Stamp shop hopes to fill growing scrapbooking voidWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
“No, it’s not Hallmark. It’s much better,” reads one of the stamps for sale at the recently opened Bayer’s Pampered Stampers.
One crafty lady, Melissa Bayer, runs Bayer’s Pampered Stampers, which stocks items needed for scrapbooking and cardmaking in addition to offering a variety of classes and demonstrations.
“It’s a lot of fun and my business is selling all these little things that makes your life easier when you’re trying to make a card or whatever,” Bayer said.
Melissa’s husband, Mike, is the owner of the nearby Bayer Wood Products and Bayer Hardware. Although business is entrenched in her husband’s family, this is Melissa’s first foray into having her own.
“I just told my husband the other day, ‘Gosh, I’m having a good time.’ He said, ‘Sure hope you make some money at it,’” Bayer said with a laugh. Bayer is also a registered nurse who still visits clients on her off-days and in the evenings.
Bayer took on many of the clients of the recently closed Baas Jct. Rubber Stamps. The former owner of Baas Jct. Rubber Stamps had approached Mike about taking over her store once she retired. When Mike wasn’t interested, Bayer jumped at the chance.
“She had everything; she had inventory, she had displays, she had contacts,” Bayer said of the former owner.
Bayer’s Pampered Stampers will also take over some of the inventory of the soon-to-close First Impressions in Sylvania.
“[Toledo] used to have a lot of scrapbooking stores and a lot of stamp stores. When the economy kind of tanked, a lot of those stores went under,” Bayer said.
While Bayer is confident in her new business, her biggest issue is getting people to realize her store is there. “Every time someone new comes in and every day someone new comes in, they say, ‘I didn’t know you were here,’ ” she said of her business, which could double for a house. Bayer also recently added some rockers on the porch to increase the homey feel.
“I’m really happy with where we are right now. I think if people were aware, we’d be much, much busier,” she added.
Despite opening a business in the recession, Bayer is optimistic. “I just love this stuff and I know there’s a lot of people who love this stuff besides me,” she said.
The variety in Bayer’s store should help – she has everything from basic glue dots to a Cricut cutting machine on-site. The “make and take” card sessions she offers on most Thursdays have also proven popular. For $1, customers can make a card out of precut paper that they can take home. In addition, Bayer’s Pampered Stampers offers free demonstrations at 6:30 p.m. Tuesdays throughout the month.
Bayer has also hired instructors to come and teach in the upstairs classroom at the store. For $20, students can learn how to make a scrapbooking layout and for $15, they can attend a special cardmaking/craft class. No experience is needed.
“You sit around and you talk and you visit. It’s fun; it’s a nice way to pass the time,” Bayer said. “When you get it all done, it’s like, ‘I did that.’ ”
A friend first introduced Bayer to the social nature of cardmaking about 20 years ago. “She took me to her basement; she had tons of stamps, and inks and papers, just the neatest stuff. I just love the stuff,” Bayer recalled.
The store also offers perks like coupon week once a month where coupons from the likes of Michaels and Hobby Lobby will be honored. A stamp of the month club gives patrons the chance to get 40 percent off a stamp of their choice every month as well.
Bayer’s Pampered Stampers is at 1620 Ralston Circle. Hours are noon-7 Tuesdays through Thursdays and noon-4 Saturdays. A grand opening week starts May 20, featuring promotions and a guest instructor. Visit www.facebook.com/pages/Bayers-Pampered-Stampers or call (419) 724- 9516 for more information and dates.