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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On the Road: Exploring Our Local Scrapbook Stores-Scrapbooks Galore & More in Midland, MI & PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Scrapbooks Galore & More

Interview with Carol Arnosky, Owner

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

We opened the store on September 1, 2006, and this year we are celebrating our eight year anniversary.  Three years ago, we moved to a larger location in Bell Plaza in Midland and we love it here!  We have almost 3,600 square feet full of great paper crafting goodies, as well as antiques and eclectic collectibles – all dedicated to helping to preserve memories!  I purchased an existing scrapbook store that had been in business for six years.  So, in effect, Midland has had a local scrapbook store for over 14 years. We are fortunate to have wonderful customers who live in mid-Michigan, and we are also right next to US10, so many people stop in on their way up north.  We especially love those who make a special trip to come to our store, having read about us in Michigan Scrapbooker, found us on the internet, or participated in a Michigan Passport Shop Hop.   store front

  2) What makes your store unique?

We have several unique features in our store – not only do we try to carry the latest and greatest in scrapbooking & card making products, we also are happy to do special orders for stamp, dies, tools or almost anything that is desired.  We have a “Paperless Punch Program” where our customers do not need to carry a punch card. Their totals accumulate in our POS, on the computer, and when they reach a certain amount, they receive a $10 coupon.  Fabulous Fridays & Super Saturdays, which are held once a month, are big sale days that our customers enjoy.  We also have a “Stamp Swap” wall where customers bring in new and gently used stamps for resale. Recently, we have been carrying antiques and what we call “eclectic collectibles”, which has brought in new customers and lots of fun items.  We feel that the antiques and scrapbooking go well together because they are both about “preserving memories” – one on paper and the other in the home.

cardstock wall

Cardstock wall

antique for MISB

Antique area

 

 

 

 

whole store

View of the whole store

 Scrapper, our store cat, welcomes shoppers and is very popular with our younger customers who come to pet him and find him when he is taking one of his numerous naps in secretive places.

scrapper misb mag

Scrapper

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

We offer many types of classes, including card making, stamping (basic and advanced), eClips and Cricut, Copic markers, altered projects and others.  Our crop and class rooms are approx 1200 sq feet, and we are able to increase that size as necessary with our movable fixtures.  We have “Free Crop” Monday thru Thursday, and a 10-12 hour crop every Friday and every other Saturday, as well as a potluck crop at the end of each month.  We also hold fundraising crops throughout the year. Our quarterly customer garage sale is always a huge hit – both for sellers and buyers.  “One Scrapper’s Trash is Another Scrapper’s Treasure”.

gsale for misb (2)

Quarterly Garage Sale

 4) How do you promote your store?

We have a distribution list of almost 4,000 customers, and we send out our Monday Musings every Monday.  This is an email that lists What’s New, What’s Happening, and usually includes our sales or a coupon.  We always include a picture of our store cat, Scrapper.

We advertise in Michigan Scrapbooker magazine. Also, we have over 2,200 Facebook fans and we promote our sales, events & fun postings on Facebook.

We join with the other businesses in our Bell Plaza to celebrate Summer Sidewalk Sales, Christmas Specials, and we have had Bell Plaza Block Parties too!  We feel it is always a good idea to combine with other locally owned businesses to promote each other.

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

Ideally, we would like to be able to provide everything that a customer wants or needs.  Unfortunately it is not possible to carry everything in the scrapbooking/stamping world.  We are very happy to place special orders that arrive within a few days, but sometimes the need is urgent, and sadly, we are not able to satisfy the customer.  We love to provide personal service to our customers, through special orders, supplies, ideas & more, and we appreciate that they come to us for their “Scrapbooking Therapy,” and even call us their “Happy Place”.  We strive on a daily basis to keep it that way!  :)

 6) Contact info:

Scrapbooks Galore & More

301 East Wackerly Street

Midland, MI  48642

Phone: 989-835-5577

www.ScrapbooksGaloreMI.com

We are also on Facebook and Pinterest.

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….

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Scrapbooks Galore & More has donated a $20 Gift Card for ONE lucky winner!!  To be eligible for the random drawing you must COMMENT below about what you found most interesting in this interview about Scrapbooks Galore & More. DEADLINE to enter: Friday, August 8th, at midnight!

 

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How in the World Do I Pack For a Crop or Retreat?

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By, Gina Karas

If you’re anything like me, you love to attend crops and retreats. The dedicated time to work on your projects is just what you need. The date is on the calendar and you’ve talked about it for weeks with your friends. But, the week before has arrived and panic has set in. How in the world do I pack for this event? What do I take with me? How much is too much? What if I forget something? Lions and tigers and bears…OH MY!!

Take a deep breath. You can do this. Over the years, I’ve attended many crops and retreats and I go through certain steps to prepare myself. Here are a few tips that you can use to make getting ready easy and fun:

1)      Decide what you want to work on while you’re at the event. Don’t worry about getting anything together yet. Just make the decision on what you’re trying to accomplish with that dedicated time. Is it page layouts, cards, mini-albums, paper crafts, home décor, etc?

2)      Go through your projects and see if you already have some unfinished ones that you can finish up. I tend to do this for the “instant gratification” factor. If I start off by finishing an unfinished project, then it gets me into the creative mood and I already have a completed project under my belt. It is very satisfying to finish something that is incomplete and helps stop the negative self-talk. Then I can tackle a new project with motivation & inspiration flowing.

3)      If you’re going to be working on layouts, be sure that you have your photos picked out, organized and printed. I see so many scrappers spending time at crops or retreats going through photos. As a time saver, I do this ahead of time and put the photos that I’ll be scrapping either into plastic sleeves to be paired up with paper/embellishments later or into my photo tote. As a reminder, I put a Post-It Note on the front of the photo pile to let me know the event, date, place & any other important details to be used in the journaling. You can gather what you will need for each layout and put supplies into big zip-lop bags or pile them into 12 by 12 boxes. NOTE: Our Editor, Carrie, does this in front of the TV and it works great!

4)      Once you’ve decided on the type of projects that you’ll be working on, then you can start gathering your supplies. If you already have kits purchased for your projects, put those next to your tote/bag. If you’re going to be gathering supplies from your stash, decide on your color scheme first to help narrow down what you need.

5)      Always check your adhesive supply! This is the most important tip, especially if you’re in a remote location away from any nearby stores. Be sure that you have enough of both wet & dry adhesive.

6)      Once you’ve packed your photos, supplies & adhesive, don’t forget about your own comfort! I always have comfy socks/slippers to keep my feet warm or flip flops to let my feet cool off. Always bring a light sweater or jacket to be prepared for any changes in room temperature. I always bring my cup holder to keep my plastic tumbler off of the scrapping table. The plastic tumbler cups with the screw on lids and hard plastic straws are the best. Check with your hostess to see what snacks & drinks will be provided, so that you can be prepared with your own stash too.

7)      How much is too much to bring? What if I forgot something? These are the biggest panic questions of them all. I bring enough to keep me busy, but not too much to look like I’m moving in for the weekend! I usually have my rolling tote with all of my kits, cardstock, Thickers & paper trimmer. I have two plastic cases that hold my bling, inks, stains & embellishments. Those fit into a square tote that also holds my cup and drink holder. Then, I have my tool kit with all the basics: ATG gun, foam dots of all sizes, glue dots of all sizes, journaling pens, scissors, ruler, paper piercer, Glossy Accents, Crafty Tape, tweezers, Xacto knife, Crop-A-Dile, corner rounder, Tiny Attacher and a few other odds & ends. If I forget something, I always remember that I’m surrounded by crafters. Don’t be afraid to ask your fellow crafter. She probably has what you forgot. I have never been let down yet when I ask.

8)      Once you’re packed up and ready to hit the road, don’t forget about getting there safely. Be sure that you have directions to and from your destination. Take off with a full tank of gas, in case you get lost. Be sure that your cell phone is charged or charge it in the car on the way. You’d be surprised how many of us forget the little things when we’re worried about what to pack.

9)      Put on your favorite scrapbooking t-shirt, take a deep breath and exhale.

10)   HAVE FUN!!!!

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’.

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