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Old 06-04-2006, 10:31 AM   #1  
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Default Are there stamping/scrapbooking stores local to you?

Beyond Michaels/ACMoore/Hobby Lobby, that is. I'm talking about a shop specializing in stamping (specifically) or papercrafts in general.

I live in a fairly metropolitan area, outside Philadelphia, and there are NO stamping stores here other than the big box chains mentioned above. I've recently rediscovered my love of stamping, and I'm toying with the idea of opening my own store.

What is scaring me off is the total lack of competition, LOL! There used to be a stamping store in the area, but it closed a year or two ago, I never knew it was there. There are a couple of small scrapbooking shops, also underadvertised, I think, but that's not really where I'm looking to go as a focus.

I guess I want to know if there's demand in the area for a stamping store, but I have no idea how to find the answer! I know whenever I go to ACMoore and browse the stamping aisle, I'm rarely alone. But as a SU demo, I've had a hard time finding customers. But is that because of the fact that I'm somewhat limited as far as advertising? If I had my own storefront, I could put display ads in the paper, radio ads, promote a website, etc.

Any thoughts?
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:46 AM   #2  
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Hi Jen,

I live in San Diego and I can think of 3 "stamp" stores around here. I go to my favorite one at least a couple times a month. That is in addition to the handful of scrapbooking stores (that are not Michael's/Hobby Lobby/ AC Moore).
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Old 06-04-2006, 10:50 AM   #3  
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I live in MD, between Baltimore and Wash., DC and besides the chain craft stores, there is a scrapbook/card store called Recollections. It is rather expensive but has lots of nice things you dont find at Michaels. They also have classes. I have noticed since they opened (maybe 2 yrs ago) that they seem to be carrying more card stamping supplies as well as scrapbooking. It is a very nice store.
PS: I grew up in lower Bucks Co. Is that near you?
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Old 06-04-2006, 11:05 AM   #4  
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I just moved in December from Perkasie, just north of Doylestown. There is a scrapbooking store in Quakertown called Memory Lane and I think another store in Hatfield. I had a lot of friends that do SU! back there and I think you would really hit the mark with a stamping store. I know nothing about small business but having just left that area I know there is a need. There's a need where I am now too! Only Michaels and the smallest Joann's I've ever been in!
Good luck I hope you can make it work!
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Old 06-04-2006, 11:24 AM   #5  
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I'm in Montgomery county, Norristown area. Quakertown is quite a haul for me. There's Scrapbooks N Smiles in E. Norriton, but they don't really carry any stamps. I've also heard of Stacie & Gracie's, I think it's in Roslyn? I've heard it's really small, all scrapbooking.

Even Michaels and ACMoore are 25 minute trips for me, not really close. But then again, in suburbia, everything is 20-25 minutes away with the way traffic is!

So I need to think on location too. Ambler is cute and funky, but I don't know that there's really enough foot traffic there. Norristown has plenty of strip malls with openings, but I'm sure they're uber-expensive as far as rent. I do not want to go into Philadelphia, for both tax and rent reasons. Manayunk and Chestnut Hill would be great locations, but too rich for my blood. Norristown is getting downright scary, and there's not really a "town center" in King of Prussia.

Ahhh, so much to think about!
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Old 06-04-2006, 11:48 AM   #6  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Rose0165
I live in MD, between Baltimore and Wash., DC and besides the chain craft stores, there is a scrapbook/card store called Recollections. It is rather expensive but has lots of nice things you dont find at Michaels. They also have classes. I have noticed since they opened (maybe 2 yrs ago) that they seem to be carrying more card stamping supplies as well as scrapbooking. It is a very nice store.
PS: I grew up in lower Bucks Co. Is that near you?
Recollections is run by the same parent company as Michael's, so that's why they have different things

We had 4 stamping/scrapbooking stores. 1 closed about 6 months ago, 1 stamp store closed the beginning of this year, the scrapbook store that was affilated with the stamp store is in the process of closing, one is so far out of the way that no one knows it's there (plus she never carries anything new), so that leaves us with 1 scrapbook store. It's really nice, but it more scrapbook than stamping.

I think it's a very hard market to have a store in. You can't be at all competitive with the Michael's. AC Moores JoAnns etc... They buy in such bulk that they can offer better price than the little guys could ever think about.

If you opened a stamping store, you'd have to give up being a SU demo. It's one or the other, SU won't let you do both.
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Old 06-04-2006, 11:54 AM   #7  
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There's a stamping store in New Castle, Delaware--just a few miles off Rte. 95--about 35 minutes south of center city Philadelphia. It's called White Swan Rubber Stamps--they have a website.
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Old 06-04-2006, 12:21 PM   #8  
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Quote:

Originally Posted by laurakj
I think it's a very hard market to have a store in. You can't be at all competitive with the Michael's. AC Moores JoAnns etc... They buy in such bulk that they can offer better price than the little guys could ever think about.

If you opened a stamping store, you'd have to give up being a SU demo. It's one or the other, SU won't let you do both.
I would definitely send in my resignation if I opened the store, or even moved past the initial planning stages seriously.

I am afraid that it's a hard market. It sounds as if some stores in other parts of the country are thriving, the Mid-Atlantic area seems to be a tougher market.

I do have 5 years of retail managment experience in stationery, a somewhat related field. I sold Anna Griffin's papers back when she was just starting out, affiliated with Crane's.

I think what kills a lot of smaller shops is that the owners treat them like a hobby. The one store in Ardmore that closed last year, I went by three times. all at times posted as business hours on her sign, and she was never open!

I'm not looking to haul home the big bucks. We don't need the income, so that wouldn't be an issue. And I do have means to finance this operation pretty well.

If only I had a crystal ball!
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Old 06-04-2006, 12:29 PM   #9  
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I LOVE Recollections, there is one near my house. I enjoy the back room where they give you space to work when they aren't having a crop night. You can also use their die-cuts. I don't really buy a lot there, b/c then I couldn't buy the SU stuff I want to buy. I've taken a class or two and browse their sale tables. They have big crops quite frequently.

There is store called Stamp Asylum near me. It is exclusively stamps and stamping. They have classes, but I've never taken one since they tend to be on the pricey end. Lots of stamps and I've been behind people at the register who were buying several hundred dollars worth at a time, but I mostly buy stamps of local interest there and EP and ink refills for StazOn.

I've thought it would be fun to have a store like one of the Paint-n-Pottery type stores, where you pay a fee to sit and stamp with someone else's stuff.

Any small storefront is going to be labor-intensive, so if you don't want to spend almost all of your time there...you'll have to be a really good business manager and spend some money on good employees. People will have time to stamp on the weekends and nights.
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Old 06-04-2006, 03:42 PM   #10  
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I have a stamp/scrap book store that is close to my house. I stop in there quite often b/c she carries very unique items and listens to her customers on things they are looking for. If she doesn't have it chances are she will find it for you with her next order. If you open a store I would make sure to have classes to teach different techniques. Also have contests such as best embossing technique card and give away an embossing gift bag. Our store does stuff like that and I love to get in on it. Fun plus I like to see all the other cards that entered. She will display them around her store for the month and then the winner gets the honor being framed above the cash register for the next month with the winner's name. Plus winning the prize of course. She also has a Sizzix machine there and lets us cut our own things and only charges us for the paper. Lots of little perks like that plus a nice work space bring customers in.
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Old 06-04-2006, 08:21 PM   #11  
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I live in Greaterford(near collegeville) and there isn't anything close to me. Have to go to East Norriton, Hatfield and another scrapbook store in Boyertown. I would love to see a store for stampers. Montgomeryville is a good area, also Lansdale. Good luck with your decision.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:29 AM   #12  
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There are a few stores around my area where they sells stamps, accessories, and tons of cardstocks and papers. The quality and paper selection is actually good (better than at Michael's/Jo Ann); but I'd say they're very popular among local artists and brides-to-be who are designing and making their own invites. What they're looking for as well, is to make their own personal stamp (say with their monograms or some sort of emblem/logo) to emboss themselves. I've noticed that the stores are being recommended quite quickly among those customers.

There's another scrapbook store that I keep hearing about and I love the papers there. I know it's been in the business for a few years already, so I assume they're doing well so far... They offer classes, and I've seen coupons in the newspapers once in a while.
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Old 07-22-2006, 01:34 AM   #13  
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And oh, ignore my grammar/spelling mistakes... Couldn't edit and fix them...
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Old 07-22-2006, 04:09 AM   #14  
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There are two in Fairfax/Loudoun counties in Northern Va. They're both about 15 minutes away from my house, though in opposite directions.
In Reston there is Angela's Happy Stamper http://www.ahappystamper.com/ which is very child-friendly and caters a little more to the "silly" side of stamping. They carry a lot of Amuse and other more "cute" stamps and have a kids' area where they can play whle you shop.
In Purcellville there is Cami's Paperie http://www.camispaperie.com/ which is more for serious paper crafting. They do lots of classes for things like book-binding and ATCs and carry selections more aimed at the artistic stamper. They have no place for kids to play.
Both are great, but they are very different in feel. They do have a fair amount of overlap as far as the companies they carry. I wind up going to Angela's more just because they have somewhere for my dd to play while I shop, even though I'd rather spend $ at Cami's because she has a punch card. (Spend like $300 and get $20 to spend.) I'd be willing to bet the owners of both of these stores would be willing to talk with you, either on the phone or via e-mail, about the process of getting started as stamp store owners and what they each wish they'd done differently.
Hope that helps!
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Old 07-24-2006, 06:26 AM   #15  
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In Chicago - Stampology, 5031 N. Harlem.

Wonderful store and staff. Good classes and stamp inventory.
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