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Topic: Crazy Craft Store Idea- please weigh in?  (Read 5470 times)
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NyteRayn
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Hi my name is Jess and I have a crafting problem.


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« Reply #10 on: July 16, 2008 05:35:08 AM »

We actually have a "Crafter's Cafe" nearby.  It started out as a coffee room with a light lunch menu.  The women that run it asked crafters to come by and sit and chat while working on their projects.  There's a room behind the lunchroom where they conduct some classes and workshops, or when no class is going on, there is lots of table space for bigger projects folks want to work on. (It is a working cafe, so they really can't tie up all the tables out front as they do conduct a reasonable lunch business with non-crafters.) Those working on crafts sort of have a bottomless cup for beverages and, although the cafe sells pastries and such as well as sandwiches, crafters have also been known to bring in cakes, cookies, etc. to share with other crafters.  They don't sell supplies but they do have shelving around the perimeter on which they sell consigned crafts.  It's a great place to meet other crafters and just sit and chat a while.  Not as elaborate as your vision but still an interesting concept.

That sounds absolutely awesome!! Mind if I ask where you are from? Feel free to PM me if you don't want it to be common knowledge.

Also- do they have sewing machines there, or just portable handcrafts?

Thanks so much for the info guys!!!
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luv2draw
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« Reply #11 on: July 16, 2008 09:35:10 AM »

I think this is a great idea. I like that it helps create community. This is a place in San Francisco that sounds a little bit like what you're talking about. Check out the link.


http://www.stitchlounge.com/site/?s=lounge
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NyteRayn
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Hi my name is Jess and I have a crafting problem.


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« Reply #12 on: July 16, 2008 10:08:55 AM »

I think this is a great idea. I like that it helps create community. This is a place in San Francisco that sounds a little bit like what you're talking about. Check out the link.


http://www.stitchlounge.com/site/?s=lounge

Thank you so much for the link!!
Looks like these people already had my idea, in Boston! LOL
http://www.sparkcrafts.com/
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itscribe
« Reply #13 on: July 16, 2008 12:52:53 PM »

Thinking out loud here...

I'd set it up a bit differently. The retail aspect wouldn't be raw materials but the items that the students/members create. There's an art gallery a few towns away from me that does something like that. Each artist has a booth/cubical in the back and customers can visit their work areas. They have some classes but not enough, in my opinion.

Perhaps you could work out a deal with whatever store sells some of the more pricey crafting tools and your clients would get a discount and you'd get a commission.

Stuff that can be bought cheaper in bulk but may often be only needed in smaller quantities might be something good to sell i.e. quilt batting, muslin, needlepoint canvas etc. Maybe set up group bulk buys among the members.

Classes that teach how to make something rather than simply learn how to do something were a hit when I lived in Texas. Their community college system partnered with the local school system and offered community-oriented classes but used the high school facilities - sewing classes in the home ec rooms, cooking in the kitchens, etc. The crafting classes that offered the coolest projects often closed due to over-crowding. I was surprised how many folks were interested. The classes met at night or on the weekends. Some were multiple weeks and others were a long Saturday.

I took a general sewing class where I made a nightgown, a quilting class where we made a quilt top from a number of different squares we learned (still haven't put a backing on mine  Roll Eyes ), and a quilted jacket using a sweatshirt.

Maybe you could even have a sort of buy it or learn how to make it sort of concept.
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sugarbeth
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« Reply #14 on: July 22, 2008 10:25:00 AM »

After reading your idea last night and thinking on it a bit, here's is what I would love:

Something like Techshop but for crafting would be AWESOME. The pricing system that I would prefer as a potential customer would be a membership fee, where I could drop in anytime to use smaller tools with perhaps reservations for sewing machine time.

I have my own sewing machine, for example, but I'd love to be able to go in someplace and get time on a serger or embroidery machine. I don't use those things enough to warrant buying one of my own, but if I had access to one, I'd be very happy!

Things like snap presses that you wouldn't want to have to buy, but would use every once in a while - it would be great if I could drop by and use one really fast and perhaps have lunch!

I'm sure there's all sorts of specialized sewing equipment that I don't even know about but would love to have the option of using them once I did!

Another thing that I would love in a craft store would be a selection of natural craft products. You can't find stuff like 100% wool felt in Joann's or Michaels.
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Beth
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NyteRayn
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« Reply #15 on: July 22, 2008 11:11:33 AM »

After reading your idea last night and thinking on it a bit, here's is what I would love:

Thank you SO much for putting so much time & thought on this!! You have some excellent thoughts- I considered sewing machines for people who wanted to sew with others, or sew in a place where notions & fabric would be at their fingertips... but you're so right to think about the options most people would love to have occasionally, but wouldn't be likely to spend the money on for the few times they would use it.

A serger, an embroidery machine, a snap press.... even a long-armed quilting machine!

I love it!! Thank you!!!
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antigone
« Reply #16 on: July 22, 2008 12:54:10 PM »

Sounds like a wonderful idea & place!!! I'd go, and I'm not even a social type person!

Here's an idea: wouldn't you make quite a bit of money selling coffee and snacks? Unless it would take up too much time. But you could buy cake mix and sell muffins and coffe etc. If you're crafting for several hours you need to eat, and if people are used to Starbucks prices...
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artporcelain
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« Reply #17 on: August 10, 2008 08:19:33 PM »

Good idea!
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Deb
« Reply #18 on: August 15, 2008 01:06:30 AM »

Don't forget to factor in maintenance for any of the machines and think carefully about storage for smaller tools that could "walk away" easily.  I've taken sewing and jewelry making classes and the two biggest problems the teachers mentioned were machines breaking (either through normal wear and tear, or newbies just going at them without learning how to use them first) and class supplies/tools disappearing.  You could try getting a large space and devoting most of it to supplies/gallery for work that's been finished on the premises, and have the actual studio part small and add other kinds of crafts as you're able to.  If you're near New York (or check ebay) you could probably get older industrial machines for relatively cheap and upgrade later on.  I think there's a store in Manhattan that sells used industrial sewing machines for a good price but I can't think of the name at the moment.  The studio part sounds a little bit like the Etsy Labs in Brooklyn so you could check out the website for some ideas on how to manage the day to day stuff. 
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« Reply #19 on: August 15, 2008 08:10:49 AM »

You know, you could always start small with your favorite craft and grow from there.
Then you could work out the logistics on a smaller scale and as you grow alot of things will take care of themselves.
Sounds like a great venture and a fun place to be.

My local quilt store has a small area for the quilters to come in and sew and they charge $5 and you have to sign up to reserve preg_replace('/(.{19})/', '$1 ', 'space........prevents') too many people coming in and there not being enough room.
The quilters have to bring their own machines and supplies but there are big work tables and design walls. 
It's just great to have a space to gather and all work on different projects in the same space.

Climb the mountain if you can't start at the peak.  Wink
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