Fabric business and quilting machine distributor becomes part of the business fabric of St. Joseph

Business has been so good for Accomplish Quilting that its locations have been busting at the seams.

As a result, the business has relocated from its Stevensville location to a 10,200-square-foot space at 810 Napier Ave. in St. Joseph where it has a showroom, storage room, and tech service area. It has a full array of quilting supplies in the newly renovated retail space.

Accomplish Quilting sells new and used longarm quilting machines, used to sew together a quilt top, quilt batting, and quilt backing into a finished quilt.The business also sells quilting supplies, offers classes, and can complete a quilt for those without the equipment to finish it themselves. It services the machines it sells, as well.

The business has become the No. 1 dealer of Innova Longarm Quilting machines through a concerted marketing effort to those who can afford the machines that can cost as much as $10,000. 

Fena D'Ottavio says that the company continues to grow because it studied and followed the model of the most successful companies in the country. By learning its market, Accomplish Quilting continues to grow. 

Not only has it targeted affluent customers, it also is riding the quilting wave of what D'Ottavio says is a $6 billion industry and one of the fastest growing in the arts and craft market. That's been good news for Accomplish Quilting, which sells machines to both the home quilter and those who quilt for others.

For example, last week the company sold seven machines when a typical dealer might sell one or two a week. D'Ottavio proudly recounts that when Innova officials came to the grand opening of the new St. Joseph store they referred to Accomplish Quilting as the "A Team."

The team has representatives each decade from teens to 70 year olds has five service technicians, a complete shipping department, and a newly added media department. D'Ottavio cites their dedication to customer service as another part of the business that has contributed to its growth.

Accomplish Quilting began in the basement and garage of the parents of the current owner, Jeff Benedict, and now has 15 employees and two locations. Not bad for a little company that at one point was on the verge of shutting down.

Benedict's mother was a quilter who was one of those folks who were not ready to sit idle when she retired. She started quilting for others instead. When her husband retired he helped her with the business and soon they were dealers for a longarm quilting company. When they decided they were ready to retire for good, Jeff Benedict took over the company.

In 2014, the business expanded by opening a location in Nashville, Tenn. D'Ottavio says that store already has outgrown its location and in two weeks she will be traveling there in hopes of finding a larger space.

"In a down economy we are thriving," D'Ottavio says. "We asked ourselves, 'How do you run with the big boys? You do what all the big boys are doing." 

Writer: Kathy Jennings, Second Wave Media
Source: Fena D'Ottavio, Accomplish Quiltings

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