For me, the answer has quickly become a resounding, “YES” for 3 reasons:
Most wholesalers are geared toward retailers. However, if you look, you will find a handful of companies that cater to cottage businesses. EE Schenk and Checker Distributors are two that I suggest you try if you need a company that supplies a little bit of everything. Should I decide to start vending sewing notions in my Etsy shop, it will be an easy transition for me as I already have a wholesale supplier set up.
Buying wholesale means you save on a per yard basis on the fabric you buy, but you are required to buy an entire bolt. That could be 10-15 yards of fabric, depending on the manufacturer. That’s enough for at least 2-3 quilts.
Will I buy wholesale for everything? Of course not! My approach to fabric & notions purchasing will mimic how I spend the library budget at my day job. I often visit the local bookstore to preview unfamiliar titles before I commit to buying them with library money. I’ll likely by a yard or two of fabric from my LQS to see if it’s worth springing for the entire bolt. Or I need a FQ of a particular college sports team to use in a baby quilt. Or I need a single spool of a particular color/brand of thread I don’t have on hand. I’ll still support my LQS, but wholesale purchasing will allow me to be more profitable in terms of $$ spent on supplies and in time spent sourcing frequently used materials in my business.