It’s a sad, sad day in scrapbook land. ANOTHER local scrapbook store (LSS) near me is closing it’s doors :( This is sure becoming a trend around here. Last year at this time, there were 7 stores within a 100 mile radius of me. Now there are 2. I’m not talking about Michaels, Joanns, and Hobby Lobby-type big chain stores. I mean good ol’ mom and pop, independently owned stores. Is this happening in your area too?
I love LSS’s. Here are the top 10 reasons:
1. Aaahhh…the smell of fresh scrapbook product when you walk in the door. For me, it’s like being a book lover and walking into Barnes and Noble. Or being a mechanic and walking into the shop. It’s the smell that represents what I love to do and it makes me feel like I am home.
2. The friendly “Hello! Let me know if you need help finding anything!” and a smile. Much nicer than sitting at home, yelling at your computer while you try to navigate a scrapstore website, “Just tell me where the Basic Grey Wholy Cow rub-ons are!!!”.
3. Hosted crops where you don’t have to plan anything, don’t have to prepare any food, don’t have to try and gather all your friends at the same place and time, you just have to show up and pay a little somethin’-somethin’. Bonus: You meet other scrappers from your area who you wouldn’t have met otherwise. Double bonus: Discount on all supplies bought while cropping.
4. The latest and greatest items are there. All the owners go to CHA, Memory Trends, etc. and bring back the new goodies. And since they are as Scrapbook Obsessed as you are, they can’t wait to show you everything. When you experience their giddy joy, you feel you are not alone in the world.
5. They have some of the nicest public restrooms I’ve ever been in. As someone who frequently shops with kiddos, we almost always need to take a tinkle while at the scrapbook store. Don’t you think they have the cutest facilities? They’ve got that woman’s touch, like handpainted walls, toilet paper rolls in a Longaberger basket, and nice-smelling hand lotion. My favorite ever LSS bathroom had quotes and hints about scrapbooking plastered all over the walls. It was nice to have reading material.
6. They have scrapook classes, often taught by someone you know. I have learned some of the coolest things at LSS classes. And, again – snacks, drinks, and shopping discounts.
7. Running in to scrap-friends is always cool. “Hey, what are you buying?”. “Omigod! Did you see the new Karen Foster on aisle 3?!?” “Get out! I was looking for that! How are the kids?” “They’re great. Tyson’s at t-ball so thought I’d sneak over for some retail therapy. How are yours?” “Wonderful. Well, tell Dave and the kids I said hi”. “Same to Bob and little Bobby”. “Bye!” “Bye!”
8. You gotta’ see the stuff in person. I don’t care how wonderful the website price is or how many choices the webstore has, I like to see my product ‘for real’. I need to hold it, see the true color of it, feel how thick the cardstock is or try out the color of the ink on the scratch pad. I want to carry an actual basket on my actual arm as a wander lazily through a store, not virtually place items in a virtual shopping cart. I like to listen while I shop to the country music on the store speakers, the little boy with his mom in the next aisle asking, “Can I please have some baseball stickers?”, and to the owner telling a newbie how to get started. I love to see all the beautiful Bazzill colors all in a row on a paper rack.
9. It gives me hope that someday I could own a scrapbook store. I always thought that I would work my butt off for however many years, build up my IRA and make sure I would have a comfortable retirement, then open my own business where I could share my passion for this craft. But that dream is dying…
10. They have a plethora of scrapbook magazines. I’ve already mentioned how much I love these, right? For the longest time, LSS’s were the only place I could find Scrapbook Trends magazine. I like not having to wade through all the other magazines on the newstand to find the one’s I really want. It’s one-stop shopping for those babies!
So, now you see why I’m so depressed. I’m clearly not a fan of online shopping (ironic considering my new consultant gig will involve selling products online?). When I look at my top 10 list, it seems to be about community for me. I will miss my dear friends, the LSS’s. I hope they can make a comeback someday. Until then, I will travel further to visit the few that are left. And I will make do with Michael’s.
PS: It’s official! I signed on to Memory Works yesterday and am eagerly awaiting my new consultant kit. I already have one party booked with a friend. I will guilt my mother into being a good customer. Life is good. Thanks for all the Comments of encouragement and advice.