Small Town Crafting

Living in a small town has it's ups and downs. It is so nice to know that you can get anywhere in town in under 15 minutes. You can leave your car running in your driveway on a cold winter morning, and it will still be there when you're ready to leave the house. There's also a strong sense of community and friendship among neighbors.

Unfortunately, the downsides include limited shopping venues. Most of my crafting materials are purchased online or in another city. I almost always have a running list of items I need to pick up the next time I have access to a large craft store. But that's not to say my little town is useless. There are a few stores that have unique charm and service that the big chains just can't compete with.

This is the Christmas corner of my local scrapbook supply store. The owners built a little mini roof awning complete with Christmas lights. And how cute is that old-school sled? See the white fabric stretched across the ceiling? That's a parachute! This store used to be an automotive shop. They repurposed the area and stretched a giant white parachute across the ceiling to cover the open beam construction. How cool is that?

The Halloween section is one of my favorite areas. The woman who runs the shop always gives the most unique touches to her store. I love that they have the products organized by theme and holiday. They don't always have the biggest selection, and their prices are sometimes higher than big chain stores, but I love supporting my local providers. I can honestly spend hours wandering the tiny store and chatting with the owner. You can bring in any project and use their die cuts and tools for free. They are always willing to give you a demonstration or teach you new techniques for free. That's the kind of service you can't beat.

Another local treasure for the crafter's heart is the quilt shop.

They have everything under the sun for a quilter, but you can also find materials for other sewing projects. Their fabrics are high quality and gorgeous! I could spend hours just adoring each and every fabulous fabric. Look at these fantastic patterns!

Maybe they are in a small town, but this store is packed full of possibilities. The combined years of experience between the old ladies working there can't be beat. You have a question? They will know the answer! And they create lasting friendships. While I was in the store the other day I heard at least four different women discussing their quilting projects and their families with the shop owners. These women might run a tiny town shop, but they are obviously making a big difference.

So, maybe I can't just run across town to a Michael's or a Joann's whenever an idea strikes me, but I wouldn't trade my local craft shops. (I'm sure my wallet is thankful I don't have access to Michael's $1 bin all the time!) There is a crafting community very much alive right here where I am. I just need to take the time to explore it more.

How about you? Have you explored your local craft options, or do you just stick with the big basics like Michael's and Hobby Lobby? Let me know in the comments below!

- - Happy Crafting! - -


Lee said...

This is an absolutely awesome post! I don't do much crafting (unless it is electronic I get confused) but wow, your enthusiasm and admiration of this store and its owners makes me want to visit it. I think too many people forget the customer service part and that the higher prices are made up for in so many other ways. Oh, and the parachute for a roof...AWESOME!! I want a parachute roof!! :D :D

Katie said...

I'm envious of that adorable quilting shop! We don't really have many options other than Michaels and AC Moore here around DC! Fabric's the worst to try to find. We have a big fabric store in the area that has two locations, but it can be a little overwhelmin. And there's a small yarn shop that I like, but that's about it. I can't wait to have more local options when I move to Burlington.

Andrea @Oasis Accents said...

I can totally relate to the small town dilemma. I'm 45-50 minutes from Hobby Lobby, Michael's or Joann's. I do have a Pat Catan's which has a very wide variety of products (maybe not always the best prices). I honestly find good portion of my crafting supplies at yard sales and thrift stores. But you do remind me to check out the quilt shop even though I'm not a quilter. Thanks =)

2littlehooligans said...

fun post!! our local craft shop doesnt carry much and certainly not the heirloom collection (heart by the way). but i have scored some major deals when be and she is always a huge help and there to answer any questions. that is priceless in my book. and i am secretly hoping someday i buy that little shop from her and turn it into mine, with more modern fabrics and such:) i just hope that i can have 1/2 her sewing knowledge.