More commonly known as “APC”, they opened their first retail & wholesale brick & mortar store in 2014 in the heart of Downtown, Los Angeles. They launched their online sector within the same year and first began by offering their fabrics via Etsy. They acquired a massive following base, and after a year, closed their physical location and went full force into the online fabric business.
Today, APC is the 2nd largest US seller of eco-friendly fabrics on Etsy.
What’s the problem?
It's no suprise that the fabric industry has progressed a whole lot ever since the production of the internet. We’ve all become accustomed to the traditional way of shopping for fabric online. Either you visit the website of your favorite fabric shop, or you do a “quick” google search and hope to find the fabric that meets your needs.
The problem is that in doing this, consumers are often faced with small selections, poor customer service as well as low-quality & unaffordable fabrics. Even worse, it seems most, if not all online fabric stores fail to recognize the need for sustainbility & environmental consciousness.
So, in an effort to find the ultimate online fabric store, our team of 6 at Expose were prompted to search for stores that value these five critical components:
- Selection Size
Each member was assigned 5 online fabric stores to investigate: Mood Fabrics, Joanns, Fabric.com, APC Fabrics, & Spoonflower. After hundreds of hours of research, our aggregated list put these major online fabric stores to the test.
Each member was tasked to scan through the shops selections, make a purchase, then speak to the customer service representatives and rate each of the critical components on a scale from 1–10.
Here are the findings:
Heres what they said:
“…and the first thing I noticed was the low prices APC offered compared to the other four. APC offered a standard white cotton fabric for exactly $6.52 per yard whereas Joanns and the others offered similar for somewhere around $9.00. ” — Rina G. from Expose
“ I admired the emphasis they put on eco-friendly fabrics, despite their extremely small selection of other fabrics. Tencel & Modal (along with bamboo) are favorite fibers of mine so it was nice to see APC Fabrics having a stronger focus toward fabric fibers like these.” — Charity from Expose
Small online fabric stores like APC Fabrics are surfing to the top for a reason. Typically, smaller companies are often faced with more pressure and hunger to succeed which leads them to become more innovative and responsive towards the needs of their consumers. Whereas those that are already established tend to stay comfortable and allow their innovate side to remain stagnant.
It's essential that all online fabric stores or better yet, all companies, align themselves with the way the market shifts. Technology as well as the needs of consumers will continuously progress, and it’s those that follow its movement who will be the ones to flourish.
Ultimately, smaller online fabric stores will construct stronger impressions in the years to come. Although APC Fabrics is at the head of the race for now, theres know way knowing who will climb up to the top as the industry progress’s further.