Friday, April 21, 2006

South Central Texas Scrapbooking Stores Reviews

I will say first off, I am a picky person when it comes to lots of things. I do expect a lot from a scrapbook store. I really do believe that Scrapbooking is very personal. Some people love the textured Bazzill cardstock, and some people hate textured cardstock. Others like the clean look of patterned paper like SEI, others like the distressed look of patterned paper like Basic Grey. So I really think that wither you like a store or not has a lot to do with your style of Scrapbooking, brands you like etc. For me it also depends on location, store services, incentive programs, calendar, and of course customer service. If you have some input on a particular store please respond! I love the feedback! And likewise, if you know of a store that I haven't mentioned please let me know!

One thing you will notice is that I did not include reviews of big chain stores like Michaels or Hobby Lobby. I believe in supporting smaller local businesses whenever possible. 90% of the time you will get better service and selection than larger chain stores. But like most I am a scrapper with a budget and I am a bargain hunter at heart. I look for the best prices on items, and yes, that some times does mean that I will go to a larger chain store. (Those 40% off coupons from Michaels and Hobby Lobby are great for buying tools and larger ticket items)
But whenever possible I shop the smaller stores, being a former small business owner my self I know they appreciate the business a lot more.

So here goes, starting with my fav's and going to my least fav's:

Scrapbook Heaven 8407 Bandera Suite 153 San Antonio
(210) 572-2380
This one is my absolute FAVORITE!!! Depending on where you live, it can be a long drive, it is worth it. I swear you can hear the angels sing when you walk in there! They have everything!! Scrapbooking, card making, stamping any sort of paper crafting! Plus that It's HUGE! I can easily spend hours and hours in there. I just love it. Their frequent buyer program is better than SBO but not SB911. You purchase a key tag for a $1, it's like a larger plastic business card that you put on your keys and they punch it each time you come in. If you go to their website they almost always have a 20% off coupon each week. They have lots going on in that store, lots of classes, crops, swaps etc. They do Scrapbooking cruises & retreats. They have SDU classes and often celebrity instructors. The ladies that work in there are so nice and helpful. They have an entire wall devoted to cardstock (and yes, it is all Bazzill) Their workroom is good sized with the usual plastic folding tables that most stores have in their workrooms. They have a very large selection of die cutting machines and dies. You do have to pay a fee to use them unless you are a tool tag holder (yearly fee required) but with the tool tag they do offer lots of incentives. I can promise you, if I lived closer to them I would have a tool tag!

Scrapbook 911 1120 West Blanco Rd. San Antonio
(210) 492-1984
This is my store of choice. They are pretty big and carry a wide variety of companies. Their work room in my opinion is the best I have seen. The scrap tables are large (1 for each person at a crop, each one complete with a creative memories sidekick & trash can. You can go in there any time and use their die cutting machines for free, just as long as there is no class or crop going on. They don’t even require that you buy something! They do have quite a few die cutting machines to use, but they do not have the selection of dies that Scrapbook Obsession has. Their frequent buyer program is the best. They keep track of your purchases in the computer under your name with all your info. They have the best prices for retreats (and boy do they sell out fast!!) I have talked with a few people who have had the good fortune to attend one (or more) and They swear it’s the best time you will get for your money! $60 for Friday evening, all day Saturday and Sunday. Meals and snacks are included. I am told it is worth it to go just for the goodie bags alone. I am still waiting for my chance to go to one!
They offer great classes and often have celebrity instructors (most recently Teresa Collins from Junkitz) The owners train guide dogs as well so on any given day you may encounter a cute little puppy in the store. My kids LOVE this! Alec says that this is his favorite "mommy store" because of the puppies. And for those of you who are sometimes frazzled mommies like me and forget your stroller for the littlest ones they have one in the store for you to use! Brilliant! These ladies have thought of everything!

Stamp Antonio Arts 2211 NW Military Highway San Antonio
I have never really considered my self a "stamper". I have always thought scrapbooking was my "thing". Granted, I do have a few stamps, ones that I use mostly for cards and tags, nothing close to the amounts that some people I know have. Stamp Antonio Arts definatly has the power to convert me! I will say it is not a big store, but WOW what an inventory! They must have close to a million stamps in that place! They do have some 12x12 scrapbooking papers, Basic Grey, Gen X, 7 gypsies etc. Their biggest draw is all the stamping supplies. Just about every kind of stamp you can think of is in this store. They have all different colors of pads to go with them! Mica, the beautiful (and hard to find) sparking H2O's and what I was most excited about, the large sheets of paper! (think wrapping paper size!) I was giddy with excitement shopping around in there! I purchased some sheets of Basic Grey, 2 of the larger sized sheets (beautiful patterns they have too!) a pot of sparkling H2O, a 7 gyp. tag, some eyelets and a couple other things. If I didn't have Cole with me I could have spent all day in there! I do plan on going back with out the kids so I can take my time to really look around and see all they have to offer. As I was leaving I kept spotting things that I had missed before and "wanted". On my next trip I kept telling myself! I really loved the decor of the store, it wasn't like most stores where it's all wire paper holders and mdf shelfs. Vintage bakers racks, antique tables and screens. Sigh! I'm in love.
They offer lots of classes, centered mostly around stamping. Their frequent buyer program really isn't for frequent buyers per say. Each time you spend $20 in the store, they give you a coupon for $1 off your next purchase. So when you shop, you have to spend $20 to take advantage of their offer. This is a negative for me. They do have a stamp of the month, which if you spend more than $20 you can buy it for 40% off with your next purchase of $10 or more. If you visit their website they also offer online ordering. (good for you out of towners!) They also have swaps, i have been eyeing the Artist trading card one. looks pretty interesting. The website has all the info. The ladies were also VERY nice and friendly. I had Cole with me who was in a great mood. I had forgotten my stroller so he had to walk with me. He didn't stay right by my side the whole time, he was eger to explore too, and it was nice that they didn't hover over him like they do in some stores. He was very good, looking at something then put it back where it belonged and they were ok with that.
This is another one on my favorites list!

The Memory Bucket 12972 Bandera Rd. Helotes
(210) 691-9110
This is a cute store. If I go to SB Heaven I stop by there just for fun. They have a nice sized store & a very cute theme. Buckets are every ware. The ladies refer to themselves as the “Bucket Babes”. Adorable.
It’s been a while since I have been there, I do remember a large selection of brands & a great store layout. From what I hear they recently re-did their workshop area so if you find yourself in the neighborhood stop by and check it out. Let me know what you think. I do remember finding my Prima Flowers there shortly after they were released. They were the only store in the San Antonio area that had them. A (selfish) plus for me.

Saved In Time 1435 N Highway 123 Bypass Seguin
(830) 379-0730
I thought it was ok. They carry Basic Grey, though a very limited supply but still some which is better than none. They carry the Colormates Cardstock, which I like if I can't get Bazzill, but it is the same Cardstock that Hobby Lobby carries and HL sells it at a fraction of the cost (especially on sale weeks). They do carry LOTS of 7 gypsies stuff, (which I am starting to like more and more every time I see it) They had a large selection of Magic Mesh but I didn't check a price. The biggest draw to that store for me is their complete selection of Making Memories Paints. $2 a bottle, a very excellent price. Singularly, I have purchased bottles from SBO & SB911 for $4-5 per. I think the store has tremendous potential. They need to survive their first year, (though not in the most convenient place and all the road construction really isn't helping) Go to some conventions, develop relationships with the companies so they can get the new releases quickly. Continue to carry the "hot items" (like 7G's, BG, RP etc.) and get a selection of idea books and magazines in there. (One thing that I noticed it was really lacking) They did have a very nice display of Scrapbooking on the wall items which you don’t see much in the stores, but honestly you can get the canvas at HL for a lot less and even cheaper when on sale or with a 40% off coup. The workroom really isn’t separated from the store, except for a ½ wall. And it is tiny. But the rest of the store isn't massive either. They have a few die cutting machines (Sizzix and Accu-cut (I think) and not many dies. They don’t have a frequent buyer program (not that the lady mentioned & I spent a bit of money in there)
This is a new store with great potential. I do plan on going back, especially for the Making Memories paints!

Scrapbook Depot/Education Station 941 IH 35 San Marcos
(512) 353-2527 (no website)
I don't know why they advertise it as a Scrapbooking store because 90% of the store is home schooling products. Which is not a bad thing, believe me, I am not against homeschooling in any way! But to expect scrapbooking supplies then are faced with row after row of teaching tools, sigh, it's dissapointing. They have a variety of different companies but not a big selection of any one company. In all honesty I have been to this store only 2 times. Both times the people working there never said one word to me, except for the total of the items I purchased (a DCWV Quote book the first trip and some eyelets the second trip). I don't know if they have a work room or not, never saw one. I know they have classes and workshops, I saw a calendar posted as I was walking out the door. I do have a positive tho, I had to use their "facilities" on one trip and I will say their "facilities" were clean and smelled nice.
This store did very little to impress me. I don’t recommend it

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