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I’m not a huge crafter, but I do have a need to go to Jo-Ann Fabrics or Michael’s from time to time, either for work or volunteer activities at my son’s school, and sometimes yes, even to attempt a craft myself. I’ve heard many friends talk about Hobby Lobby, and how they are willing to travel to go to one, and I know many who do in fact travel frequently to Hobby Lobby’s in neighboring cities around forty-five minutes to an hour away, but I couldn’t possibly imagine how it could be that different from Jo-Ann or Michael’s.
I asked one of my craftiest friends, and her response was that “Hobby Lobby has a lot of items for various hobbies. As a person who does a lot of crafting and DIY projects, it seems like Michael’s has one thing, Jo-Ann has another and often neither will have something I need in store, so I have to order online and wait for it to ship. I’ve only once ever not found something I was looking for at Hobby Lobby.” Beyond that, she threw in a major point for Hobby Lobby, stating that “Their prices tend to be lower, except on fabric, as Wal-Mart has the best fabric prices, but not quite the selection of Hobby Lobby. Plus, Hobby Lobby always has a 40% off coupon you can use on any full-price item, if what you’re looking for isn’t on sale.” She may or may not have also called Hobby Lobby her “happy place”.
So, curiosity got the cat, and this non-crafter had to go and check out the new Fresno Hobby Lobby, located on Blackstone just north of Sierra Avenue. I went with limited free time available to me (note: huge mistake!) and the first thing I saw (besides an obviously full and active parking lot) was furniture arranged in the entry way, before I even entered the store. Each piece had a sign stating that Hobby Lobby’s furniture was always 30% off retail price. (I fell in love with a little white two-shelf criss-cross backed piece that I may have to return for in the near future.) The furniture was mostly smaller pieces, decorative shelves, dressers, chairs, corner shelf stands, end tables but very stylish and with pricing similar to Home Goods’ clearance section. I pressed on into the store (though it was hard to move on so quickly!).
Once inside I quickly realized that Hobby Lobby is about the size of Winco on West Shaw (yes, HUGE) and the contents of the store are as if Jo-Ann, Home Goods and Michael’s had a baby. Like, the best, coolest, cutest baby of all time. As a non-crafter, what most caught my eye was the aisles and aisles (and aisles and aisles!) of incredibly cute, on-trend and classic, well-organized home décor. It was like this light bulb turned on in my head. “OH! So all those people with really, really well-decorated homes, THIS is where they are shopping! Now I get it!”
The store is so big, I definitely need to return to get a truly close look at more of its sections, but this is what was immediately apparent to me during my short visit:
- There are a lot of people working the floor, and a lot of checkout registers, and everyone was really nice and friendly, too.
- The floral section is ginormous. Like, seriously ginormous. You could fit an entire smaller store in the floral section. (In fact, they even had ginormous flowers, too! See photo below.)
- There is a TON of amazing seasonal décor. Fall, Halloween and Christmas likely live there year ‘round, or at least a good portion of the year, seeing as those three time periods take up another entire corner of the store. (And the stuff is so. darn. awesome. Like, so awesome I’m not even mad at a store for having Christmas stuff out in August awesome.)
- Kids get a great, dedicated art and project section, that looks to be a Crayola heaven or headquarters of some sort. 3rd grade me would have swooned so hard over this area.
- The fabric selection appears pretty vast – similar to Jo-Ann, and the fabric cutters weren’t too busy, no long line.
- If you’re someone who likes to customize shirts with a Cricut or Silhouette machine, the back wall boasts an awesome shirt selection at really low prices.
- Basically, the entire center section of the store is home décor. The cutest, most attractive home décor I’ve seen in one place, possibly even. If you have a home, and you like décor, you really must check it out.
I had intended to just peruse the store, you know, for blog research purposes, but somehow I left with a lamp, a gift for a colleague, two home décor items and a t-shirt. Almost every item I purchased was on sale (not because I was careful per say, but because literally just about everything was 30-50% off) and the one item I purchased that wasn’t, I was able to Google a coupon for 40% off of, which the cashier happily accepted without issue.
So, I guess if you’re wondering whether you should check out Hobby Lobby, and if it’s really much different than the other major craft supply stores, I would have to say YES. Big YES. YES YES YES. In fact, I enjoyed it so much, I’m actually concerned about how badly I already want to return. I think my check card is, too.