Scrapbook store looks to become mainstay in town (5/21/09)

May 21, 2009

By Tim Simard

Observer staff

Taft Corners Shopping Center is now home to Williston’s newest scrapbook store. Island Scrapbook opened on April 10 and has already generated buzz in the local community, thanks to the store’s Friday night “crop” parties.


    Observer photo by Tim Simard
Island Scrapbook owner Laura Sharples (right) examines a new shipment of scrapbook supplies with her friend Lorna Swann.

Owner Laura Sharples said she was looking to expand her business into busy Chittenden County and believes Williston will prove a good fit. She has owned the original Island Scrapbook in Grand Isle for the past four years.

Island Scrapbook offers everything needed to create a scrapbook, from binders to different paper styles, from various tools to unique design flourishes.

Sharples said Williston has been lacking a scrapbook supply store since Scrapbook Central closed two years ago. She hopes her store will fill that specific need in the Williston area, although on a smaller scale.

“I think the key to my success will be staying within my means,” Sharples said.

Having a weekly crop party could also be a way of forming a loyal customer base, she said. Since she opened last month, Sharples has hosted several Friday night events where people can come together to create, or crop, they’re very own scrapbook. Sharples said it acts like a social get together, with friends helping friends design creative books.

She said the Friday parties have lasted until midnight and most attendees are already experienced scrapbook enthusiasts looking for a good place to work.

“They’re looking for a place to get away from the husband, the kids,” Sharples said. “It gives them time to focus.”

Sharples also attends scrapbook parties all over the Champlain Valley, providing supplies and assistance. Many of the shows she’s attended are charity events in places including Winooski, St. Albans and Plattsburgh, N.Y.

Sharples’ friend Lorna Swann, a Northfield resident, said scrapbooking acts as a creative outlet for people, as well as a way of preserving someone’s past. Plus, they make great gifts, she said.

“It’s homemade, it’s personal,” Swann said. “The scrapbooks that people make will outlive the people they give them to.”

“It’s a preservation of memories,” Sharples added.

Island Scrapbook is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., and on Sundays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The store is closed Mondays, but will be open this Memorial Day Monday, Sharples said.