The term “Shop Local” is important to us in Fresno.
If you have children from the ages of 6-15, you probably know what a Rainbow Loom is. If you’re like me, you also have loom bands all over your living room, bedroom and playroom floor. If you’re a nice mom like I am, then you will take all those bands and put them neatly into a sorting case like this.
Or, you can also be like the real me and vacuum them up. I guess it just depends on the day. 😉
My daughter is 11 and she’s been making Rainbow Loom bracelets for a year or so. You would think that she’d get tired of it, but over time, she’s only gotten better at making things. She’s made some pretty cool looking bracelets, necklaces, rings, charms and animals. (Yes, once she made an owl.) As often as she is creating, she frequently needs new bands. I’ve seen them all over town-Target, The 99 Cent store, Michaels or Joann’s. You can even get them online. However, my most favorite place to shop is at a local place called Craftopia.
Craftopia is located on Shaw, close to the Van Ness extension. It’s in the same parking center as DiCicco’s. (Another local favorite.)
Craftopia has been in town for a couple of years. The owner, Kirsten, is super friendly and helpful. She offers classes to help people learn how to sew and knit. Her craft studio is a comfy place where anyone can come in to work. Kirsten is patient and kind to all who come through her door. Kirsten’s passion is to create and to teach others to create. Her studio is home to lots of options for crafting. You can buy washi tape, yarn, stitching materials, fabric, beads, a 3Doodler Pen, and of course… Rainbow Loom bands! I’m sure there is much more that I’m missing, but you get the point.
Through the summer they have a sewing and knitting club. On Saturdays, between 10-12, there is a Rainbow Loom meetup for Tweens. The best part? It’s FREE. Kirsten let’s you look at a Rainbow Loom book and offers her assistance. Not only that, but if your tween goes and hangs out with other people, he/she will learn different designs, and can share their knowledge as well. Such fun, right?!
I’ve been a fan of Craftopia since they opened a couple of years ago. What do I love best? It’s a local shop, owned by someone who has a passion that she wants to share with the people of Fresno. This is the same for many of our small business around town. Businesses that are locally owned are often run by someone who loves what he/she is doing. That person is generally eager to share what they know. They are willing to go out of their way to help you and I find what we need, get the ingredients, file the form, stamp that thing….Whatever it may be. They care about us, because they care about their community.
So, whenever you see a small business owned by someone locally, stop on in and support them!
What is your favorite ‘Locally Owned” store? Let us know in the comments below.