Portland >Fabric, Quilting & Needlework > Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Btq
2136 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR | Directions 9721145.558993 -122.643091
Neighborhoods: Vernon, Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods
Passionate about fabric! – I am seriously stunned by these poor reviews. I don't get it at all. The very first time I walked into Bolt I knew that I was in fabric heaven. Every bolt is carefully selected, are of fine quality and super adorable! It's the kind of place where I could close my eyes, point and just know that when I opened my eyes I would be thrilled with my choice.
The staff is so enthusiastic and helpful. They have always taken the time to help me search out just the right fabric for my project. They have often encouraged me to come back when my (dress) is finished so they can see it. Or take a picture to put on their blog. So encouraging!
I'm baffled by these other experiences but I'm even more baffled that these previous reviewers would conclude-without cause- that it was because of their age. Maybe the sales clerk suffers from migraines and was just trying to do her best to get through the day. Let's not assume the worst without probable cause.
BTW, I am fifty-something as well and have NEVER felt snubbed or out of place here. Maybe it just takes a smile :D
Review for Bolt Neighborhood Fabric Store – I used to work a block down the street so was happy to see a great little neighborhood fabric store. Been sewing all my life so thought I'd be in luck. Went in several times to have a look around and get some fabric for some projects I was working on. Every time I was treated indifferently or rudely or as another reviewer put it - like the staff (maybe the owner?) was way too cool to deal with the likes of me. I ended up not purchasing anything but buying my fabrics and notions at another local store.
I am older (50ish) so assumed it was because the staff were all young and hip and I obviously was not. Recently I was talking to a staff person at another fabric store and we were trading our experiences and likes/dislikes of all the shops around Portland. She described the EXACT SAME EXPERIENCE as I had had with the staff at Bolt. She assumed it was also because she was older and not young and hip.
Apparently if you are not young and hip or as cool as the staff/owner, your money/biz is not welcome there. I love to support local shops but I will be happy to see the day when this shop goes under. While that may be a mean thing to say, I say it because we are in difficult economic times and sewing is no longer a necessity but a luxury (cheaper to buy premade clothing). Since there are many, many other good fabric stores around town (sorry - Fabric Depot carries everything, Mill End has a large selection, Josephine's Dry Goods has a lot of different things, Cool Cottons is good as well and not to mention all the many quilt stores that carry cotton fabrics) I will not bother wasting my time with merchants who fail to treat customers with respect. Maybe the owner has so much money that she doesn't need our business. If that's the case, more power to her!
Never been treated so poorly in my life! – Bolt was recommended to me by another sewer, so I went WAY out of my way to check it out. I will never go there again! The staff was rude and acted like it was a huge inconvenience for them to cut some fabric for me! I set a couple of bolts on the cutting table so I wouldn't have to carry them around in such a cramped space (It is CRAMPED and I accidentally bumped one of the staff as I was looking at something and she gave me the dirtiest look I have ever seen!), and when I came back, they were gone! I asked where they were and they made me feel like I was causing a huge disturbance by putting them there, and that they had SO much to put away, etc. They didn't even bother to help me relocate the ones that had been put back. There was never an apology for putting them away, and definitely no "thank you" at the end of the transaction. This is a neighborhood store! Seriously, what are they thinking?!
Avoid this place like the plague unless you are a sadist and like being treated like dirt! There are lots of other fabric stores with good stuff that don't treat you terribly (such as Cool Cottons on Hawthorne)
Too cool for you. – I have been to BOLT many times as i love not having to sift through the heaps at fabric depot and I prefer to spend money in my neighborhood when at all viable. My prior experiences have been fine, unfortunately, my negative episode today has prompted me to write this review so take it as you will. I was assisted by the owner (i know this because an employee referred to her as so) who started to cut my fabric with preoccupied indifference. When I proceeded to ask her a question she looked at me like I was insane so I thought she must have misunderstood, but she then answered in a "I am way too cool and important to talk to you" manner before passing me on to an employee to finish the dirtywork. I am usually not very sensitive about the old customer service ways, however, it is beyond me to understand how you would treat people who spend money in your shop so arrogantly and still expect them to support you.
Tiny but wonderful! – It is very small, but nearly every bolt contained therein is desirable. Their buyer is brilliant and has their finger on the pulse of the hip sewing crowd. Great buttons and trims too.
Very friendly staff. I purchased a panel from a brand new bolt. It had been priced by the yard instead of by the panel. The cutter evened out the edge and cut one panel for me, charging me for the next measurement down, since it was in between the fractions.
I believe they may be the only fabric store in Portland to carry Marimekko. They are quick with their orders and get new fabrics weeks before the larger stores.
Absolutely a Gem! – A kaleidoscope of colors and creativity, this wonderful little boutique is the perfect spot to help your projects come to life! The classes and helpful staff make even a novice as myself feel capable to take on more and more!
Bolt -- truly a neighborhood fabric store – I'm not so sure what happened when that other reviewer visited the store because Bolt is anything but dark and dingy. It's a great store -- friendly & knowledgeable staff, great fabric selection, and fantastic location. It is a small space and there is a lot of fabric, but it doesn't feel cramped at all. If you're in the Alberta Arts area, you should definitely check it out!
Average – While the shop had a variety of fabric choices, it seemed a bit crowded and the lighting was not good.
Fun fabrics, great customer service – Bolt is definitely the friendly neighborhood fabric boutique. Gina was so helpful in trying to find and order a specific Alexander Henry fabric for me - and when we couldn't get it (on backorder for months), John walked through the store with me until I could find something I liked in the right color scheme. Fabulous fabrics for everything you could possibly want to make, good prices, an organized layout and the friendly staff will keep me going back.
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