Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Supporting Independent Artists & Stores

After the Etsy Storque interview with Vanna White, 'special deal' with Lion Brand yarn, and subsequent fallout on the forums, I had to see what the fuss was about.

So, down to the local big box store I went, as the independent stores in my area don't carry Lion Brand. After checking out the yarn, I was not impressed. It's an inexpensive, lower end acrylic worsted weight yarn.

However, this trek got me thinking...

Why is it that we choose to support big box stores?

Personally, I prefer to go to a smaller, more specialized store even if costs more. I try to keep my dollars in the community. Unfortunately, the smaller stores don't always make that possible.

Recently, I was on the hunt for a 1 inch circle punch for some glass marble magnets I was planning to make. After stops at four different scrapbook stores (and a few other impulse purchases!), I ended up at the large hobby box store. I felt totally defeated!

This experience left me with the belief that the small independent stores will NOT have what I need, so why bother looking there? I can't believe that I'm the only one in a fairly large area that feels this way, either. Unfortunately, that is the setup for failure of a shop.


Krazy Kate Designs said...

Yep, it's just a fact that smaller independent stores can't afford the stock or the volume that big box stores can. That's why it's always great to put ESST into the tags on Etsy to see what's available from the wide range of supply sellers there. :)

Stephanie said...

I would love to open a brick and mortar store, but I feel defeated already by the "coupon mentality" of the big box craft stores. Drives me crazy, even though if people thought about they'd see that the "regular" price is set with the expectation of a coupon being used.

I also spent a long time looking for a 1" punch and ended up ordering one through an independent store, and waiting for a week. Worth it to me though, bc I'd much rather by from a person than a faceless company. I actually feel guilty when I go to JoAnn's or Micheal's...

I totally know what you mean.

faro said...

This is a wonderful read! Thanks so much for posting it!