I'm a heavy duty scrapbook shopper. Heavy duty in that I'm a gadget geek and I'm a super-comparison shopper. I must know who has the best prices, the best reviews, the most reasonable shipping rates, etc. before I make a purchase.
All that being said, I recently married and moved and had to seek out new scrapbook shops for my hauls in the clear lake suburb of Houston and I've been exploring some of the local scrapbook stores. A lot of the LSS around have closed or are a bit too far for me to drive. One of the biggest in the area that I found right before I moved here closed before I ever had a chance to stop by. There is one nearby that I occasionally visit. It carries a wide range of products, however most of them are not my style and the selection can be pretty limited. I've talked to the owner and she has indicated that she'd be willing to order anything that I would want and that is impeccable customer service which is why I continue to frequent her shop.
However, my local Hobby Lobby is amaz-balls. They have a huge variety of popular scrabooking items, alterables, markers, paints, open-stock card stock, and more. I visited them often this past week when I was off work for Spring Break. I picked up a few things. *grin
While I was there I snapped a few pictures of the awesome selection and a few of the items they kept in-stock that I was really impressed with.....
All types of containers for storage and altering.
Stock of paper pads.
Open stock of card stock. Holy paper batman!
Good selection of Thickers!
Wide array of binding materials. Bind-it-All and Cinch in stock.
A pretty good selection of Tim Holtz & Ranger products. And a Vagabond. (The box is empty and just for show. They keep them in the back).
Hello Grand Caliber & Spellbinders!
Now I've been a Hobby Lobby shopper for a long time. Michaels too. My old Michaels was much better that my new Michaels. Although they seem to be about the same size the selection is a bit different and not their section of in-stock items don't get refreshed as often. I still visit Michaels for a few things. My new Michaels is literally two blocks from my new apartment. So for the convenience of it I do visit there quite often. (yes, when I shop it's a visit...lol)Right next door to my new Michaels is Aaron Brothers. I had never shopped at Aaron Brothers until I moved here. They carry a great selection of mixed media supplies and a much larger selection of Ranger products as well.
My other favorite shopping haunts are Tuesday Morning, Big Lots, Marshalls, and Ross which are all about 3-7 minutes from my apartment.
You might be thinking Ross, Marshall's? Those are discount clothing stores. Yes, yes they are. And they occasionally have great deals of scrapbook products in their stationary section. Don't skip that section. Oh and don't skip the shoe section either!
Oh and don't forget your local thrift store. I must say my Goodwill is awesome. They had a large selection of older Stampin' Up! stamps the other day. I only bought one large Ampersand stamp for obvious reasons. :-)
I know, I know. I have no idea what we were thinking when we moved here. There is a major mall about 4 blocks from my house as well. And we're finally getting an H&M at "my" mall this year. It's the first one in Houston. Yippie! I digress.
I wish we had more Local Scrapbook Stores around that I could frequent and meet some crafty friends but much like many independently owned scrapbook stores around the country it's quite hard to compete with the big box stores and their weekly 40-50% coupons. I know I will not buy anything from the big box stores without a coupon. I don't even step foot in the store without one.
It because of this that I tend to support online scrapbook stores where they are family owned and carry the products that match my style. And I'm still looking for my LSS in Houston, TX. If you know of one please link me up in the comments.