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 12×12 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!