This month on the blog, the team is highlighting small businesses in our crafty world. I’m lucky to live in a large suburban city on the outskirts of a large urban hub. Because of this I have plenty of options when it comes to small businesses that specialize in creative supplies. I want to give a quick shout out to my local craft stores, in order of smallest to largest:
- Paper Parachute (mixed media supplies)
- Whimzee’s Scrapbook Studio
- Craft Warehouse
These stores have all found some level of online sales during the pandemic. That makes supporting smaller businesses easier for all of us. If you don’t have any small scrappy businesses near you, you can try mine. OR… I’d encourage you to find a small business near a crafty friend and help support THAT store. That way you know you are helping to keep the little guys around for your friend’s sake. (I also encourage you to do a web search for something along the lines of “craft store near me”. You may be surprised at the resources available to you.)
Why all this talk about small businesses anyway? I like to support my local stores for a wide variety of reasons.
- A more eclectic selection
- Knowing I’m supporting a family in my community
- An option to run out and pick up that specific item I need
- Getting to know other creatives in my area
- More personalized service
- No shipping costs!!
I’m sure there are reasons I missed, but that is a good list in and of itself. Now don’t get me wrong, I shop at the big places too. Sometimes the “deals” and the convenience get me in there. But I alway wonder if those “deals” don’t come at another cost: the exact same products in all those stores, and workers making low wages for doing a job they don’t have any personal investment in because they are only there for the paycheck.
I have other complaints, but this isn’t about my soapbox! Instead, this is about finding and supporting smaller businesses who can bring us the crafty items we are looking for. Along those lines, I want to recommend one family owned business that I have been using for about a year now: The Paper Crew. (While they aren’t near my town, they are in my state and that is a plus in this competitive online shopping world!)
Right now the store is run through a Facebook group. This method has a few advantages. It allows shoppers to see what is in stock in photo albums. Plus, customers can get in on a large selection of supplies for preorder at a slight discount. One of my favorite bits about buying from this online small business is that you have the option to hold all of your orders until your shipping box is packed full. That saves you the expense of paying shipping over and over again each time you need to order something online!
That is it from me this month. Before you go, don’t forget that last month we had some surprising tips for you, so be sure to check out Nikki’s and Alison’s posts on interesting ways to improve your crafty life.
Speaking of Alison, she is a co-owner of her own small crafty business located near Vancouver BC in Canada. Be sure to help support our ScrapHappy family member by visiting Ladner Village Arts & Crafts.
I hope I’ve given you plenty to think about in supporting small businesses, as well as a few options you could try. Tell us about your favorite small biz so we can keep the crafty love going.