On the Road: Exploring Our Local Scrapbook Stores-Haveman Hardware in Fremont, MI & PRIZE GIVEAWAY

Haveman Hardware

Interview with Diane Stehouwer, Owner.

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

Our store opened in 1934. My grandfather was not a successful farmer, so he thought he would try the hardware business. My father was a teenager then and worked right into the business. After serving in WWII, he got married and then bought the store. I started working here when I was in second grade. When I asked my mom why I always had to clean the bottom shelves, she said that I was closer to them. I went off to college and taught school for six years. In 1981, my husband needed a job and my dad needed an employee, so we moved back to Fremont and bought the store in 1986. The store had a housewares and gift department for as long as I could remember. As I started going to the gift shows by myself, I found a little display of Hero Arts rubber stamps. That was in 1990–25 years ago! Bob kind of laughed at the idea, but they really sold well. At the next show I discovered heat embossing and bought PSX stamps. My customers started asking for acid free paper and stickers. Out went the gift department and the rest is history.

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You’ll be surprised when you see the huge selection of scrapping supplies just beyond these wheelbarrows!

I would say that the paper craft department is about 25% of the total sales in the store. I work full-time and I have two wonderful part-time employees up front with me. Sometimes the hardware supports me and sometimes I support the hardware. I don’t think I would still be in business if I was not partnered with my husband. Sharing the costs has been very important to us.

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Learn a new technique, or be inspired by a sample project. Paper crafting YouTube videos play all day in the cropping area.

 

2) What makes your store unique?

Haveman True Value Hardware is not just any old hardware store. This one has a paper craft department!  I am frequently asked by out-of-town customers if their True Value store back home has a paper craft department also. I have to disappoint them and tell them that theirs will not. Ours is a Ma and Pa store–I am Ma and Bob is Pa– so I can do whatever I want! We are located in downtown Fremont, a small community off the beaten track in west Michigan, about 50 miles north of Grand Rapids. People drive hundreds of miles just to visit this store.  Close by, you will find great clothing stores, coffee shops and restaurants. There is even a car dealership nearby. If your husband gets tired of looking at hardware, he can go look at cars. Being a hardware store, we also open very early in the morning.  Most craft stores do not open at 7:30 AM Monday through Saturday, but we do.  The girls may not be here until 8:30 or 9, but you may still shop earlier. Since we are a hardware store, we have unique products that card makers and scrappers like to use: foil tape, adhesives, wood veneer, rope, nuts and washers for men’s cards and pages.  Look around and be creative! In the store we also have free popcorn, coffee, cookies and Tootsie Rolls.  There are chairs for the men and kids to sit in either up front or in the back with the guys.  Those amenities usually keep everyone happy for quite a while. We also sell pop, cappuccino and candy bars. And … we have cute shopping carts! True Value offers a rewards card that is good for the entire store.  If you need to pay for a mower repair or buy house paint and need some paper and rubber stamps, it all applies on the card, helping you get to your reward sooner.

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Scrap n’ Snack!

One thing I am known for is my huge selection of Memory Box dies. I also have dies from many other companies and am willing to special order as many as I can. A service I have provided for nearly 15 years is free use of my Accu-cut machines.  I have numerous dies including alphabets and fun little boxes that you can choose from. If you buy my paper, you may cut it for free. There are special needs high school students who come in weekly to cut out the things their classroom needs for their scrapbooks, handmade cards or party decorations. You will frequently see the Amish in here also; they like to cut out letters so they can put verses on their doors or walls. The Amish are great card makers as well.

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Buy paper at Haveman Hardware and cut it for FREE using a huge selection of die-cuts.

Haveman Hardware has been featured on television and in hardware trade magazines several times because of our unique combination of products for both men and women. A customer came in one time, stopped and looked around and then she said, “Now I know why my husband never wanted me to come along to the hardware store.” I also have a large flat screen television which plays You Tube videos all day. There is a large SALE department too; I like to keep my stock “fresh”.  If something does not sell, I move it out so that I can have something new. New product arrives every single week and my girls are constantly moving things around and freshening up the department. They love to do it, and it is necessary because of all the new products coming in. If you don’t see what you want, we will special order it if possible. Great service is our pride and joy!

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

I have no classes, crops or weekend retreats. There was a time when I had it all! Times have changed for me, and many of my customers come from so far away. Now I have something better! For my customer’s convenience, I will give free advice, lessons and demonstrations all day, every day. You do not have to pay and come back at some later date to learn about a technique.  I will tell you how the card was made, demonstrate a tool and let you take pictures of our many samples–all of this is at no charge. I have two tables in a brightly lit area up front in the craft department, with no charge to use those either (just make reservations). You may bring in your own supplies. I have an “Honor System” to record the papers and such that you use while here, then we just check you out in one easy transaction. If you want to organize a group of 3-4 friends, tell me what you want to learn and choose a time convenient to us all, and I will be HAPPY to do a class for you. Women have had little birthday parties this way and then have lunch downtown too.

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Shop the wide selection of ever-changing scrapbooking and card making products at Haveman Hardware.

 

4) How do you promote your store?

I have a Haveman Hardware Facebook account and hundreds of email addresses of customers to whom I send information about new products, events, specials and samples. Let me know if you would like to be on this list. Email is my communication of choice because it is fast and free. When you visit my website, you will notice the tan tabs located under the red tabs. I have added the tan tabs to make this website unique to Haveman Hardware. Just hover over a tan tab and then click on what you want to check out in the topics that appear below. You may check out any of the hardware tabs as well, we just all know that the craft department is the most fun!! The other best advertising I have is in Michigan Scrapbooker. Look for me on the Michigan map!

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

It is the internet that is my friend and foe. E-Bay and Amazon really hurt. What bothers me is when someone buys something there and comes to me for advice. If you buy something from me, and I know the answer, I will smother you with plenty of free help and advice. Our day is much more fun if we are working or playing with you! The big box stores are not really a problem as they cannot change their assortment as quickly as I can.  I do not mark prices up so that I can offer you a coupon later as some of them do.

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True Value carts are the perfect size to load up your next scrapbooking haul.

 

6) Contact information:

Haveman True Value Hardware
29 W Main
Fremont MI 49412 
Phone: 231-924-3320
Fax: 231-924-5829

Website:  truevalue.com/havemanhardware
Facebook: Haveman True Value Hardware
Email:  havemanhardware@gmail.com

Monday – Thursday 7:30 till 6
Friday 7:30 till 7
Saturday 7:30 till 5
Closed Sunday

                                                                                                                              

Gina Karas, our guest blogger, is a traditional scrapbooker with a passion for photography. She works 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!

Haveman Hardware has generously donated a $20 gift card for one lucky winner to use in their store! To be entered in the random drawing you must COMMENT below about what you would love to buy at Haveman Hardware with the gift card! DEADLINE to enter: Monday, May 11th (5/11/15), at Noon!

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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Reader Spotlight: Crop Room Inspiration

Michigan Scrapbooker reader Rene Wahl lets us take a peek into her newly renovated scrapbooking room. We’re inspired by Rene’s stylish, affordable, and creative ideas! Can you see using some of her tips in your own home?

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My room is big enough that I can put a six-foot table in it. If I have a couple of friends over to crop, we don’t have to go far for any supplies and of course you need a TV while you work so miss any of your favorite shows. The vinyl clings on the wall were made by a friend of mine (and he does sell them for anyone interested!).

 

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My husband made my desk out of a slab of granite and he designed the legs and base.

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My framed artwork is my son’s from when he was a toddler in daycare.

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My paper organizer was made by my husband out of horizontal book cases from Lowe’s

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The small jars have my brads, eyelets and gems organized by theme, the medium jars have my buttons organized by color and the large jars have ribbons organized by color.

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The middle organizer on my wall came from Michael’s, the glass door cabinets came from Target (only $60 each) and then my husband added the extra washi tape holders (as you can see I have a ton of it) with clearance curtain rods from Lowe’s. The tall cabinets came from Target as well.

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The cubical case that holds my photo boxes (only 2 actually have photos in them, the rest are labeled with it’d contents…embellishments, stickers, stamps, die cuts, etc). My husband added the extra washi tape holder to this case as well.

What do you think of Rene’s new scrapbooking room? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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On the Road: Exploring Our Local Scrapbook Stores-My Craft Room in Troy, MI & PRIZE GIVEAWAY

My Craft Room

Interview with Joyce Rapezzi, Owner.

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

My Craft Room opened in April of 2003.  That’s just about 12 years ago!  My sister and I were both out of work (formerly in the travel industry) and looking for something worthwhile to do. So many of the great products we were seeing on the Carol Duval Show weren’t available locally and it seemed like a promising business plan.

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A peek at the wide range of crafting products available.

2) What makes your store unique?

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Just some of the great products available at My Craft Room.

Lots of things make My Craft Room unique.  First, we stock product in response to current interests.  We were developed to “go with the flow.”  Also, we felt we should only carry good to great quality products.  Our loyalty program is the best we’ve heard of.  Spend $100 on regular priced merchandise and earn a $15 store credit.  We have lots of different promotions and sales, but we do not advertise them in advance.  We hope this makes you pay attention to our weekly emails.  The one exception is our Customers’ Garage Sale, which happens twice each year – once in January and once in June.  Customers bring in their gently used craft supplies and we take it from there.  They’ll receive a store credit for 90% of the value of everything they’ve sold.  These are huge events and this past January was our biggest ever.  Customers earn hundreds of dollars in store credits!

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Paper-a-plenty!

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

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Everything you need to make great handmade cards.

 We offer a number of card making classes each month, a monthly scrapbooking kit, and a number of knitting and crochet classes.  We don’t offer crops specifically, but our classroom is frequently available on some Sunday afternoons.

 4) How do you promote your store?

My Craft Room does regular advertising with our favorite local publication, Michigan Scrapbooker.  We also have a Facebook page. The best way to keep up with us, though, is through our weekly email.  You can join our mailing list by calling the store (248-879-3360) or by going to our website at www.mycraftroom.com and signing up on our Home Page. 

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

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Explore fun ribbon colors and textures in person at My Craft Room.

No doubt it is making our customers understand that if they don’t support us, we will be gone.  If they don’t buy from us and take our classes, we won’t be here to answer their questions about what adhesive to use or how a particular sample card was created. It’s all very nice that they belong to Amazon Prime, but Amazon doesn’t inspire you or help you with your problems. Nor do any of the big box stores nearby.  They can offer you coupons all day long, but they certainly don’t have staff on hand to help you out.

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Need chipboard inspiration? Just ask the staff at My Craft Room!

6) Contact information:

You can find My Craft Room at
6020 Rochester Road
Troy, MI 48085
(248)879-3360
mycraftroom@comcast.net
www.mycraftroom.com
We so look forward to hearing from you! 
We’re open every day:
Monday-Thursday from 10am to 7pm
Friday & Saturday from 10am to 5pm 
Sunday from Noon to 4pm
Follow us on Facebook!

                                                                                                                                          

Gina Karas, our guest blogger, 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!

My Craft Room has generously donated a $25 gift card for one lucky winner to use in their store! To be entered in the random drawing you must COMMENT below about what you would love to buy at My Craft Room with the gift card! DEADLINE to enter: Friday, April 3rd (4/3/15), at Noon!

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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