When Audra Jedlicka decided to take a step back from her retail business, she placed Imagine That Scrapbooking & Gifts up for sale, that is until Columbus native Kristin Stock became interested in the store.
“I certainly love the store so it was a big decision a sell it,” Jedlicka said.
Jedlicka was reaching her ninth year as owner of Imagine That Scrapbooking & Gifts when the opportunity to work for a wholesale company in California surfaced, which left her with a difficult decision.
Imagine That Scrapbooking & Gifts offers crafts, gifts, as well as various art and scrapbooking classes throughout the year. The business currently has approximately 100 yearly members.
After much thought, Jedlicka decided to put her shop up for sale in 2017. She admitted the selling process did not come easy due to the workload associated with retail. She was honest about the long hours with every potential buyer she met.
Jedlicka said the suitable candidate needed to be well-versed in the business industry and willing to invest extensive time tending to the shop, its classes and events, adding that many individuals with children were not able to handle the hours.
“Retail is very very busy and that’s how you keep it successful,” she said. “It does tire a person out.”
As months passed, Jedlicka remained determined and optimistic about keeping the store open for its regular customers in Columbus until she found a suitable buyer. She wanted to make sure that community members were able to continue enjoying the store after she left.
After a year of searching for a successor, Kristin Stock walked through her door. Stock is the co-owner of Big Iron Realty, alongside her husband, Ron, so she was no stranger to the business industry. She previously worked at Central Community College for four years administering grants.
Stock was a longtime fan of Imagine That Scrapbooking & Gifts. It’s a place she often visited to restock art supplies and to fuel her love for scrapbooking. She picked up the hobby when she was 10 years old from her grandmother, also an avid scrapbooker.
After speaking with Stock, Jedlicka was sold knowing that she would be a good fit due to her background.
Stock officially took ownership in April 2018. She said she was ready to leap into a business she enjoys that directly coincides with her passion.
“I think my biggest motivation, number one, was that I love scrapbooking,” Stock said. “Number two was I knew how important this store was for the gals who come in here every Friday night and crop and hang out and work on scrapbook layouts.”
Stock enjoyed watching friendships bloom through the business' scrapbooking -- also known as crop -- classes and said she wanted it to continue.
“I like being my own boss, an entrepreneur,” she said. “I think my husband and I have entrepreneurial spirits.”
Stock said she “was lucky enough to inherit” full-time manager Rachel Lade. Lade leads classes at the shop’s creative space, Artzy Haven. On top of these classes, the space is open to the public to rent for private events incorporating special projects.
“I couldn’t have done it without her,” Stock said.
Lade recently added new classes at Artzy Haven making seasonal wooden home decor. Both Stock and Lade try to come up with different themes for the designs every month.
Stock jumped straight into action after taking over the shop. A collaboration recently formed with the Nebraska Extension-Platte County enables Stock to host 4-H events throughout the month of June for students to participate in. They will learn how to make kites, 4-H-related art pieces and rockets.
The networking did not stop there. Imagine That Scrapbooking & Gifts also partnered with Comfort Closet, established by Thrivent, for the Comfort Closet Crop that will be taking place June 15-16.
Stock also introduced a punch-card system for individuals enrolling in the classes for a chance to win a free registration to the Mega Crop, a convention for scrapbookers.
Despite the new additions, Stock retained services and classes already provided such as the Scripture Sisters class led by Nancy Hilleman with the help of Megan Stromberg, as well as Lisa Obermier’s card-making class.
Jedlicka was relieved to know the shop is in good hands, noting that she will always be available to help and provide recommendations.
“Kristin took over with a load of wonderful customers that are now my friends and I know that they’re supportive of local stores,” she said.
More information on Imagine That Scrapbooking & Gifts, its classes and upcoming events can be found on its Facebook page at Imagine That Scrapbooking.
Natasya Ong is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach her via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.