Whether you are a professional artisan or someone who crafts as a hobby, going to buy arts and crafts supplies can be an adventure of limitless possibilities.
For paints, textiles, sewing, sculpting materials or jewelry-making kits there are chain craft stores in most major U.S. cities open any day of the week. If you have a specialized need such as cake making or are planning for a wedding reception, the prices can be very reasonable compared to smaller, specialty stores. The staff at chain stores is usually knowledgeable about the products and occasionally offer coupons and other in-store deals for those who like to buy arts and crafts supplies.
There are also independent shops that are not as large as chain stores, but usually have a larger selection of brands, styles and colors. Some of these may sell only beads, scrapbook supplies, artists’ painting supplies or sewing equipment and accessories. These shops are also the most likely to carry hard to find or imported items and the staff may be considered aficionados; in other words, they can give a thorough presentation on what they have to offer and gladly welcome feedback and suggestions. For the professional crafter, buying supplies at smaller establishments gives them an edge over their competitors as they can create a truly unique product that will sell.
As e-commerce becomes more popular, there are numerous online arts and crafts stores that have both a wide selection and the customer can shop anytime of the day. Due to the fact that these stores don’t have the overhead expense of keeping a storefront, they can offer lower prices. One downside is that if an item, that can only be found online is needed immediately, the buyer will have to wait before receiving it. Even with costly rush shipping, this could mean being without for at least 2-3 days.
Another thing that online merchants cannot offer are store demonstrations and classes. These hands-on classes are usually short-term lessons in quilting, sewing, jewelry-making or yarn techniques like knitting. Novices as well as skilled persons of all ages can learn, interact and have something special to take home.
As there are so many projects, colors and materials for one to experiment with, people can really express themselves with their own creations. Or just make something for the house or as gifts for friends and family. They buy arts and crafts supplies not always knowing the outcome but have a lot fun anyway.