On the Road: Exploring Our Local Scrapbook Stores-Arnie’s in Houghton Lake, MI & PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Arnie’s Arts ‘n’ Crafts

Interview with Robin Mester

1)  How many years have you been in business? How did your business get started?

Arnie’s has been open since 1975. We will celebrate our 40th anniversary in April of 2015.  The store originally started as a small art supply section in a hardware store in order to support the owner’s painting classes.  Shortly thereafter, crafts and yarn were added, and the store moved to a larger building.  In 1980, we moved to our current location at 3741 West Houghton Lake Drive.  What was originally a grocery store and strip mall has transformed into 40,000+ square feet of retail space with 3,500 square feet dedicated exclusively to scrapbooking and card making.

houghtonlakestore

In 2008, we added a beautiful “up north themed” full-service coffee shop that features hot and cold drinks, baked goods, and soup in the winter months.  Because this is centrally located within the store, our guests can use this as a mid-way point to stop for a drink, relax, and use our free wi-fi or watch television.

Arnie's coffee shop is a great place to relax in the middle of shopping your way through the huge store!

Arnie’s coffee shop is a great place to relax in the middle of shopping your way through the huge store!

Since our move to this location in 1980 we have added many specialty departments, products, and services, and today we are one of Michigan’s largest locally-owned craft stores.

2) What makes your store unique?

What makes Arnie’s Arts ‘n’ Crafts unique is our diversity of product and our wealth of customer service.  We are proud that many of our associates have worked here for 10 or more years.  They truly know their products and are willing to share that knowledge with our customers.  What also makes us unique is the fact that we are centrally located in Michigan and have become a destination location with tour busses stopping regularly.  People drive from all over Michigan and beyond to visit and once you are here, you quickly realize that we are a craft store and so much more!

We offer products and services such as custom framing, custom graphics, custom embroidery, engraving, and direct-to-garment printing.  Products include specialty yarns, beading and jewelry making, crafts, basket weaving, art supplies for the amateur to professional artist, clothing, and a large gift shop.  With regard to scrapbooking, we carry over 6,000 styles of scrapbook paper and a large selection of stamps, embellishments, adhesives, 3D die cuts, tools, totes, and much more.

Some of the paper at Arnie's.

Some of the paper at Arnie’s.

More paper at Arnie's!

More paper at Arnie’s!

Part of the HUGE scrapbooking section at Arnie's.

Part of the HUGE scrapbooking section at Arnie’s.

 

There is much to explore at Arnie's.

There is much to explore at Arnie’s.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

3) Do you offer classes, crops, weekend retreats & other events?

Arnie’s offers classes in scrapbooking, card making, knitting, paper crafting, watercolors, basket weaving, oil painting, and twig chair making.  We often conduct demonstrations for new products, tips and techniques.  We host scrapbooking / crafting retreats – typically in the fall – not only here in Houghton Lake, but also at Thunder Bay Resort in Hillman, and as far away as Mackinac Island.  This fall, we are proud to participate with Boyne Highlands as a vendor, and also teaching classes, for two weekends in October.

Arnie's retreats offer tons of time and space to create!

Arnie’s retreats offer tons of time and space to create!

The croppers have tons of fun at Arnie's scrapbook retreats!

The croppers have tons of fun at Arnie’s scrapbook retreats!

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have a large classroom that we rent for mini retreats.  Arnie’s has partnered with the Beachfront Hotel for discounted rates when booking our classroom.  This makes for a very inexpensive trip for a group looking for a get-away.  Being located on the largest inland lake in Michigan is a bonus!

 4) How do you promote your store?

The number one way we promote our business is through satisfied customers telling other people about their positive shopping experience with us.  Word-of-mouth advertising is paramount, but we also reach out through different media.  We have over 11,000 people on our mailing list who regularly receive email newsletters with store updates.  We have two websites:  arnies.com and basketpatterns.com.  Recently, we entered the world of social media with our Facebook page, where you can find information on new products, crafting tips and techniques, classes, events, sales, and even a recipe or two!  If you go to our website, www.arnies.com, we have an on-line Calendar of Events.  We also promote our store with TV commercials created in-house, newspaper ads, and flyers. You can also find our ad in Michigan Scrapbooker Magazine.

hall5

Arnie’s has many special events for customers to enjoy!

 

Pirate Day at Arnie's!

Pirate Day at Arnie’s!

 5) What is the biggest challenge that you face as an independent business owner?

The biggest obstacle we face is being located in a seasonal “tourist town.”  We are very busy in the summer months; however, when the kids go back to school and the fall leaves have fallen, we have to creatively find ways to draw people to us.  For example, we have a Holiday Sale in November that features 30% off storewide (with very few exclusions). This sale is a great opportunity for people to do their holiday shopping locally without fighting the crowds in the malls.  For many years, we were closed on Wednesdays.  In 2007, we began staying open seven days a week and we needed to find ways to get that message out so we started our “Wacky Wednesday Tote Bag Sale.”  Each Wednesday in February, customers are given a tote bag (which they get to keep with any purchase) and items that fit within that bag are discounted by 25%.  Our largest promotion of the year is our Anniversary Sale, where everything in the store is 30% off (again, with very few exclusions).  Customers also enjoy our Tent Sales, which take place for five days over Memorial Day weekend, the majority of the month of July, and again for five days at Labor Day.  Our large tent is filled with a diversity of product ranging from scrapbooking supplies and paper to clothing, giftware, garden items, crafting items, kids crafts, art supplies, yarn, and frames.  New items are added daily and the savings are tremendous.

Customers line up for the Kids Nation event.

6) Contact information:

Arnie’s Arts ‘n’ Crafts

3741 West Houghton Lake Drive

Houghton Lake, MI 48629

989.366.8794

www.arnies.com

www.basketpatterns.com

Like us on Facebook at Arnies Arts ‘n’ Crafts

Gina Karas is a traditional scrapbooker with a passion for photography. She work full-time as a Sales Assistant in the construction industry, but spends her spare time crafting with her mom and crazy friends! “Scrapbooking keeps me sane!” she says. See her projects and posts about scrapping & crafting on her blog, California Scrappin’.

NOW FOR THE PRIZE GIVEAWAY!

Arnie’s has generously donated a $100 gift certificate for one lucky winner!!  To be eligible for the random drawing you must COMMENT below about which picture in this post makes you want to visit Arnie’s. DEADLINE to enter: Monday, September 29th, at midnight!

BE SURE TO SIGN UP TO FOLLOW OUR BLOG! This way you won’t miss any of the future posts and contests coming soon. When you sign up we’ll send you a quick email with a short preview of the post to let you know something new is on the blog.

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Look Who’s Cropping Up!

LWCU-Otsego (3)

Scraptoberfest at Otsego Club and Resort, Gaylord, MI,-October, 2011

Front Row: Kim Feldmann, Karen Pendell, Jessica Dawson, Hilary Alpers, Dawn LaChance, Paula Copley.

Back Row: Sally Momany, Kay Jones, Amy Staszel, Adrienne Daniels, Nicole Petit, Donna Delmotte, Julie Krill, Helen Stanford, Staci Jones, Erica Cording, Kay Darden.

Would you like to see your cropping group’s photo here, in our print magazine or E-Newsletter?  Send your hi-resolution photo with the event name, date, and list of names to Editor@MichiganScrapbooker.com.

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On the Road: Exploring Our Local Scrapbook Stores-The Happy Scrapper in St. Clair Shores, MI & PRIZE GIVEAWAY

The Happy Scrapper

Interview with Marilyn Zalewski

1) How many years have you been in business? How did your business get started?

I taught classes for the previous owner. I never dreamed I would own a scrapbook store, but sometimes you can’t fight fate! I purchased The Happy Scrapper in April, 2012, so I have personally been in business for over 2 years. The previous owners were in business for over a year.

store front

2) What makes your store unique?

Customers tell me that I have the most comfy crop room around! Each station has an executive style chair, cutting mat, cup holder and trash receptacle. 10- by 4-foot tables provide 5- by 2-feet of space per cropper. Each station has a lamp and electrical outlets. A Keurig machine brews fresh coffee at the push of a button.

The Happy Scrapper crop room

The Happy Scrapper crop room

Scrappers have the use of two Cricut machines and a variety of cartridges. I also have a selection of stamps, punches, and idea books for use during crops. Shoppers get a stamp on their Happy Scrapper Rewards Card for every $25 they spend. When their card is full, they receive a $25 store credit!

I pride myself on customer service. If I don’t have something, I can usually get it for you within a few days. With no employees, you get the same smiling face every time… MINE!

The check out area at The Happy Scrapper

The check out area at The Happy Scrapper

I carry a lot of specialty papers that you can’t find in the big box stores, including local school paper and stickers. If you’d like personalized paper, I can get that for you too. Imagine how fun it will be to have your child’s name as the background of a page.

storeCardstock & ribbon

 

 

 

 

My prices are low and if I can buy something at a good price, I pass on the savings. Customers love “The Paper Room” where paper is just 3/$1 every day.

3) Do you offer classes, crops, weekend retreats and other events?

I have a large variety of classes including Scrapbooking 101 and a Sketch Layout Class. I have one or more cardmaking classes a month. Marker classes consist of Copic 101, Copic Club, KaiserFusion 101, and KaiserFusion Klub. Don’t forget the Mom & Kids classes and Kids’ Kamp during the Summer. My Cricut and Gypsy classes are scheduled as necessary. I welcome guest teachers and if someone has an idea for a project, we’ll give it a try.

One of my favorite events is the Scapbook Garage Sale which I host every other month. Ladies are in line waiting for the door to open for the greatest deals.

line up

The Happy Scrapper has a 14-hour crop every month. All meals, beverages, desserts, snacks and door prizes are included. A massage therapist often comes to our 14-hour crops and she is wonderful!

I do a lot of scrapbooking fundraisers. It’s a good way to give back to the community, while bringing my products to the customer.

 4) How do you promote your store?

The Happy Scrapper is on Facebook. Other effective ways we reach out are our email newsletters (sign-up on our website), in-store calendars, word of mouth, and of course Michigan Scrapbooker-they do an amazing job at supporting store owners. I also participate in voting contests like “Vote 4 the Best”, through Channel 4.

5) What is the biggest challenge that you face as an independent business owner?

Customers shopping at big box stores! It is frustrating for an independent retailer when a customer leaves their crop and returns with a bag of sale items from a big box store. Sometimes customers ask why all the independent stores are closing and this is a one huge reason. We host crops so that croppers will hopefully make purchases at OUR stores. My prices are very reasonable, but small stores can’t compete with big box volume sales of lower quality products. Please support independent businesses!

6) Contact information:

Marilyn Zalewski, Owner

The Happy Scrapper

28905 Harper Ave.

St. Clair Shores, MI 48081

South of 12 Mile, West side of Harper

Phone: (586) 778-8828

www.HappyScrapperShores.com

Facebook: The Happy Scrapper LLC

Email: HappyScrapper@wowway.com

Gina Karas is a traditional scrapbooker with a passion for photography. She work full-time as a Sales Assistant in the construction industry, but spends her spare time crafting with her mom and crazy friends! “Scrapbooking keeps me sane!” she says. See her projects and posts about scrapping & crafting on her blog, California Scrappin’

Now for the prize giveaway…

gift certificateThe Happy Scrapper has donated a $20 Gift Card for ONE lucky winner!!  To be eligible for the random drawing you must COMMENT below about why you would like to visit The Happy ScrapperDEADLINE to enter: Saturday, August 30th, at midnight!

BE SURE TO SIGN UP TO FOLLOW OUR BLOG! This way you won’t miss any of the future posts and contests coming soon. When you sign up we’ll send you a quick email with a short preview of the post to let you know something new is on the blog.

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