Sunday, January 02, 2011

Death of a Scrapbook Store

Lonestar Scrapbooking was one of the largest independent stores in the Houston area -- located near the Woodlands community.  A perfect, planned community, filled with families creating happy memories.  A perfect location for a scrapbooking store...or so you would think.  The last time I was there, they had expanded their space to include yet more room for classes and events.  Their bus tours were legendary.  A day full of discount shopping at sister independent scrapbook stores with projects in each store.  A great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. 

The first scrapbooking classes I attended were at Lonestar Scrapbooking.  A couple of hours were all it took to complete a wonderful couple of pages.  I signed up for a quite a few classes in my early scrapbooking days -- seven years ago now. 

My workspace was a 4 foot table in the corner of our guest bedroom.  It was fun! But with a heavy work schedule, I found I never had the time to finish all the scrapbook pages I thought of creating.  I bought the papers, embellishments and supplies; but I never quite had the time to finish.  So I soon switched to card making and small paper crafting projects that only took an hour or so to complete.  And although it certainly didn't save my family any money, it was a hobby that helped me make friends outside of work -- something I hadn't had the time to do in the 10 years we lived in Houston.

But why did my favorite scrapbooking store close?  A victim of the 2008-2009 economy?  The opening of a large chain scrapbooking store across town?  A market change to electronic die cutting and printing tools?  On-demand YouTube-based video demonstrations on any stamping or scrapping technique you might want to learn?  Blogs filled with ideas?  Digital Scrapbooking with products like My Digital Studio? Or, perhaps, direct sales scrapbooking and rubber stamping companies like Stampin' Up! who are signing up 10,000 demonstrators a year with a far wider range of coordinated and complimentary products than all but the largest stores can compete with?  Whatever the reason, closing of the landmark Lonestar Scrapbooking store in the Houston area is a sad day. 

How about your area?  Is your favorite independent scrapbooking store doing well and growing?  Or are we seeing a trend?

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