Thursday, June 30, 2011

Do you Shop Hop?

I have a confession. I'm writing a new Dewey book that involves a Shop Hop and I’d never been on a Shop Hop. Until last weekend.

For those of who who aren’t familiar, a Shop Hop is a multi-day event that offers prizes, giveaways, and excitement for the participants. In the allotted time, hoppers visit quilt shops (I see knitters are getting in on these, too). The hopper gets a passport and each shop acknowledges her with a stamp of their own. Most of the time in order to be eligible to win the grand prize, the hopper has to fill up her passport, visiting each and every shop.

The Shop Hop By the Bay that I did last weekend had fourteen shops involved. The driving distance between the two farthest points is nearly 100 miles. It took place over five days, Wednesday through Sunday. The stores all commit to be open longer hours. The shops decorate, hang special exhibits and bake scrumptious goodies.

Now, I’ve worked at Shop Hops when I worked for Fabrics ‘n’ Fun. I knew about the meetings that happen practically year round, and the work behind the scenes to get wonderful prizes for the hoppers. I knew how each shop showcases their personality.

But I’d never actually gone to one before last Thursday. Now I know about the energy and fun that a Hop can generate. The Quilters Crawl, as I call the event in Dewey's world, will be a lot more real now.

Ever been on a Shop Hop? What's your favorite bit? Tell me something juicy. I might use it in my book. If I do, I'll mention you and send you a copy. So bare all.


Betty Hechtman said...

I had never heard of a shop hop until now. Though I have heard of a yarn crawl, which I guess is sort of the same without the passports and prizes.

Dru said...

I've never been to a Shop Hop and it sounds like fun.

I have to imagine doing something like that in the city, the stores would be closer in walking distance.

Susan said...

OK--true confession time. I participated in my first-ever shop hop last November. This was our first year as empty nesters and my husband was away for the weekend. I carefully planned out my route so that I could visit 5 shops on Friday and 5shops on Saturday. I left work promptly at 4:00 on Friday afternoon and made my rounds of the shops north of my home. I ended at the LQS closest to me just before they closed at 9. I even did some work on a quilt I was making for my daughter's Christmas present when I got home.

On Saturday morning, I got up early to do some more work on my daughter's quilt. Then it was off to shop. Everything was going according to plan until I had been enroute about 30 minutes and realized I hadn't brushed my teeth! (I had some mints in my purse and no one backed away from me during the day.) At the first shop, I hit paydirt. I found the perfect pattern and fabric to make a quilt for my older son--for Christmas. During the rest of the day, I acquired the perfect backing fabric for that quilt along with(many) other goodies and found some great quilt shops I have since returned to. Upon arriving home around 3:30, I set to work finishing my daughter's quilt and then began piecing my son's quilt. I was up bright and early the next morning, determined to finish the top to take it to my previously scheduled appointment with my long-arm quilter on Sunday afternoon. These things always take longer than expected, of course, and I was working right up until the minute I needed to leave for that appointment. I did remember to brush my teeth before I left, though, and I was able to cover each of my three children with a new quilt on Christmas morning.

Terri Thayer said...

Betty, I think it's the same idea. Visit as many shops as you can.
Dru, you'll have to plan a trip. There's a hop in Washington state that covers the entire west coast, usually more than fifty shops, over two weekends.
Great story, Susan! I like that you were inspired to keep quilting throughout the hop.

Monica Ferris said...

They did one of those for needlework shops in the greater Twin Cities area some years back. I was doing research at one shop owner's place and got to watch it from that perspective. There was a LOT of preparation done by the shop, but the response was really good, and the shoppers seemed to have fun visiting all the shops (about eight, iirc), eating the little treats and buying at special prices. I haven't had Betsy Devonshire take part in one yet. Thanks for the reminder.

Lynn said...

I've always wanted to do a shop hop, but it always seems when I find out abt one, I dont have the funds for it. And yes, yarn shops are getting in on them. I think they would be REALLY cool to do. For me it's a great way to check out the stores to see if it's worth driving 45 min to.

Terri Thayer said...

Yes, Monica, everyone seems to have a good time. I always enjoyed working those weekends.

Lynn, I didn't spend much money. Well, gas money!