It had been advertised on the radio that we should shop local on Saturday, to support our own community here in Denver. A few years ago, I took the handmade pledge as far as gift buying goes, but still do need the occassional art or craft supply for projects I make myself, so that's where I planned to give my local support this year. At the neighborhood "hobby" store.
I have mixed feelings about shopping these big chain stores because they don't really support "our" economy very much. They do have local employees, but nothing they sell is actually produced in the US. The big chains also put small businesses "out" of business over the past 20 years or so. There are no local small, individually run arts/crafts/hobby stores left in Denver. That's still very sad to me, and today, even more so after my attempt to shop the big chain for supplies on Saturday.
The big chain stores came to town, offered everything any artist/crafter would want for their hobby or art, at prices much lower than small shop owners could do. Not only that, but they had "all" the supplies you'd ever think of wanting under one roof. The small business had no chance against this. Now, years after everyone is used to using the big mega markets, they are phasing out, or have already gotten rid of most of the hobby/supplies people wanted. I realize that online shopping probably took a big chunk of this business away from them (eBay), but there were still those of us who would go out to get that one thing we needed right now for a project. There are still millions of people who don't shop online at all, they still needed these stores to offer art/craft supplies and fabric.
So I was, and still am disappointed to find out that the hobby/art/craft supplies are no longer available in my city. This particular store is selling mostly home decor items and fake floral. The other big craft store already went to home decor instead of art supplies a few years ago. I've never shopped there, but have heard Walmart used to carry all of these things but got rid of them over the last few years...
Living a handmade life has gotten a little bit more difficult when you have to rely on the internet for the most basic supply items :(
If anyone out there is brave enough to try having a brick and mortar store, today would be an excellent time to open a hobby and/or art supplies shop! ♥