SEWED IN KAMLOOPS
How a single shelf grew into thriving business.
“It wasn’t even a bookshelf,” owner Heather Fagervik says. “It was a shelf, one shelf. And I was very excited. And I went downtown to get my business license. And I can remember standing there and the guy asking me, okay, so how many square feet do you have?”
Her answer? “Two.”
Her store didn’t stay that small for long, though. In fact, within six months Fagervik says she knew she was going to have to expand. And after moving to, and filling, two more locations, she’s finally found herself in Brock where, she says, she’s going to stay.
“My husband is highly resistant to moving. We won’t be able to move again, I’ve got to utilize my space. This is it.”
It’s some pretty rapid growth for a business that’s been around less than 10 years, and Fagervik credits much of that success to the incredibly supportive community she’s found on the north shore.
“This community of people have gone on this quilting store journey with me, and had to suffer through Heather learning how to use a computer, and how to send emails, and how to do Facebook, and how to do, you know, web pages. And just supporting the business and the store all these years, they’ve kind of gone on this journey with me, which has made it a lot of fun.”
The growth of her Heather’s Fabric Shelf has been mirrored by the growth of some of her other projects as well. Fagervik points to her annual quilt show as one example.
“We’re coming into our 10th year next year of doing our quilt show, and in my quilt show there’s no judging, we don’t want that, we’re not allowed to judge. You have to be nice. And it’s about, let’s just see what everybody can do. Everybody just bring your stuff.
“I think it was 42 women showed up at the very first one. And now we’re between 800 and 1000 people come to see the show. So it’s pretty amazing.”
In a world that can sometimes feel disconnected and impersonal, Fagervik thinks that community connection is vital.
“I think in this day and age that businesses need to be looking at that, if at all possible, just because your biggest competitor nowadays is online. And what can you provide that online cannot? No matter how hard they try, they are not going to be able to reach out and give your customer a hug online.
“I can do that here,” she says. “And that’s important, I think.”
DID YOU KNOW?
Heather had been dreaming of opening a fabric stores for more than 30 years, and had been collecting things for her eventual store for decades.
Heather’s Fabric Shelf is connected to a number of community events. One of their annual projects is to donate Christmas stockings they have made (and filled with products for women) to Emerald House.
She’s eager to see what’s in store for her shop in the years to come, but Fagervik doesn’t have any concrete plans for the future at the moment.
“I think that once your business kind of settles into your business personality, should we call it, it has a life of its own, and it’s going to go on its own, as long as you provide the gas, that car’s moving. So I think it’s going to continue to grow as far as the community involvement, I think it’s going to continue to grow as far as the types of products we carry.
And that suits her fine. “I’m one lucky girl,” she says with a smile.