As students return to campus, the new Jo-Ann Fabrics on 743 E. State St. looks to provide Athens with a renewed set of craft materials for the new school year.
Jo-Ann Fabrics held its second grand opening in Athens the weekend of August 8, after having closed its original location in the same shopping plaza in 2005. The store was a frequent request from Athenians after its initial closing, according to a past Post article.
Deb Adkins, a floor team leader at Jo-Ann Fabrics, said she and her team have been busy throughout the store’s opening month, as the new location frequently attracts visitors from outside of the Athens area.
“We have a wide variety of people coming in to the store,” Adkins said. “We’ve had people coming in from as far as Parkersburg.”
The store provides locals a closer outlet when it comes to purchasing a variety of craft supplies, home décor items, seasonal accessories and fabrics. Previously, customers’ best bets for acquiring a comparable range of these goods were in Wal-Mart or at the Jo-Ann Fabrics location in Parkersburg, W. Va.
“I think the store is providing a good selection of craft supplies and fabric that wasn’t here before,” Adkins said. “It’s something you can’t find any place else in this community right now.”
Other craft stores in Athens, like Beads & Things, offer a more specific selection of goods. The 23-year-old boutique, found at 8 N. Shafer St., offers a collection of beads and trinkets bought at trade shows across the country.
Phil Berry, co-owner of Beads & Things, said his store is more of a service station than a one-stop shop, providing a workplace for customers to come in and construct jewelry or other crafts.
While Jo-Ann Fabrics does offer a select set of threads and beads like those offered at Beads & Things, Berry views the reinstatement of the chain store in a positive light.
“It’s like when a restaurant doesn’t do well in an area,” Berry said. “Once you have six in the same area, they all start to benefit each other.”