Moving here was a culture shock. As it pertains to paper and craft supplies, that is. In Indy, I had access to really good stores. Michael's, JoAnn's, Hobby Lobby and my favorite, Archiver's. All well stocked and inspiring. Here in Northern California, not so much. Not even close. No Archiver's in the whole state. No Hobby Lobby. Jo Ann's is minimal at best for paper crafters. That leaves Michael's. Extremely disappointing. So much so that I emailed the corporate office.
Here's my riff (rant). When you walk in there is a huge open (wasted) space at the entrance. The paper craft area is a literal maze in the middle of the store. Really! I get so turned around in there! Most of the paper shelves are empty. Paper packs are spread all over the place and some are so high on the shelves you have to stand on tippy toes to look at them. Themes are disorganized, even Martha Stewart's products are broken up. Sure her folks wouldn't be so happy about that. There is minimal supplies such as stamp pads. And, worst of all is the tiny stamp area. You would be appalled!!!! Even the Tim Holtz area is severely lacking. Tisk tisk.
As for the rest of the store. Poor selection of ribbon, the floral department is broken up in to separate parts of the store. The yarn section goes half way into the cake decorating section which leads into the wedding section and all of this is cramped in a space so small that a cart can barely get through it.
I received two emails from Michael's in response to my email. Then, on Valentine's evening, at 5:30 pm someone from the store called me. C'mon. It was my night with my hubby and it was a number I didn't recognize so I didn't answer. The message left was that if I could call her back in 30 minutes we could talk or she would call me tomorrow. She didn't call back.
So, you may be saying, go to another Michael's. That would be an hour drive. So, shop online. That's fine for some things. But, I like to feel paper and take a sheet to the ribbon area to match it. And, take a patterned paper over to the solid paper to match it. And then there are embellishments and so it goes. There will be just no replacing "brick and mortar" stores for online for some products.
Don't get me wrong. I LOVE Alpha Stamps! I have ordered from them many times. Mainly because they give accurate descriptions and photos of their products. But, sometimes, you just have to go and experience products for yourself.
Okay. I'm done now.