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Meet Rose Ann Cook of Quilter’s Emporium in Stafford

Today we’d like to introduce you to Rose Ann Cook.

Rose Ann, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
“I started quilting soon after high school in the mid ‘70s. It was a complicated process using scissors, cardboard templates and poor selection of cotton fabrics. The end result wasn’t pretty and I gave it up. My husband and I visited a quilt shop in the early 90’s and I was surprised at how the industry and the quilt making had improved! I saw a quilt top hanging on the wall with a sign that said, “Make this in one day!” I took the class and I was hooked! Fast forward 12 years and a couple of dozen quilts, a small quilt shop became available for sale and I bought it. I knew my business vision was a little different from what was available then, and we grew quickly. For instance, we were the first quilt shop to offer quilting cruises from the Port of Galveston, which became very popular! In 2010, we were featured in the Better Homes and Gardens “Quilt Sampler” magazine as one of the top 10 quilt shops in the US and Canada! The Kansas City Star Publishing Company published my first quilting book in 2012 and now I design quilting fabric for Benartex Fabrics. We have an extensive class schedule that remains active and very inclusive to accommodate a wide variety of skill levels. It’s a fun place!”

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Actually, as the economy fluxes, so do our sales. We are not a bread, milk and gasoline kind of industry. But when times are bad, quilters come together. Many people want to “nest”; create their own safe havens. Quilters find peace in making quilts. They realize that giving gifts that they made with their own two hands means so much more to the recipients. The process of quilting isn’t really hard. Some techniques can be more time consuming than others. The process itself is very, very rewarding.

Quilter’s Emporium – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I like the “Emporium” aspect of my business. I like that we try to have something for everyone. We have a nice selection of wools for wool applique which can be hard to find down here in Houston. We sell a lot of hand embroidery flosses and have a nice selection of hand embroidered quilt patterns to choose from. The Modern Quilt Movement has also left its’ mark on us, with our ever-expanding selection of solids, contemporary prints and batiks. We try to have a large collection of kits and patterns to choose from. But what I am most proud of is my staff. A hallmark of my business is the friendliness of my staff. Each person should be greeted with a cheerful Hello! They are helpful in picking out fabrics, answering questions, or learning a new tool. They are all experienced quilters and come with a wide range of talents. Many of them teach their favorite classes in their specialties. In trying to keep the store “fresh” for my customers, I strive to redesign the layout from time to time. New quilt displays, new fixtures, new projects, new Block of the Month programs, etc keep our customers inspired and engaged! Our shop mascot, Joey the shop dog, is a little Maltese mix that “writes” an article in our weekly emails. I even designed a line of fabric with Benartex called “Joey the Shop Dog” that was very well received. A portion of the sales of that fabric was donated to Petfinder.com.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I have several proud moments. The first was when we were included in the Fall 2010 issue of Quilt Sampler magazine as one of the top 10 quilt shops in the US and Canada. Getting in that magazine is a highly competitive challenge and we achieved it in on our first attempt. What an accomplishment! It assured me that our displays, our fabric collection, our business model was top notch and we try to keep our standards high. Next to that has been the response to my fabric collections with Benartex Fabrics especially the Joey the Shop Dog fabric!

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Getting in touch: VoyageHouston is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jodie Douglass

    June 29, 2017 at 11:26 pm

    Great shop to visit and the staff are the best: always smiling, friendly & helpful. The selection of fabrics is always the best.

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