In Defense of the LSS…

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My last post was about all the new GOODIES at Target. That post prompted a well-written response in Comments, which I loved. So I asked the writer, June, if I could make her comment a standalone post {I want to make sure everyone sees it}, and she graciously agreed. So here ’tis:

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(From June…)

Ah, yes. Another reason to visit – as if I needed one! LOL! But please, please, PLEASE remember the LSS’s in your area. Yes, it is certainly CONVENIENT to be able to browse and purchase SB supplies at the same time you’re stocking up on shampoo and dog food, I have to say how sad it makes me that the “Independents” struggle to survive amidst the Big Box stores. Many people don’t even realize that some of the most WONDERFUL goodies stocked at your local LSS aren’t even made available to chain stores (a wonderful way suppliers are trying to help the LSS’s to compete). And further more, people make the GRAVE mistake that they’ll save a lot of money by buying from the Big Guys rather than their LSS’s – not exactly true. If you’re up for the challenge, make note of the price of patterned paper, brads, adhesives, etc. next time you’re in a “Big” store, then treat yourself to a fun little jaunt to your local LSS and compareā€¦ Is that dollar you’re saving at the “Big” store really worth the price we all pay by not having an LSS to “escape” to on a quiet afternoon or to be able to attend crops and classes at with friends? I bet you’ll find the gal stocking the shelves of your local LSS MUCH more personable and knowledgeable about the best adhesive to use on that project you’re desperately trying to finish than the young, college-aged fella wearing the backwards baseball cap who’s stocking the scrapbooking aisle at the “Big Box” store. Besides, I always get in trouble in those stores; always intending to pick up one or two items and coming out of the store 20+ items and $100+ over budget. At least the LSS receipts are easier to “hide” than the ones with scrapbook items AND the toaster Hubby wants to take back because it didn’t work out of the box. I’d rather hand him a receipt with a toaster and toilet paper itemized on it instead of one with a toaster, toilet paper, and $50 worth of scrapbook goodies on it!

Sorry. I’m rambling. Maybe it’s because I just went to work for Just Let Me Scrapbook! in Barnesville, GA – the last LSS in my area (if you can call 25+ miles away from home “in my area”). I had just discovered the darling, exquisitely stocked little shoppe when I found out the owner, Mary Beth Burrell, was considering CLOSING the doors and going home to run her business exclusively online from her home (because overhead is SO darned expensive). That would have made FOUR brick-and-mortar LSS’s in two years in my area that closed their doors! Each of them were wonderful little gems in their own right. Each of them fell victim to “Big Box” and Chain retailers with far more buying and advertising power than these smaller coutnerparts. It has always made me SO UPSET that we, as scrapbookers, undervalue the BEAUTY of the LSS. The POWER we have as women, as consumers, as trend-setters in the fastest growing craft/hobby in not only the U.S., but in much of the world. The classes, crops, advice, and stellar industry knowledge that can be found in these quaint shops all over America is INVALUABLE!!! When you shop at your LSS, you’re doing more than just “adding to your stash”. You’re helping women entrepreneurs feed their families, pay their mortgages, fulfill their dreams, and helping them serve as FANTASTIC role models encouraging younger girls and women who may also have that entrepreneurial “spark” within them. In my store, we have hired a young lady who’s working after school as part of her high school curriculum; learning invaluable lessons about retail economics as well as how to stay positive even when things look bleak financially. She now has a good understanding of what it looks and feels like to run a small business and can compare her experiences with us with what working for “someone else” might offer. Her horizons have broadened. She’s been exposed to the inner-workings of a small business from the ground up. They don’t teach you that at University. I wish they had.

More than the mushy-gushy, touchy-feely “support your local female entrepreneur” schpiel here, I just want to emphasize how VERY appreciated your hard-earned dollars spent in your local LSS are. We know you could have spent your money anywhere you chose to, but you chose to spend them with US; purchasing paper and supplies to document some of the most IMPORTANT people and events in your lives. The part-time gal at the counter may not express it at the time of check-out (though I hope she would), but that LSS store owner who reconciles the cash register (and sometimes online sales) at the end of the day sure does. She’s the gal that doesn’t get to scrap much herself, but MAN! does she enjoy helping you make your pages SHINE!

At least that’s how we feel at Just Let Me Scrapbook! in Barnesville, GA. If you can, stop by and see us sometime on your way to Target. I’ll bet you’ll find something in OUR store you’d NEVER see at the Big Box.

Be Blessed! (and thanks for reading all this! Don’t know WHAT got into me!)

-June ONeal
http://www.JustLetMeScrapbook.com
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Oh yes, this girl is passionate and she can write! If you’ve read my blog for awhile, you know how I LUUUUURRRVVVE the LSS. How I am so saddened to see all but one of the stores in my county close. How I have always held the dream to own my own store “someday” and am crushed to see that dream die. How I support local business owners in general, because they are our neighbors, our friends, our fellow church goers, our Little League coaches, our local economy-drivers. So, yes, I am conflicted about shopping at Target et al. I think there is a place for those stores, I just hate to see them take over every single community to the point that the Mom and Pops are killed by them. I spread my money around to the big and small, the big for necessity-sake, the small because they are ALWAYS better at what they do.

Anyway, I just thought June did a beautiful job of saying what I’m always trying to say. I hope you enjoyed reading her post as much as I did. If you too believe in the LSS, go visit the online part of the LSS she works at and help to keep them afloat. Or just visit their blog and say “hi,” or since they’re in Georgia, that would be “hey, y’all”, right? If nothing else, go read the store owners’ About Us page…what a cool story.

Here is a picture of Just Let Me Scrapbook! from their website. SO wish I was close to Georgia. What an adorable place…

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7 Comments on In Defense of the LSS…

  1. Kelli Caslow
    March 21, 2008 at 10:39 am (6 years ago)

    Well said! I prefer to shop at the LSS’s rather than the big box guys because of the sheer amount of charm found in the specialty shops. I will drive an hour to check out a new little shop rather than waste that same hour wandering the local Michaels just to see if they have anything new yet.

    I used to frequent my favorite LSS at least once a week, twice on a good week because it was less than 5 minutes from my house and sometimes mommy just needs to get out of the house! On one such trip I arrived at the store only to find a big fat closed sign hanging in the window. They went out of business in the course of the three days it took for me to find my way back there again. I was devestated! If we as scrappers cant support our specialty shops then we really have no right to complain that we cant find those special unique products. We cant find them because WE are driving the stores out of business. It’s not the fault of the big giant super stores, its OUR fault for not supporting our best retailers. The LSS actually LISTENS to what we say, they purchase what we ask them to because they understand that they will not make money if they dont carry what we are looking for. Those big guys dont care they just liquidate what doesn’t sell.

    I’m very saddened by the daily news of LSS’s closing down!

    Reply
  2. ScrapbookingPrincess
    March 21, 2008 at 10:58 am (6 years ago)

    Oh Ericka, if I had an LSS, I’d shop there as often as I could. For this very reason is why we don’t have one anymore. With Micheal’s, ACMoore, and JoAnn’s Superstore, all three drove away our only LSS. It’s very sad.

    Reply
  3. heather
    March 21, 2008 at 11:00 am (6 years ago)

    small online store owners feel the same way about their business :)

    Reply
  4. Kim
    March 21, 2008 at 12:44 pm (6 years ago)

    I am fortunate to live in a metropolitan area where there are several LSS’s to choose from. We also have our share of the big box stores, but I prefer to shop in the LSS’s. I feel like most of the serious scrapbooker’s in my area do shop in the the LSS’s because they are usually busy and always full of new and unique items. I completely agree with everything that June said. The analogy of the personal attention you get in the LSS compared to the stock boy at Hobby Lobby – absolutely spot on! Thank you for bringing her comments out front, I would have missed it otherwise.

    Reply
  5. Anne Marie
    March 21, 2008 at 4:50 pm (6 years ago)

    I would give anything to have a LSS to support! Sadly, the scrapbooking and stamping stores in Orlando have closed one after another. There’s only one open now that is anywhere close to me, and I go there when I can, but their supply is so limited, and business so slow that I fear they will be the next to go. And what I don’t understand is why a city like Orlando cannot support good LSS, yet other cities like Tampa and Jacksonville have oodles of amazine stamp & scrap stores! Even the beach communities on the coasts are better supported with LSS than we are! So as a result, several online stores have become my “lss” in the absence of a brick-and-mortar store. They provide the same customer service as an LSS, and some even host crops, classes, and tutorials. Not exactly the same, but hey, when it’s all you got it’s far better than the big box stores that don’t carry the variety of manufacturers and provide zero customer service!

    Great post Erika, I’m glad you pulled June’s comment up for discussion!

    Reply
  6. Jenn A.
    March 22, 2008 at 7:02 am (6 years ago)

    Erika, I am so excited that you shared her comment, because I live just north of atlanta and I did not know that there was a LSS just a little south of the city. I will definitely be planning a trip down there! I have a LSS VERY close to my house, and I am in there at least once a week. I always check with them first about an item before purchasing from elsewhere, even if they charge a bit more. I feel it is totally worth it for the customer service and specialty items they carry that are not available at the big chain stores.

    Thanks again for posting this comment! :) Jenn (Jenn_A_scraps)

    Reply
  7. nicole
    January 9, 2009 at 11:41 am (5 years ago)

    Hi June. I just found this post and was wondering if Just Let Me Scrapbook is still open? Thanks! Nicole

    Reply

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