Stitching Together Stability for the American Quilter’s Society
Stitching Together Stability for the American Quilter’s Society

Stitching Together Stability for the American Quilter’s Society

Published March 9, 2022 in Client Story
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The core of what any brand needs to be a successful online retailer is simple: a well-functioning website that connects to their audience and gives them a great user experience. 

Unless you can build it yourself, you’ll have to partner with someone else, but with stakes as high as the success of your online business, entrusting the core of your eCommerce presentation to an agency partner can be a nerve wracking prospect. 

For example: What if, despite putting forth substantial time, money, and effort, your eCommerce partner still can’t deliver the website you need? 

Schroeder Publishing, the parent company for the American Quilter’s Society, experienced that exact eCommerce nightmare and came to Classy Llama to rescue the site that their previous SI couldn’t manage to launch. 

SPINNING UP A COMMUNITY OF QUILTERS

In 1983 Meredith and Bill Schroeder attended a national quilt show and were completely bowled over by not just the numbers of attendees but their intense enthusiasm for the art of quilting. 

Within a year, Meredith announced the formation of the American Quilter’s Society. Her goal was to develop a group that gave national recognition to quilters and their work and to set the standard in the industry. In the first year, 1500 quilters became charter members.

Since then, Schroeder Publishing and the American Quilter’s Society have been building community among quilting lovers everywhere through free and paid quilting educational content, quilting showcase events, and selling quilting supplies online.

The American Quilter’s Society’s mission is to inspire, nurture, and instruct today’s quilter, while honoring the creativity and historical importance of quilts and quilt-making. Their goal is to carry this theme through all their relationships, whether those relationships are with customers, authors, vendors or colleagues. 

That’s why their eCommerce presence is so important to them, and why, when their eCommerce partner wasn’t able to come through for them, they decided it was time to make a move.

A RELIABLE PARTNER: THE NEEDLE IN THE HAYSTACK?

When Magento 1 began to approach its end-of-life date, the team at Schroeder Publishing knew they needed to act in order to stay connected to their subscriber base. Unfortunately, after engaging with another agency for over 2 years (and a significant financial investment), their agency still wasn’t able to launch the M2 version of the American Quilter’s Society website.

In addition to Schroeder Publishing’s site launch needs, they also knew they would need someone who could help them look to the future, especially when it comes to integration support for online event registration through their website. Creating space for quilting lovers to connect and cultivate community is core to the American Quilter’s Society’s mission, so they needed a partner that could create an eCommerce presentation designed to help them achieve their brand goals. 

That’s what led their team to Classy Llama.

CREATING AN ENVIRONMENT WHERE QUILTERS CAN CONNECT

After communicating the Schroeder team’s level of stress, frustration, and anxiety around their eCommerce goals and objectives, the Classy Llama team felt strongly about the opportunity to save their site launch and create value for their brand. 

As an SI, Classy Llama’s most serious and prized objective for our engagements is that we always deliver for our clients. We don’t believe in taking the easy way out or giving up on a project. That’s why our team felt strongly about the Schroeder Publishing site build: they needed someone who could carry their project across the finish line and that’s exactly what we love to do for our clients. 

In order to make sure their eCommerce goals were served to the best of our ability—and that we identified all the issues from the previous build—the Classy Llama team began with a full audit of the work that had been done and determined that the majority of the work that had already been completed could be carried over to our build. 

During this audit, the solutions team identified Schroeder Publishing’s key eCommerce objective at site launch was improving customer experience on M2 and creating efficiency for backend site management and was able to deliver both for their brand during our initial launch build. 

A Full Service Retainer

Because Classy Llama was brought on to this project to rescue the build, our team took the opportunity to connect with the Schroeder team’s pain points over their previous agency experience very seriously. As we pushed their site forward, our goal was to build trust by not only communicating our processes well, but also by taking their concerns into consideration wherever possible. Being burned by a previous agency can cause a lot of trepidation around a project and Classy Llama’s relational approach to our projects meant that the Schroeder team was able to continually build more and more trust with us as their agency.

In fact, during the build the technical team was able to start creating a backlog of items that their website would need after launch. Because of this pre-work, we were able to offer Schroeder the opportunity to sign a full-service retainer with us and get ongoing support from a reliable agency partner. Thanks to our mutual understanding and trust, Schroeder decided to sign an ongoing retainer engagement before their site was even launched. 

Since launch, our team has continued to evaluate what would best serve the American Quilter’s Society brand, including moving toward their next M2 upgrade, as well as integrating an event registration extension through Cvent. 

Cvent: Schroeder Publishing’s Event Registration Solution 

A huge part of the American Quilter’s Society’s work is related to providing their subscribers with yearly memberships and the opportunity to attend quilting showcase events. That meant that their new eCommerce site needed a better way to manage these sign-ups. 

When they came to Classy Llama, most of their list and event management was done manually, which was not only time consuming but also left room for user error. To solve this problem, our solutions team proposed a custom integration between Magento and the Cvent extension to automate their registration process.

Now that their team doesn’t have to manually manage the events and memberships, their cost of ownership is lower and they have one less thing to worry about. 

THE ENDURING ART OF QUILT-MAKING IN THE DIGITAL AGE 

Since working with Classy Llama, Schroeder Publishing and the American Quilter’s Society have gone from uncertainty and frustration around their eCommerce presentation to a place of stability and support. 

Not only do they have a partner that’s committed to creating wins for their team no matter what, they also have an ongoing support system that can keep their site and community maintained, while also looking forward to the future of their brand and how eCommerce can foster community and collaboration for quilting lovers everywhere. 

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