Owner’s retirement not the end for much loved business

After 13 years Cobar Quilt Shop is gearing up to change hands, while still staying “in the family” with Sarah Cryer purchasing the business from her mum Colleen Flynn.

After 13 years of operating the Cobar Quilt Shop, owner Colleen Flynn has decided it’s time to hang up her quilts and retire.

What started a hobby to fill in her time very quickly blossomed into a thriving business.

“When Sarah my daughter, left home I found I needed something to occupy myself so I started quilting,” Colleen said.

“I’d never done quilting before.

“I’ve always had a love of fabric and sewing but couldn’t get quilting supplies in town so I decided there was an opportunity to sell quilting fabric and it went from there.”

Over the past 13 years the business has grown from its from small beginnings in the old Morelli building (which was later the Movie Knight video store) a few doors down from where the current shop stands.

Colleen said their current shop is much bigger which has enabled her to extend the range of stock and offer quilting classes.

“John, my husband, renovated the building so here in the new shop we have a bigger classroom that can accommodate more people.”

Colleen said one of the biggest impacts on the success of the business was putting the shop online.

Colleen said it was her daughter Sarah Cryer who prompted and helped her to get online.

“I wanted to do it but I really didn’t know how to go about it properly.

“When we went online, it just took off, it’s just amazing the difference it’s made,” Colleen said.

Going online helped Colleen to attract customers from far and wide and, in the past few years, the store has developed an excellent reputation in quilting circles.

Colleen also helped to promote the business by going to shows, agricultural fairs and exhibiting on the Craft Alive circuit.

Her in-house classes have also proven to be a big hit with some quilters travelling from Broken Hill and Dubbo each week to attend Colleen’s quilting classes.

In its 13 years in business, the Cobar Quilt Shop won seven Great Cobar Business Awards including being named Cobar’s Most Outstanding Business in 2015.

That year Colleen also picked up the Business Marketing Award and won the Retail category.

“Receiving these awards, it was great as recognition for what we do,” Colleen said.

Last year Colleen starting thinking about retirement and earlier this year made the decision that she would close the shop in June.

“When I posted online that the shop was closing, people were devastated, we had phone call after phone call,” Colleen said.

She said all her customers were however relieved when Sarah, who has worked in the business for a number of years, decided to take over.

“Sarah had wanted to take it on but at first wasn’t sure.

“But now it’s decided and it’s all very exciting,” Colleen said.

Colleen said she was very grateful to all her customers, online, instore and the ladies that travel to visit the store.

“And we love our local girls.”

Colleen said she and husband John initially have some plans to travel a bit however she wont be putting down the craft scissors any time soon.

“I want to spend some time in my sewing room and of course I’ll be back whenever there is a class—just as a regular patch worker though!” Colleen said.