What makes a great scrapbooking store? As an instructor, I travel quite a bit and teach in a variety of venues but, when it all comes down to it, I love being in local stamping and scrapbooking stores the best. Our small stores are run by people who are passionate about paper and documenting those special memories and events. They are the ones who get giddy about new stickers and embellishments right along side you as you cruise down the aisles and, it is where folks go to be inspired and where innovation actually starts. I cannot tell you how many articles and projects have been thought up while visiting a local store. I am hoping to get loads of “nominations” from the readers of this blog telling me why they love their local store and why it is special to them.
Today I am introducing Kerri Kacanowski, owner of Maggie’s Scrapbooking in Clarkston Michigan.
1. Why did you start scrapbooking?
I started scrapbooking after my first child was born. I wanted to document my pregnancy and my kids early years. Now that we have four kids and I run the store, I have no time to scrapbook! Oh, the irony!
2. Why a store?
My sister in law and I would drive 30 plus miles to an independent scrapbook store to crop. It was too far – driving in the winter and late at night! Since there was nothing in our area (Clarkston) – Maggie’s Scrapbooking Company was born.
3. Service….what does it mean to you?
SERVICE MEANS EVERYTHING! If we provide helpful and friendly customer service – the customer will want to come back. Customer Service is everything! My girls will spend 30 plus minutes with a customer helping them out with a project – not even knowing if they will make a sale (yes, they are scrapbookers themselves). We honestly care about making memories last for our customers. We believe knowledgeable, trained, friendly and experienced staff members, are what make Maggie’s such a special place for our friends.
4. What supplies can you NOT live without?
For my store, we are constantly reordering themed patterned paper, cardstock, adhesives (tape runners and refills), paper flowers, tools such as punches and paper trimmers. Personally, I could not live without the CRICUT EXPRESSION!
5. Define scrapbooking?
Preserving memories – using your photos to tell a story and document events on your personal timeline. It’s about remembering your special moments in your own way.
6. What makes your store different?
This is one that I always have a hard time figuring out. I would say that Maggie’s is different in that we have a huge variety of patterned paper that you can’t find in big chain stores. We are different because we process and receive so many special order requests each week- most places won’t do special orders. We are also different because our store is larger than most independent stores, we have over 2700 square feet with a huge cropping area to accommodate up to 34 people at one time. I think we are different because each and every person here loves being here and cares about the people who walk in the front door. It is really humbling to have people trust you with helping them preserve their special moments.
7. What do you look for when making purchases for your store?
Is there a need? Will it sell? Is it reasonably priced? How many do I have to purchase? Is it something my customers will find interesting and useful? Is it something that will inspire?
8. When designing class projects, what inspires you?
I am inspired by so much. Right now, I love Altered albums – usually themed based around the theme of the month we have in the store. I like classes that teach new techniques and give my customers things they can build on later in their own ways.
9. The economy is bad, how do you evolve to stay in business. Why are local stores important?
I have purchased a web based shopping cart that ties into my point of sale system and provides on line shopping to bring all my great products to the world. Our website is www.maggiesscrapbooking.com . Locally, I have been promoting more coupons. We have biweekly savings where we honor competitor coupons twice a month – called Wacky Wednesdays. We will honor up to 40% on in stock items. We are also doing monthly specials – Freaky Fridays once a month where various items are on sale. We just started providing 4 FOR $1 cardstock. This has been a huge hit – with this every day low price, you can’t buy cardstock paper anywhere else 4 sheets for only $1! Great deal! We also provide customer rewards. For every $200 a customer spends, we give them a $10 in store credit.
Local scrapbook stores are important because they are all different! They are not a huge chain store that offers all the same lines of patterned paper and embellishments to scrapbookers. Chain stores don’t offer custom “Clarkston Wolves” patterned paper or “Brandon Blackhawk’s” patterned paper. Your local store provides you with a variety of unique products that you can’t find anywhere else – not to mention all the custom and special orders. Your local scrapbook store is also about supporting the community where you live. Your local scrapbook store gives your teenage daughter her first job where she makes spending money to pay for gas, saves money for college or saves money to buy her first car. Your local scrapbook store owner may be your neighbor who gives the neighborhood kids popsicles on hot summer days, and who knows the moms that come in the store because she sees them at local community events and grocery stores. Local scrapbook stores are important and unique because they care about community – where you live, where our kids are raised, and where these services are needed when birthdays, weddings, babies and holiday memories are made. I am a proud (yet in debt) scrapbook store owner of Maggie’s Scrapbooking Company in Clarkston, Michigan.
10. Something you want customers to know about Maggie’s.
Maggie’s is here for your birthdays, weddings, babies and holiday memories! Preserve them in scrapbook albums, make cards or invitations, create home decor with photos in picture frames! The possibilities are endless and we would love to help you see your creativity explode! Come see us soon! Mention this article and receive 15% off your entire purchase!
By sarah hodsdon