Our ah-ha moment...
We had an ah-ha moment, earlier this year that has led to this very important, brief story we share here.
As Jim and I were assessing our business over the last 14 years, and talking about where we envisioned ourselves to be
in another 10 years; we suddenly realized we had outgrown our original business concept we outlined for Grandmother's Thimble
as a husband and wife team. While we initially laughed about sandy beaches, sunny skies, vacationing with our grown children's
families, and chasing grandchildren along the ocean's edge, we suddenly realized we needed to spend some time redefining what
our future business focus to serve our changing Greater Binghamton & Southern Tier of New York, community and customers.
We didn't just dream up the idea to change the name of a long-standing, community small business--Grandmother's Thimble to
Southern Tier Sewing Center--and move our location from Old Vestal Road, Vestal, New York, to the Valley Plaza, off Harry L Drive,
Johnson City, New York, to have a new view from our windows.
First, we did our own research-informally talking with customers and quilt shop owners. Then, we spent some time with our business
advisors from the Greater Binghamton SCORE and SUNY Broome's Entrepreneur Assistance Program discussing and analyzing how
our business has changed over the years. We learned that is not uncommon for a small business to get so immersed in the immediate,
day to day operations of a small business that we have little time to focus on the bigger, future picture that reflects constantly changing
times and customer needs.
Our sudden realization turned into serious, numerous talks of inspiration, insights and recognition that no one in the Southern Tier
of New Year state is meeting the diverse and creative needs of today's aspiring and well-established sewers. While national box
stores offer shelves of products to choose from, other quilt shops are catering to their favorite customers, and online e-commerce
sites are focused on deals of the day, we've decided to break from the typical quilt shop business model of fabric, thread, notions,
patterns, sewing machines, instructional classes and sewing machine repairs.
And, of course, the sewing center will still be proudly owned and operated by us, Justine and Jim Layman.