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Diane

Ladies of Liberty Mercantile

Independence/Polk County, OR

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Personal Story

I grew up in Southern California and have been sewing most of my life. I made choir dress, cheerleader outfits, and most of my own clothes in high school. I moved to Oregon after high school and married a farmer and moved to a farm. I thought all farm houses needed quilts on the beds so I set out to teach myself to make a quilt!
After raising three sons and a career as a Event Coordinator, it was time to retire and work on my dream of a quilt shop. I did my homework and learned everything I could about running a shop, even volunteering at a shop to get some real life experience. In 2008 I took a MERIT class that allowed me to learn even more about business.

I always wanted a quilt shop where you were welcomed by a friendly “Hello, how are you today?” as you walked in the door. My belief is that every quilter should feel comfortable and special in the shop. I wanted a place where local quilters could come and sew, learn new techniques, take a class, or just hang out.

At the MERIT class, I took to heart what the speakers told me, my favorite quote was “A savvy entrepreneur will find a way to make a business happen”. With that in mind, I took what few dollars I had and with a great entrepreneurial spirit, I opened Ladies of Liberty Mercantile almost five years ago.

I found that having a background as a Event Coordinator is a good thing for running a shop, as it seems to be one event after the other that keeps the quilters coming back. My goal for the shop is keep growing and make it the best it can be.

Business Description

Ladies of Liberty Mercantile is a quilt shop with history! I sell Civil War reproduction fabric and patterns. I also carry some Americana, primitive and wool.

I have wanted to open a quilt shop as long as I can remember but became serious about the time I retired from my job in 2009. When I saw an article in the local newspaper about the MERIT class, I signed up and started seriously planning to open a shop.

I started the quilt shop because first of all I loved to quilt but soon found that I love to be around happy people who share a love of quilting and history as much as I do.

My biggest challenge was that there were two quilt shops very close to where I wanted to open my shop. Neither one of them carried much Civil War reproduction fabric and so I focused on that as the main fabric of my shop (It helped that I had been a Civil War reenactor for many years and loved that time period as well!)

My customers are mostly women, but not all! They are people who love the old fashion look of quilts and the Civil War era fabrics.

I want to grow my business so that I can offer more clubs, block-of-the-months, quilting retreats, and quilting events to even more people. I added a sewing room in the last few months that allows me to have more people involved in classes and clubs, now I would like to offer more fabric and notions as well.

I am most proud of the fact that I started Ladies of Liberty Mercantile with a small budget and that I have been able to keep it going and growing for the past four and half years.

What is the purpose of this loan?

The purpose of this loan is to grow my business by offering more Civil War era reproduction fabric, thread and pattern choices to my customers.
The price of cotton has risen over the past few years and has limited how much I can bring into the shop. By being able to offer more choices to my customers I can do more clubs, kits, and block-of-the-months programs for them.

This loan would also help offset the cost of the expansion I made a few months ago with a larger classroom. This has allowed me to offer more classes and have a larger group of quilters in the shop at the same time (but has taken a bite out of the money to buy new fabric).

I would like to hire a part time employee as well so that I can have the time away from the shop to visit other shops and suppliers so that I can keep up with what is happening in the quilting world. An employee would also allow me to have a little more time to spend with my husband and grandchildren on special occasions.

Diane's loan is endorsed by Microenterprise Resources, Initiatives & Training (MERIT). The information below explains why her trustee thinks Diane is a great candidate for a Kiva Zip loan.
How long have you known this person?

3 years - 5 years

Tell us about your relationship with this borrower.

Diane came to MERIT in 2008 looking for business feasibility advice. At the time she was close to retiring from her career as an event planner, and was considering starting a business that would combine a couple of her interests; quilting and Civil War reenactments. MERIT has continued to give ongoing technical assistance to her since she opened her doors in early 2009.

Tell us about this borrower's personality and character, and why you are endorsing him or her for a Kiva Zip loan.

Diane's business, Ladies of Liberty Mercantile, has become part of the fabric (pun intended) of downtown Independence, Oregon. Her store offers an area where other quilting enthusiasts can learn the craft of quilting, and purchase Civil War era reproduction fabric. Diane loves to share her knowledge and teach others, her business gives her the means to do this. Events are what drives her business and her experience in events planning is contributing to her success.

Tell us about this borrower's business, and why you believe a Kiva Zip loan will contribute to his or her success.

Ladies of Liberty Mercantile is a retail business located in downtown Independence. The theme for her business is an excellent fit for this historic community that traces it's roots to the Oregon Trail. Diane has built a following in the quilt and crafting community; her store is a stopping point on several quilting tours. By doing so, her business is contributing to the success of other businesses in the downtown core; people come to town because of her store, making it a valuable economic tool for the community. Diane has proven herself to be fiscally responsible, and is strategic in how she uses her assets to grow her business, giving us confidence that she will able to handle her responsibilities in regard to this loan.

123 Total , 14 invited by Diane , 5 invited by Trustee
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PAYING BACK

A loan of $5,000 helps me to buy more Civil War era reproduction fabric, thread and patterns to grow my quilting business.

Disbursed Jul 20, 2013
Repayment Term:
24 monthly payments
Grace Period:
N/A
Listed:
Jun 24, 2013
Disbursed:
Jul 20, 2013
Paying Back:
Jul 21, 2013

About Ladies of Liberty Mercantile

Industry:
Retail - General
Years in Operation:
3 years - 5 years
Website:
ladiesoflibertyquilts.com
Follow:
Facebook
Badges:
Badge_connectedness_gold_small

What are Borrower Badges?

Borrower Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward borrowers’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

This loan is endorsed by

Trustee Type:
Non-profit microenterprise development organization
Location:
Salem, OR
Badges:
Badge_repayment_bronze_small Badge_connectedness_bronze_small
On Zip Since:
Jun 24, 2013
(10 months)
Loans Endorsed:
2
Total Value:
$10,000
Fundraising/Raised:
0
Paying on Time:
Not enough data
Paying Back Late:
Not enough data
Repaid in Full:
0
Defaulted:
0
Repayment Rate:
100%
Why are you endorsing Diane?

Diane's business, Ladies of Liberty Mercantile, has become part of the fabric (pun intended) of downtown Independence, Oregon. Her store offers an area where other quilting enthusiasts can learn the craft of quilting, and purchase Civil War era reproduction fabric. Diane loves to share her knowle...

What are Trustee Badges?

Trustee Badges are a system designed to recognize and reward trustees’ engagement with the Kiva Zip website.

There are two types of badges that are tiered like medals: Gold, Silver and Bronze.

  1. 'Repayment badges' are awarded for the on-time repayment of loans.
  2. 'Connectedness badges' are awarded for engagement with the Kiva Zip website.
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