Small Business Saturday - let's DO IT!


I don't know about you all, but I am getting so very tired of watching our local stamping and scrapping stores closing. So this is a rant that's overdue - and I want OWH to support Small Business Saturday in a HUGE way this year!

Local small businesses are the engines of our local economy. And we all KNOW our economy needs some serious help.

Big box stores woo customers in with coupons and sales on things you never wanted - but we all buy that stuff because it's on sale. And those chains end up shoving the small businesses out of the way, running them over with their ability to purchase en masse and discount their way into our pocketbooks. And they're training us not to shop elsewhere, especially without a 40% off coupon. Do they invest in local community events? Not much, if at all. Host cardmaking parties for OWH? Never have heard of one in all these years, no matter how many people go to their store to ask.

Local stores are part of our community, and we need to support them.

Not only do these small businesses provide jobs in our hometowns, pay rents, pay postage on their orders (and help keep the PO in business!), eat their lunch at the cafe next door and buy a coffee at the stand on the corner. They host classes and crops based on what the customers ask for, not what corporate says is the flavor of the week. They host OWH cardmaking parties, and support all kinds of other community efforts!

They also keep the industry going.

"Sandy, the big chain stores will still have stuff I can buy, what does it matter if those little stores go away?" Ohhhh does it ever matter. Now more than ever! The local stores carry some of the best brands out there. The highest quality goods. Do the big box stores do that? Nope. They carry only the 'big' brands that have become creatively watered down. They're all about price, discounts, coupons.

Our local stores give us access to the stuff that mojo is made of. The products that make crafting seriously fun.

When was the last time you looked at that stack of 12 x 12 from 8 years ago that's STILL sitting around collecting dust and said, "Man, I need to use this stuff, ugly or not." Be honest. That is the quality that we're getting from the chain stores. Mass produced stuff that doesn't inspire us to take it to the next level. And dollar stores? Oh don't even get me started.

At your local scrapping/stamping store? The cutest papers. Stamps by companies that the chains wouldn't give the time of day. Embellishments so yummy you'll go back to hoarding (except that you'll give them up for our heroes, because they're worth it!) These are the companies who will eventually go away if there aren't any more local stores to share them with us!

Sure, they can sell online, but walking around the paper aisle and touching a delicately flocked piece of My Minds Eye, or checking the glitter for flakiness on a sticker - you can't do that online. You'll never know what those things feel like in your hands til you touch them. I'm convinced that if more crafters saw more than what's available at a big chain store, they'd go nuts in an LSS with a super selection, and the poor quality stuff they used to buy would lose its luster!

I've been surprised at the number of people who haven't heard of a lot of these quality manufacturers - including on the bloghop this weekend - and I'm sure it's due to the big box stores that only let us see a fraction of what's available to inspire us.

Just a little shopping makes a BIG difference.

I was at a cardmaking event at a local stamping store this weekend, and talked with a friend of OWH who's just gotten done closing her store recently. Heartbreaking! And do you know what she told me? If her customer list, everyone on it, had spent just $10 a month - she'd still be in business. Still serving her community. Still doing cardmaking parties for OWH, still filling her coin jar on the counter for all the good causes in her town that she loves so much. $10 a month! We drop that in a heartbeat when we go out shopping...we can DO this.

I know you all want to stretch your money to make as many cards as you can for our heroes. Well, remember what we've been talking about - we have lots of us making cards. And fewer heroes now that Iraq deployments are ending. (We still need lots, just not as many 'lots' as before!) So you can afford to buy a few nicer things, and just make less cards than you might have a year ago. Don't do so many multiples, and you can buy just a 12x12 and make a few cards, rather than buying a 'stack' so you can make 50 of the same card. Buy that pack of embellishments or that stamp that you pick up every time you go in, but you keep setting it back down - treat yourself to it!

So...check out the options at your local scrapping/stamping store. Go see what they have. Buy one thing, or a couple small things, at full price. Just try it. Look in all the towns near you, and check them all out one by one. Make it a party with your girlfriends on November 26, do a round robin trip to them all, and have lunch along the way - at a local cafe, not a chain!

Will YOU join us for Small Business Saturday?
First, leave a shoutout for your local stores in the comments below:
  • link to their store if they have a website or blog
  • list the town name
  • tell us what you love best about them
After we're all back with our purchases, write a blog post about your shopping adventure, what you bought, what you added to your Christmas wishlist, what classes you signed up for...whatever your adventure entailed. So take your camera....heck, you may want to scrap your trip!! The Stars and Stamps Blog will host the SBS After-Party with InLinkz, so you can link up your photos and take a tour of LSSs across the NATION!

Go click LIKE on SBS's Facebook page - they have LOTS of content you can share and get all your friends to shop small too!

Cora  – (November 15, 2011 at 12:28 AM)  

Here is a link to my favorite store, Ben Franklin. Not exactly a LSS as such but it is locally owned as part of a group of 60 some stores that can buy as a group. They always have the newest papers and the nicest stamps and all that goes with it. They order a lot of their products through a local distributer. They have Bazzill cardstock everyday at the same price as what one of the big chains has it for on sale. They have classes.

Sandy  – (November 15, 2011 at 12:33 AM)  

I like my Ben Franklin too, Cora - great stuff there. Just dropped a pretty penny there yesterday!

My stamp store, Impress Rubber Stamps (http://impressrubberstamps.com) is the BEST stamp store around for certain! Just love the variety, and they always have darling sample cards with their products all grouped around it. Makes CASEing easy :) Their owner Ann is a doll, and hosts OWH events, provides us with prizes, collects cards for us....super nice people there!!

Christine  – (November 15, 2011 at 4:16 AM)  

What a fantastic post! And so very true about finding some awesome products at your LSS compared to the big box stores. My favorite LSS is Ink About It, located in Westford, MA, http://www.inkaboutitonline.com/ .

They offer some amazing classes along with products for scrapbookers, cardmakers & paper crafters.

May not make it there Saturday, but heading there Friday for one of 3 card classes I have already signed up for. And I am sure the majority of those cards will find their way into my OWH box.

Donna Hanley  – (November 15, 2011 at 4:28 AM)  

Fabulous Post. I must admit I shop the big block stores for some things, but when I want something very special or different I go directly to my two of my LSS which are "Right At Home Scrapbook Store" in North Attleboro, Ma. Isn't that such a cute name? We call it RAH (Right At Home). It's a wonderful store with amazing products. They also have tons of classes to teach us new techniques. They run bus tours with other LSS in the area so that we get to visit other stores that we normally would not drive to (terrifc idea). My second store, which is a bit farther from me, but well worth the trip is Bella Art in Jophnston, RI. You've never seen so much gorgeous stuff tastefully sutffed into one store. Another great sorce for the very different item that you NEED to have. They host lots of classes and also take part in the bus tours to other LSS in this area. The owner,Marianne, is such a very talented lady, as is her husband, Don. They also have an on line store, bellaartonline.com. They will ship anywhere. Give them both a try, please. I, too, have seen a couple of area shops close in the past couple of years and it is heartbreaking. Thanks for listening and shopping.

Nancy M  – (November 15, 2011 at 5:25 AM)  

All of our LLS's are closed 8-( !!! The next closest one is BUFFALO STAMPS AND STUFF!! WOO-HOO!! I haven't made it out there yet but I hear GREAT things about it! I hope to go ASAP! They do ship but don't have an online store. They will ship to you if you know what you want.

This is a wonderful idea and LSS have the people with the knowledge & willingness to truly help, that you will NOT find at the big box guys. I'm so glad to hear the $10 comment (of course, SO SAD to have to hear it, but you KWIM) bc that puts this in perspective! Thanks!

Jean B in PA –   – (November 15, 2011 at 5:56 AM)  

Unfortunately, the closest LSS to me is 2 hours away. I share a car with my hubby and it is rare I could get away for long enough to go that far. When we travel over Thanksgiving, I will look for one near my son's home. Maybe I can shop and give him a Christmas list, too.

Jan Hunnicutt  – (November 15, 2011 at 6:49 AM)  

Great post Sandy, we have one local scrapbook store left in our area, the other two have closed now that Michaels and Hobby Lobby have come in.

Our LSS is Sugar Shack in Lake Havasu City, Arizona owned by Linda Anderson and her husband Gary. I have to say Linda's store rivals the craft stores in the big city of Phoenix. I was in Phoenix with a friend for a three day crafty weekend in October. She took me to several craft stores and they did not have the selection our little store in Lake Havasu City had. Yea Linda at Sugar Shack in Lake Havasu City, Arizona!

Paula S.  – (November 15, 2011 at 2:01 PM)  

Good post Sandy! I agree that it is really nice to support your LSS if you have one near you and can afford it to do it. They do offer a lot to communities that big box stores cannot. There are precious few in my area, the closest being a 30-40 minute drive and though they have great stuff it's really expensive and sadly I am among the millions who have been downsized (at least I'm not unemployed, like so many are) and it can be a struggle to splurge on craft supplies. So the days of my spending $1 for a 12x12 sheet or $10 on an ink pad are long behind me. Though you do make a good point in this post, maybe the solution for me would be cutting back and making just a couple dozen cards every month and making shipments once or twice a year. Happy shopping to everyone heading out to spend in your LSSs on Saturday!

SuzAnn –   – (November 15, 2011 at 2:48 PM)  

I actually have two LSS that I love and both are owned by amazing women named Kathy! In no particular order, they are: Mom & Me Scrapbooking http://momandmescrapbooking.blogspot.com/ and Paper Creations http://www.paper-creations.com/. I've always been a wee bit embarrassed at the low turnout of Utahns that support OWH and would love to bump those numbers up!I love that each of these stores cater to the local interests but still distinguish themselves.And yes, they are the only places I can find some brands!

Dixie Cochran  – (November 15, 2011 at 2:51 PM)  

I'm in! I'll be shopping at Family Memories in Charlotte (http://www.familymemoriesnc.com/index.html) and Stampers Alley ((http://www.stampersalley.com/index.html) in Mooresville. I am so fortunate two have 2 independently owned stores. They aren't real close, but they are both worth the 30 to 40 minute drive.

Jean B in PA –   – (November 15, 2011 at 3:00 PM)  

Woohoo! I did some more searching and found a LSS that is only about 45 minutes away! Xpress Yourself in Erie, PA. I don't know yet if I can go on Saturday, but I will try.

DeAnna Goen  – (November 15, 2011 at 3:11 PM)  

I have 2 LSS that I shop at, but the one that is closest to me is The Stamping Place & Scrapbook Station in West Columbia, SC. http://www.thestampingplace.com/
In fact, I was in there today and the owner of the store helped me find the paper I was looking for. I told her what I needed for a project, she offered several suggestions, and even took me right to the paper! I have done several classes there and love the types of classes that they offer.

Kris Whittaker  – (November 15, 2011 at 3:11 PM)  

I am fortunate enough to have three, yes three, LSS's within a 40-minute drive from my home. Two are within 20 minutes. First up is The Stamping Place and Scrapbook Station (www.thestampingplace.com) in West Columbia, SC, which has been around the longest; they started out making rubber stamps and have expanded to a wonderful store over the years. If they don't have it, they sure will get it for you. Second is Scrapbook Utopia in Lexington, SC (http://www.sbutopia.com/) who is only a year old. This store is stocked with gorgeous papers, especially my favorite...Bo Bunny. Third is Scrappin' Creations in Columbia, SC (www.ScrappinCreations.com). I don't get there very often anymore as it's the furthest away, but I used to frequent this store when I had a job and commuted through that area daily. The ladies there are fabulous, they carry a wide-variety of supplies, and they host crops that support local causes on a monthly basis. The owner was even gracious enough to help me out last year by purchasing A VERY LARGE QUANTITY of Stampendous buckets and selling them to me at a huge savings compared to the big box stores. She still made a profit but helped me get the supplies I needed to make some money myself.

I will say that I am guilty of making a lot of my purchases online, but when I do that, I try to support the small businesses that sell online, like www.AbsolutelyEverything.com and www.SimonSaysStamp.com. On the rare occasion that I go to any of the three big box stores in Columbia, which included Michael's, A.C. Moore, and JoAnn's, I use their coupons; but it drives me nuts to see or hear about someone who takes their entire family or neighborhood in, gives them each a coupon, and purchases dozens of items that way. To me, that is greedy and immoral; the point is NOT whether you can get away with it or not, it's whether or not it's the right thing to do. And I'll get off my soapbox now.

Lee Mae  – (November 15, 2011 at 4:04 PM)  

I haven't been to my local store in a few months, but, I will try to get in on Saturday. The store name is Scrapbook Zone. Here is their web listing: http://www.scrapbookzonewa.com/

They don't carry any rubber stamps, but they do have lots of Bazzil cardstock and great 12x12 paper. I agree that we should support our local stores! When I was involved in PTA, the local businesses were the ones to contribute to our fundraisers. They do impact our communities and deserve our business. Thanks for posting the reminder, Sandy.

Trish  – (November 15, 2011 at 4:19 PM)  

I love my LSS!! I was just there today and bought a 6x6 paper pad. My bestie and I are going there on Saturday for their Grey Saturday sale and prizes!! I can't wait. Here is their website: http://www.vipscrapbook.com/

usernamecomingsoon  – (November 15, 2011 at 4:31 PM)  
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Rachel Guerrero  – (November 15, 2011 at 4:33 PM)  

I'm on Long Island and all the local stores have already been driven out. The only crafting stores we have here are Michaels, AC Moore, and JoAnns. If I need to find anything else, its online shopping. It is too bad, though. I like the smaller businesses - much more personal than the high school students who don't know their cardstock from their vellum or their brads from their eyelets!

BJ  – (November 15, 2011 at 5:52 PM)  

We have a couple small stores that are still open within 30 min. drive. One is open on Wed. afternoons, SweetStamps.com and one that is in Flint that I like to go visit, Capture-A-Memory.com. I am planning on going to Capture-A-Memory's Black Friday sale. I got a ton of neat stuff there last year.

Anonymous –   – (November 15, 2011 at 6:03 PM)  

In Lodi, Calif, there's a great LSS called Memories for the Making (or MFTM when you're writing it quick). They hold card-making classes several times a month - which some friends and I try to attend together - and they are really known for some excellent Cricut (and Gypsy) classes. I think one time, I was the only Lodi resident there, everyone else had traveled from out of town. I have to admit I love browsing the yummy papers - and they are the only place I can find good flowers to use on cards. They also specialize in 12x12 scrapbook page kits - really cute! Those can be ordered online. Kudos to Teran the owner and her friendly staff for all their hard work! ~Joan

Yolanda  – (November 15, 2011 at 9:22 PM)  

Can't completely diss the big box stores. Joann's buttered OWH bread quite nicely with their Crafting for a Cause. And the brands they carry at Michael's etc, include one of our faves--Hero Arts. But your point is well made. Alas, too late for my town.

pennyd  – (November 16, 2011 at 7:38 AM)  

My wonderful LSS is Inspire Me in Auburn, ME (http://www.cherylhorton.typepad.com/

She is one of only 5 or 6 left in the state. She does sell on-line through her blog and offers unique items not found in ANY of the major chains; in fact, she carries a line of decoupage from England which she is the sole US distributor of!

What makes her store so special? She offers completely FREE classes! You provide the adhesive, she supplies everything else - I should know, I teach there. She is very generous to OWH, she has hosted parties and she gives me all the store samples to mail to our heroes.

I'll be there on Saturday, teching a Christmas card class - come on down!

Sybrina K  – (November 16, 2011 at 1:52 PM)  

Great, great post!

My new favorite LSS is Scrapbook Art in Lewis Center. This was the location of our fabulous OWH card-making party/Global Volunteer Day Event this past spring. Since SBA is about a 5 minute drive from work, I usually stop in once every week or two to pick up some beautiful paper, some adhesive, or a cute stamp. In addition to supporting OWH, the new owner Terri is kind enough to order things I spot online -- like the newest Bo Bunny paper pad -- so that I can stop and purchase them from her.

Sadly, a national massage chain forced another favorite LSS (Pizazz It in Pickerington, Ohio) to close earlier this year. Pizazz It was near and dear to my heart -- introducing me to OWH and card-making. The store had weathered the tough economic times and had turned the financial corner -- only to be turned out by a landlord seeing only dollar signs who wanted to rent the space to a higher bidder.

While I'm just as guilty as the next person of going to big box stores with my 40% off coupons to buy some bigger ticket items, I am a loyal customer of SBA!!!

Aundria B.  – (November 16, 2011 at 11:11 PM)  

Great post, Sandy - I shop the big box stores for bigger ticket items that I can get at 40% off but shop the smaller stores for everything else. Here are my local faves:

Pages From the Heart in Monrovia, CA http://pagesfromtheheart.blogspot.com/ They carry quality cardstock, basic grey 6x6 pads, Copics, and these stickers that look like dry embossed borders but you can color them in - so beautiful - and lots of other fun goodies and classes!

Hearts n Crafts in Covina, CA
http://www.hearts-n-craftsetc.com/ This is where I found out about OWH through attending a card-making event. They have lots of fun & pretty papers, great classes, and very friendly and helpful employees.

Scrap n Yap in Monrovia, CA http://scrap-n-yap.com/ Lots of Tim Holtz items, 7Gypsies, BoBunny papers, pens/markers and other embellies.

And last but definitely not the least is my new fave stamp store, Stamp Your Heart Out in Claremont, CA http://stampyourheart.com/ Lots of wonderful stamps, dies, papers, Bazzill cardstock, books, magazines and embellishments. They're all super friendly and helpful, have lots of demos, make & takes, and monthly swaps.

Yay for small businesses!!

Marion –   – (December 16, 2011 at 11:17 AM)  

Capture A Memory in Flint, Michigan.
http://www.capture-a-memory.com/Capture_A_Memory/Capture_A_Memory.html
My favorite place to shop. The friendliest and most talented crafters in the area. Their classes are great and they carry the most popular brands of supplies. For a nominal fee you can become a member and get regular discounts plus extra perks. They compete well with the big box stores in the area.

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