white everything, but this year we decided to branch out a bit at Fabric Textile Products, Inc. and offer a very wide variety of cabana stripe linens. Our 3 inch cabana stripe is printed on Milliken Signature Polyester and then in turn made into pillow covers, tablecloths, & table runners. We currently offer  12 colors and are always adding more to the mix!

Available in  Black, Navy, Royal, Pale Pink, Fuchsia, Red, Gray, Yellow, Khaki, Orange, Turquoise, & Lime Green.

Below I have included some of the fabulous cabana stripe products I have while shopping the internet! Check them out!

(Please note that all photos & products belong to the rightful owner unless specifically noted as property of Fabric Textile Products, Inc.)

Tell me your thoughts! What do you think of the cabana stripe trend? I want to know! 

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Beach towels from http://www.gracioushome.com

 

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Striped cotton rug from H&M – available in 4 colors!

 

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These striped bolster pillows from Pottery Barn are PERFECT for poolside lounging!

 

Summer has officially begun! Enjoy that warm weather, sleep in, and check back here with me on the FTP blog! I have lots more great stuff to share with all of you! 

 

Warm Regards Always,

Joanna

Americana on my mind!

Hello friends! It has been a while since I wrote to you all, but have no fear. I am back! We have made so many changes around the shop here at Fabric Textile Products, Inc. and things are better than ever. We have started introducing new test products and so far our customers are pleased. We love when you guys are happy! Every week I will do my best to update you all on new products and prints we have added to the shop. For now, I just wanted to take a time to highlight one of my absolute favorite items – our American Stars Napkins! This is now the second year that we have offered these patriotic napkins and we cannot keep them on the shelves. I’m serious, ya’ll. These napkins are the real deal!

With Memorial Day and July 4th right around the corner, these napkins are perfect for cookouts, parties, and BBQs with the family. They launder well and will last you for many years to come. The navy and white star design resembles that of our gorgeous nation’s flag. I personally like pairing them with a red and white picnic check tablecloth for a real down home Americana vibe! This year we have also introduced the matching table runner! Those will be available in the shop very soon!

Seriously though. How adorable are these little guys?! 

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I look forward to talking to all of you again soon! As always, thank you for keeping up with my blog! Be sure to check back soon for my next post AND of course, I welcome you to check out the new and improved Fabric Textile Products, Inc. website! 🙂

 

Warm Regards Always,

Joanna

 

My Walt Disney World Vacation!

The castle was too beautiful and I had to get a photo!

Greetings all! It’s Joanna here and I’m happy to return back to work after my vacation! I was lucky enough to spend a week at the most magical place on earth- Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida! This was my first time visiting in 20 years and it was amazing. I know there are a lot of fellow Disney fans out there and I thought it would be fun to share some of my trip highlights with all of you.

Here’s a little background story for ya…

(insert my best Sophia Petrillo voice here) Picture it. Summer of 1995. 4 year old Joanna and her brother are surprised by their parents with a Walt Disney World vacation. They have a great week and make lots of memories along the way. 

Flash forward to 2015. Joanna and her brother are now 24 years old and actually remember very little about their childhood trip to the Magic Kingdom. Sure there’s some old dusty Mickey Mouse ears in the attic and a faded character autograph book in the bottom of a junk drawer, but minimal memories come to mind. Joanna took it upon herself to take a trip back to Florida and re-do Walt Disney World as an adult with her best friend, Chrissy.

And here we are now! I have returned back to beautiful New Jersey ready to share my trip with all of you!

I had the pleasure of spending an entire week at Walt Disney World (for short, I will now simply refer to it as Disney) with my best friend. We flew into Orlando International Airport from New Jersey and hopped on Disney’s Magical Express. The bus took us to our resort and the trip had begun! We stayed at one of Disney’s Value Resorts – All Star Music. It was conveniently located near Animal Kingdom and fit neatly within our budget. The themed buildings were adorable and the 2 pools (yes, I said 2) were great for a late night dip after spending the days in the parks. We took advantage of the free bus transportation everyday and it made our commute to and from and parks quick and painless. I highly recommend staying at one of these resorts if you are looking to book a trip with a large group or family. Friendly staff, clean rooms, 2 large swimming pools, quick service food court, fully stocked gift shop, and free park transportation. What more could you want? It was great!

Over the course of 5 days we visited Downtown Disney, Animal Kingdom, Epcot, Magic Kingdom, and Disney’s Hollywood Studios. The park hopper option gave us total flexibility and we were able to visit multiple parks in 1 day. It was well worth the money! The Disney Dining Plan also made meal times a breeze. Reservations were set and we were able to enjoy all kinds of cuisine. I could literally write an entire novel about my vacation, but I will keep it short and sweet for you, just highlighting my favorite parts of the trip. I took over 200 photos (yes, I really mean that) throughout the course of roughly 5 days, so the spark notes version is up ahead!

Downtown Disney was a fun place to start the trip. There was a huge array of shops, eateries, and attractions. The first purchase was of course my ears. These things have really changed since my last visit! Now you can get headbands instead of hats and there are literally hundreds of styles to choose from. A simple red bow and black ears combination worked for me. I wore my ears all week and everywhere we went, even to dinner! It’s totally necessary and I felt like a little kid again! After dinner at Paradiso 37, we made a quick stop at the Harley Davidson store. I bought t-shirts for my family and headed back to the hotel. It was a wet and rainy night!

Definitely one of the coolest shops in Downtown Disney!

While at Animal Kingdom we took a ride on the Kilimanjaro Safari and saw some really cool animals. The safari even came to a halt as we waited for a family of rhinos to cross the road. As a huge animal lover, I had a great time. There were giraffes, zebras, flamingos, and so much more! An ostrich even came right up to our tour vehicle. It was a really fun way to start the morning! The animals were a little camera shy though!

I was flooded with emotions as we approached the front gates of Magic Kingdom. I saw the beautiful castle and was almost in tears (happy tears of course!). It truly is the happiest place on earth. Throughout the week we made several trips to Magic Kingdom. I am not much of a roller coaster fan, but I made sure to test out all the kiddie rides. I think I enjoyed them way more than some of the little kids! Some of my favorites were Peter Pan’s Flight, Ariel’s Undersea Adventure, and of course, It’s A Small World. If you haven’t noticed already, I truly am a kid at heart. I may be 24 years old, but I’m forever a little girl on the inside!

The cold never bothered this Jersey girl anyway!
The Little Mermaid was super excited to see our t-shirts. Yes, we totally planned this.

The best part of Magic Kingdom was all the character meet and greets! I got to meet most of my favorite Disney characters and take full advantage of the photo opportunities! Below are a few of my favorite shots. Let me tell you, the 1 hour wait to meet Anna and Elsa from Frozen was certainly worth it! Breakfast at the Crystal Palace was great too. Winnie the Pooh and all his friends were there with us! And how could we not enjoy lunch at Be Our Guest? It was amazing! The fireworks show at the end of the night is probably one of the prettiest displays you’ll ever see.

Fireworks at Magic Kingdom!

If you’re a foodie like me, Epcot is definitely the park for you. I spent most of my trip wandering around the World Showcase. The cuisine is authentic and delicious. Of course I had to pay a visit to bellissimo Italia! My father was born and raised there, so Italy was #1 on my list. I was able to pick up a couple of my favorite Italian candies and treats from a small gift shop. It felt like I was at my Nana Rosa’s house! Mexico was my absolute favorite country to visit. Chrissy and I are both true Italians, but my goodness do we love Mexican food and culture. Donald Duck even made an appearance!

Bienvenidos!

Germany was so much fun too! They had some of the greatest beer I ever tasted and provided a very interesting dining experience. There was music and dancing and it was such a fun environment to be in. We even got a chance to meet the beautiful Snow White herself while strolling along Germany.

Snow White was just the sweetest!

I hope to visit the U.K. someday, but until then, this is the next best thing. We had way too much fun with the red telephone booths and talking in British accents. We made sure to pick up some Doctor Who merchandise for our dear friend, Jess and stop for a quick photo with Alice too! Not much of a fish and chips kinda girl, but it sure looked delicious!

We even had dinner with the big man himself at the Garden Grill – Mickey Mouse that is! I couldn’t leave Florida without getting a hug and kiss from everyone’s favorite mouse! …M-I-C-K-E-Y- M-O-U-S-E…

Mr. Mickey Mouse himself. He was a true gentleman!

The last park we visited was Disney’s Hollywood Studios. It was a blast from the past and I loved everything about it! We ate lunch at Pizza Planet, which was a childhood dream come true for me. Toy Story is one of my absolute favorite movies and it was super cool! We also had time to see the Frozen Sing-Along Celebration at the Hyperion Theater. We may have been the oldest people in the theater, but we had a great time. I’m a little obsessed with Frozen and I had to belt out at least 1 rendition of “Let It Go” while visiting Disney World. (I’m so sorry to anyone who was sitting next to or around me that day.) It was a short afternoon spent at the park, but it was a lot of fun. The scenery was so nice to look at.

To infinity and beyond! (JK, just to Pizza Planet and back!)

Sadly, our vacation came to an end and we had to head back home to the Garden State. Way too much money was spent on souvenirs, but it was all in good fun. Walt Disney World is for children and adults of all ages. No matter who you are or where you are from or how old you are, it puts a huge smile on your face that you just cannot experience anywhere else. It is a really nice break from reality and it makes you feel good. I’m hoping to take my whole family for a visit next time!

Congratulations! You made it to the end of this blog! You kept on scrolling down and reading and you made it, so thank you! I absolutely love sharing my vacation and travel stories and I hope you find them enjoyable. It’s not all about fabric here ya know! We like to have fun outside of work too! Coincidentally, the day before I left for my vacation is the day our new Disney fabric delivery came in. Somehow it all comes back to Fabric Textile Products, Inc. I look forward to hearing about your Disney trips as well! Feel free to comment below! (PS- Thumbs up to those of you who totally picked up on my Golden Girls reference.)

With Warm Regards Always,

Joanna

Fabric Textile Products, Inc.

*Disclaimer: All personal images used in this post belong to Joanna Maruca and Christin Fimiani. They may not be reused or recopied without our permission. Peter Pan image is courtesy of Pinterest. Thank you.*

Shop Spotlight: Susan Knittman on Etsy

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Susan and I officially met in the spring of 2012. She was hired to be the newest Assistant General Manager at my job, which meant she would be my direct supervisor. From day 1, we immediately connected and really hit it off. We both eventually said our goodbyes to the ice rink and embarked on new professional journeys. We have always kept in touch and still remain friends.

In January, Susan decided to open up an Etsy shop, Susan Knittman, and sell handmade knitted goods. While in between jobs, it was a great way for her to keep up with her long-time hobby and also make some extra money in the meantime. From scarves, to headbands, to napkin rings, her shop has it all. With business booming and her shop on the rise, I wanted to share Susan’s shop with all of you.

Susan and I talked over coffee and got to catch up last week. I purchased custom napkin rings from her and I was super excited to see the finished products. They were absolutely adorable and incredibly creative! You don’t see knitted napkin rings every day!

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I love the buttons on these! So adorable! (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)
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These remind me of Christmas time! They look like a pair of elves socks! (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)

Joanna: “When did you first learn to knit?”
Susan: “I was probably around 12 years old and my mom taught me. First it was needlepoint, then knitting.”

J: “When did you open your Etsy shop? What prompted you to do so?”
S: “January of this year. So 2015. It sounds funny, but every winter I would keep my hands busy by knitting. I would start a new scarf every year. First I started with arm knitting and then needle.”

J: “What types of products do you typically make and sell in the shop?”
S: “Scarves, baby bonnets, blankets, napkin rings, hats, headbands. A little of everything. My best selling items are scarves. I have these really cool asymmetrical scarves that have a few buttons on the side and wraps around. It’s my best seller. “

J: “Have you considered making this a full-time thing (expanding beyond Etsy), or is this just a hobby? Would you eventually like to turn this into a standalone business?”
S: “Personally, I don’t think I have the stamina to do this full time. I did it while I was in between jobs. I am looking to expand and attend craft shows in the fall. There’s some local ones I want to look into. I’ll start small at first. Knitting will stay a side business for now.”

J: “What products are you hoping to add to the store, if any, in the future? Is there something you are hoping to perfect and offer to your customers?”
S: “I want to do a lot more, but I’m not sure of the demand for certain items. I have these antique Parisian buttons that I would like to do more with. They are actually from Paris and they were purchased by a family friend in the 70s. She gave them to me. I would love to do more baby bonnets. I did a custom Batman hat for a friend. It looks like there is a lot of superhero-type items in demand. I’m going to start working on Harley Quinn and the Joker hats too. I am very open to custom orders. It’s just about finding the patterns. My brother wants to add some items to his comic book shop too. I did a Batman baby headband so far. It looks like I’ll be doing a lot of superhero items, but I will do whatever is asked of me, and with little turnaround time of course.”

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                         Custom Red & White Striped Napkin Rings (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)
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             Custom Pale Blue & Ivory Chevron Stripe Napkin Rings (photo belongs to Joanna Maruca)

The possibilities are endless. Susan was kind enough to make our napkin rings as a custom order. I was able to choose the colors, styles, & buttons that I wanted. She is willing to do whatever necessary to meet your specific needs. There is a warm knitted gift for everyone! All items are proudly made by Susan in the USA and can be hand washed. I wish her all the best as her business continues to grow! Susan’s products will soon be available for purchase at her brother’s comic book store, East Side Mags, as well. Be sure to check them out if you’re in the Montclair, NJ neighborhood!

You can browse Susan’s full collection of custom handmade creations at http://www.etsy.com/shop/SusanKnittman.

Warm Regards Always,

Joanna

Fabric Textile Products, Inc.