It has been a REALLY long time, since I have encountered a business that made me want to write about them. That changed last weekend, and was confirmed today, when we visited Overseas Fabrics, a fabric store in Abbotsford.
Yes, I’m going to let you think about that for a minute…
Bob is writing about the fantastic retail experience he had at… “A Fabric Store.“
Think about EVERY experience, or just the expectations you’ve had while shopping for fabric. It probably goes something like this:
You wander aimlessly through a maze of seemingly endless circular tables, which are often sorted by pattern-based themes or colours, rather than by fabric type… until you finally find some appropriate fabric, at which time you take the fabric to the cutting table, and then start searching anew, only this time, looking for an employee… any employee… to cut the fabric. You finally find someone, who, amid heavy sighs, begrudgingly cuts your fabric. You pay, and leave, grateful that the ordeal is over.
Overseas Fabrics is a COMPLETELY different experience.
• A huge store, full of beautiful fabrics, notions and accessories.
• Well organized, so that you can shop easily.
Nothing really unusual, or blog-worthy, there.
Where Overseas Fabrics separates itself, and pulls away from its competition…
• Great prices, every day.
• Their people – who give a warm greeting when you arrive, and offer service with friendly enthusiasm.
Overseas Fabrics is a family-owned and run business, and you feel that, from the owners and staff alike, in the quality of service they provide, and care that they take in ensuring their customers leave happy, having bought quality products, at great prices. They have been in business for 26 years, and they are now working on a web store to help those folks who can’t make the drive out to Abbotsford, but still want quality fabrics, at great prices!
Their website says they have over 90,000 fabrics in stock in their store, and that they are the largest fabric store of its kind, in Western Canada. I believe it!
When we arrived at Overseas Fabrics for the first time, we were enthusiastically greeted by the gentleman at the front, like we were long lost friends. We got similar greetings from all the other staff, as we moved throughout the store. Several times we were approached, and asked if we needed help.
Shortly after we arrived, we were asked if we had shopped there before, as Overseas Fabrics have a different approach. They don’t play the “wheel of discounts” game… they buy in volume and pass it along, every day… No inflated prices with bogus discounts. On every roll of fabric, there are two prices and a quantity. That’s it. (For example: $7 for buying one metre, and $5 for buying over a metre.)
The reason we found Overseas Fabrics, Lorie needed some brightly-coloured material for a project, and thought Sari fabrics would be perfect. She searched the web, and on a sunny Saturday, we headed for Abbotsford.
I drove her out there, and when we got there, I wasn’t treated like a husband and ignored, I was treated as if I might be the customer. (Stranger things could happen!)
All in all, I cannot recommend Overseas Fabrics more highly. If you are looking for fabrics or sewing supplies for a project, check them out!
Their store is located at 32853 Ventura Avenue in Abbotsford, and is open Monday to Saturday from 10 am to 6 pm. Closed Sunday.
Their website is OverseasFabrics.com
Edited April 2020: Their Online Store is now up and running… and fantastic!
Here are a few photos, to try to give you a sense of the immense variety of products they carry… (Click on any image to open a pop-up window)
* I have said it before, but it bears repeating: The endorsement of this business was not bought. Nor was it paid for, by credits, free goods, discounted products or anything else. Any outside businesses, which are endorsed on the “What’s In Store” category of this Blog, are endorsed, because they are good businesses, that I frequent (or have frequented) and believe they are worthy of mention.
I do not accept payment or remuneration of any kind, for any of my Posts.
A while back, I dove back into the world of retail, after a hiatus of a few years. I took a job, working hard, having fun, and creating sawdust, at the Home Depot store in Port Coquitlam.
It feels good to be ‘back in the aisles”, helping folks with their projects, and giving them a hand with finding the items they want, and need.
The other day, along with about a dozen Home Depot associate volunteers, we went to Coquitlam, to do outreach, with our store’s next #TeamDepotCA project.
TeamDepotCA, is the project where Home Depot Associates go out in their communities, and volunteer time, energy, supplies, and elbow grease… and work on something that a worthy local organization needs a hand with.
On this occasion, the group getting a hand, was the RainCity Housing Shelter, at 3030 Gordon, in Coquitlam.
Our team showed up with trimmers, shovels, rakes, plants, garden accessories, and a lawn mower… and over the next few hours, we cut the front boulevard. Added shrubs and winter pansies at the entranceway. Cut the back yard, and installed edging in the garden to make future maintenance easier. We pulled out a few plants that had died, and replaced them with bulbs that will be nice surprise for the residents, when next Spring comes around.
And in the process of giving back, we had a ton of fun… and are looking forward to our next Project!
Here are a few pictures, from the day’s activity.
A fun time was had by all…
(Click on any photo,
At a Social Media Meetup, in 2016, we met the folks from West Coast Flying Trapeze, a new business, located in Pitt Meadows.
They are a business that offers training in various circus-related skills:
- Aerial Silks
- Aerial Hoop
- Hand Balancing
- Flying and Static Trapeze
- (And they are adding more services, all the time!)
Their facility is housed in an expansive 8000 square foot hanger, located near the Pitt Meadows Airport.
Check out their video below, for an overview of the fun!
Because I’ve had a few incidents with whiplash, I wasn’t surprised to hear that the Manager suggested that I *NOT* try the trapeze… which was my first indication that it was a top-down, safety-first facility.
The staff was all professional, and their incremental method of teaching the students, seemed to be designed specifically to maximize the opportunity for the students to succeed, as much as they could.
From the West Coast Flying Trapeze brochure:
“Circus does not require a ton of strength, a high degree of flexibility, or a certain body type. All you need to do is show up. Our Coaches will guide you through the rest. At West Coast Flying Trapeze, it’s not about what your body looks like, it’s about what your body can do!”
If you are looking for a fun activity for just about anybody, I would suggest checking out West Coast Flying Trapeze… they are a Circus School for everyone!
They are located at Unit 105 – 19055 Airport Way, Pitt Meadows, BC. (At the intersection of Airport Way and Baynes Road)
You can find more information about their services and their prices, on their website: WestCoastFlyingTrapeze.com
It is a fun venue, for both the participants, as well as observers… not only from the Circus training, but also from the perspective of the highly-entertaining four-legged friends: Russell and Tally — two very different dogs, who (seemingly) love to cuddle and entertain “audience” members! (Video below)
* I have said it before, but it bears repeating: The endorsement of this business was not bought. Nor was it paid for, by credits, free classes or anything else. Any outside businesses, which are endorsed on the “What’s In Store” category of the Blog, are endorsed, because they are good businesses, that I frequent (or have frequented) and believe they are worthy of mention. I do not accept remuneration of any kind, for my Blog Posts.
Recently, Lorie and I started crafting and selling small doors for magical creatures… and so, whether you need a home for your Gnomes, Hobbits, Pixies, Elves or Fairies… we have a door that is just right for your needs!
Some are fanciful… others quite rustic… some are colorful… and others understated. Something for every taste. Each is one-of-a-kind, and hand-crafted. (Honestly, I would post pictures, but they change ALL. THE. TIME.)
Lorie has also made some fun and funky whimsical accessories… banners, flags, wind chimes and more…
You can find the full assortment of what is currently available, in our Etsy Shop: https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/GardenFairyDoors/
For fun, we also created TreeMax – a “Fairy Tale Realty Company”: https://treemax.ca/
And, if you want the full story on how we got started making Fairy Doors, you can find the details here: https://gardenfairies.ca/
As some of you may know… on October 1st, Lorie and I bought an online card business… Haute Note!
A company that produces custom cards, personalized notes and stationery.
We have a variety of note styles, as well as designs for every reason and every season.
We feel that in this day and age, when pretty much everyone on the planet has embraced the technology for sending emails, texts, PINS and communicating through any number of Social Networks — there are still occasions when it is “special” to get a card. A keepsake, or reminder of a moment in time.
Whether a photo Holiday card, personalized Christmas cards, birthday invitations, wedding or baby announcements, save-the-date cards, or something else completely… we can customize and personalize any of the hundreds of designs of cards.
A set of 8 Signature cards makes a lovely hostess gift, a thank you gift, something nice for Aunt Sadie or the perfect something for the hard-to-buy-for person who has everything!
Below are a few examples, chosen at random from hundreds of styles and themes.
You can find more examples at HauteNote.com
(Click on any image below to open the images up in a Gallery Viewer)
(Click on any image above to see the cards in a Gallery Viewer)
Should you need a personal or corporate Christmas card… a card to announce a birth, or a birthday party… a wedding announcement or a BBQ invite… we have all these, and many more! Check us out at HauteNote.com
Hard to believe another year has flown by, and this Wednesday, June 5th is Tim Horton’s Camp Day 2013!!!
(The one day of the year when I *ALWAYS* switch from tea to coffee !!!)
This Wednesday, head to your local participating Tim Horton’s and buy a coffee to support sending kids to Tim Horton’s Camps. (And check out the fun and different fundraising ideas the individual franchises have come up with, to raise money for this extra special day !!!
If you don’t drink coffee, or would prefer to make your donation online, you can support Camp Day, here: https://www.timhortons.com/ca/en/social/childrens-foundation.php
Here are some details about Camp Day, from the Tim Horton’s website:
What One Cup of Coffee Can Do
Every time a guest buys a coffee at Tim Hortons on Camp Day they will help send more than 16,000 kids – who could otherwise not afford it – on the camping adventure of a lifetime. All children who attend one of the Foundation’s six camps are selected from within the communities where Tim Hortons Restaurants are located. Tim Hortons Restaurant Owners work closely with local youth organizations and schools to select children, between the ages of nine and 12, to attend a 10-day summer camp session or seven day winter camp session.
“It’s overwhelming each year see how our guests come together support Foundation,” says Bill Moir, President, Tim Horton Children’s Foundation. ” On Camp Day, buying cup of coffee and participating the many activities helps contribute to positive change in child’s life. And that’s a good feeling.”
So… hope to see you at the local Tim Horton’s, this Wednesday !!!
(And on Twitter, using the hashtag #CampDay)
Recently, I’ve had a LOT of interactions with the folks at Rogers Wireless.
To say my experiences have been uneven, would be an understatement.
I am a Blackberry guy… One of those die-hards that love our phones, and cling to them with a fear that an Android or I-Phone user will somehow snatch it from us.
I have been trying to hold out for the BB10 OS phones, but they keep getting delayed, and the trackball on my old BB9000 keeps dying.
It locked up a few weeks ago, and literally, as I was on my way out the door to go to the Rogers Store, I got a call from Rogers, asking if I wanted to upgrade my phone. (Insert Twilight Zone music here)
I said yes, and discussed with the gent on the phone the options I wanted, and he suggested the 9810. He also suggested tweaking my plan, to better suit my needs.
I then got passed along to a “Order Confirmation Specialist”, who confirmed all the aspects of my order, the changes to my plan, and confirmed my account information.
Two days later, I got my new Blackberry… in White.
(I’m a slob, and cannot wear white shirts, drive a white car, use a white computer or have a white phone.)
I called up Rogers, explained the problem, saying that my assumption was they would send me a black phone, like the last three phones… they said “No problem. Ship it back, and we will let you know when we get it back, and you can go to a store, to pick up the one you want.”
Slight delay, modest frustration (my trackball wasn’t working properly) but I dealt with it.
Call Rogers a week later, and yes, they have received my phone back, and I can go pick up the phone I want at any Rogers store.
I went to three different stores, and none stock the 9810… which made me ask the question: “Why?”
I gathered, without anyone saying it, that it just wasn’t a popular phone, so perhaps I would be happier with the more popular 9900 ?
Yes, I am.
The gent (Ravi Chima) who helped me, at the Coquitlam Centre Rogers Store, was awesome. Going through the details of the phone, the contract and touching on a few of the features I might not know about.
Then, this morning, I get a call from Rogers, asking me if I would like to review and adjust my plan…
“I just did that a week ago”
This call is not being charged to your cell phone…
“No, it is not… You called me on my home phone.”
* Long pause *
Can I please have some personal information to verify your identification ?
“No. You called me. If you don’t know who you are speaking to, where you called them, or whether I have updated my plan recently, I’m not giving you ANY information.”
She thanked me for my time, and gave me a number to call, in case I had any questions.
I am ALL FOR good customer service.
But there is a difference between “busy work” and “customer care.”
Busy work, is always moving, always working… but not working SMART. Not taking into account the customers’ needs, or assessing them as individuals. It puts ALL customers into one category, and assumes all customers need the same things.
An awful lot of people at Rogers seem to be engaged in busy work.
It takes lots of energy, but is FAR from effective.
I would call them, but the last time I made a comment on their customer service, they robo-called me three times, asking for feedback on my customer service phone experience.
I love energetic and enthusiastic customer service… but there HAS to be a level of autonomy and intelligence applied.
Customer Service Reps shouldn’t be script-reading robots… If THEY are calling me… they should ask if I like my new phone, if I have any questions or concerns, and then thank me for my business and my time.
Don’t make me second guess my choice, right after I made a purchase. That is just busy work.
* NOTE: Less than one hour after posting this, I had received the following comment:
This is Nicolas from Rogers.
Our apologies for some of the experiences you’ve had. You’re raising some valid points and I shared your blog post with our internal teams.
For future, don’t hesitate to reach out to us via Twitter @RogersHelps or Facebook and we’ll help!
Maybe it is lip service, or maybe something was gained. It will be interesting to see !
Wednesday, June 6, 2012 is Time Horton’s Camp Day.
Every donation makes a difference.
You can support sending a child to Camp by:
- Purchasing Tim Horton’s Coffee…
- Buying a $1 Rent-A-Tent card…
- Buying a $5 Rent-A-Cabin card…
Or by going online to Tim Horton’s website to
purchase “virtual” items to help kids enjoy the camp experience !!!
Tonight I had one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life.
For my Birthday, Hayley and Chloe (two of my nieces) and my Sister-In-Law Shelley, bought me a Groupon for the Fly Zone Bodyflight.
At first, I wasn’t sure WHAT I was being given… and then I remembered that I had seen something on Rick Mercer a few years back.
Turns out they put a really high powered fan underneath a plexiglass tube, and you can “fly”!!!
(Effectively, it is like parachuting, but instead of jumping out of an airplane, you start on the “ground”, and get blown up.)
With all our busy schedules, it was tough to get an evening when we were all available, but tonight was the night.
(Yeah, I know… usually one word, but that is just how much of a wild experience this was.)
We arrived, handled the paperwork transfer, signed the disclaimer, and got a chance to watch some other video bloggers who were in the group ahead of us.
What was really amazing was watching the staff have a blast, doing flips, barrel rolls, sailing up, and swooping down.
Just like birds.
After a while, the rest of our group assembled, and we were taken into a small room with a sort of a pommel horse/vaulting box in the middle… (sorry for that ugly gym class flashback) … and we were told about the proper “flying” position, what we should TRY to do… and what the hand signals were, for when we were NOT flying correctly.
(Because of the noise from the fan engine, and the earplugs worn under the helmet, even shouted instructions would be unheard, so thus, the hand signals.)
Standing even a few feet away, you have no sense of the power of the fan. You just get a sense that it is loud.
You start off lying, face down, on your stomach, with your chin up, your hands in front of you, and your feet off the ground.
Then the fan starts up, and you suddenly aren’t having to hold your feet and hands up… they stay that way.
And you also suddenly notice that your stomach isn’t on the ground any more.
You’re flying !!!
For beginners, like everyone in our group, there are two instructors in the tunnel with you. One on each side. Our flight suits come with handles, so they can “guide” us through the flight… but the goal they have is to get you flying with enough stability, that you can “solo”… fly without them holding on.
Hayley and Chloe did much better than I did.
We signed up for the deluxe package, which includes two sessions of two minutes each time. (Normally a $99 value.)By our second go, each of us had figured it out a little better… (again, the girls, more than I) …but the second session was after dark, so you’ll have to take my word for it.
Below is some video Lorie shot from the first session:
And some shots taken by the folks at Fly Zone:
They are located at 7150 Tilbury Road, Delta, BC, and are open Wednesday to Sunday.
It is both literally and figuratively… a BLAST !!!
Today was one of “those” days. Regardless of where I went, or what I did… The people immediately in front of me were beset by problems.
At the bank, there was a gent ahead of me, who was (apparently) transacting the whole year’s business for his medium-sized country.
At the pharmacy, the individual ahead of me needed some sort of celestial alignment to occur simultaneously with his purchase of a very convoluted, yet enormously precise selection of lottery tickets. Throw in a new cash register system, and you can see how I spent a fun hour in line.
A couple of other similar stops, with the same kind of “luck.” None of these events were, by themselves, remarkable. But after spending three hours, on what would (on a “regular” day) take 20 minutes, I felt I needed to stop the merry-go-round… And hit pause on the frantic for a few minutes.
As it happened, I was on Lougheed at 226th, right by a place I had been wanting to get to for a while, so I pulled in and took a breather.
Bean Around Books is located at 22626 Lougheed Highway in Maple Ridge.
They sell used books, coffee, and loose leaf tea.
They offer a nice seating area, free wifi, and it looks like they support local artists (from the art on the wall.)
Dan Ruimy, who runs the place, is very knowledgable about authors, and while I was lamenting the recent passing of Robert B. Parker, (one of my favourite authors,) he was able to suggest a couple of series of books for me to try.
Add a great selection of tea blends, and my day was quickly back on track.
Whether you are looking for a caffeine pick me up… or a book you can’t put down… Bean Around Books might be the best place for you !!!
You can find more info on their website at www.BeanAroundBooks.com