What This Town Needs
A Craft & Fabric Store
In the last decade or so Los Banos has seen many new large scale businesses open up their doors. We have seen a WalMart come in. We have seen not only a Lowe's, but a Home Depot built in Los Banos. We have a large Food 4 Less and a Big 5 Sporting Goods... We are promised that within a year a Super-Target store and an Applebees Restaurant are going to be coming in. It seems that our city is becoming more and more attractive to larger chains and establishments.
Here at OurLosBanos.com we are convinced that another type of store would be not only able to make it, but in our opinion would also be embraced with open arms by the population of our city. We need a craft and fabric store or outlet. A local craft and fabric store could meet many needs here in town that can currently be met by driving an hour each way and going to Merced or Gilroy.
While I have never studied it, based on anecdotal information I think that the demographic base to open a Michaels or some other large craft store exists here. There are a large number of reasons that people in Los Banos would patronize such a place. I see a few of them as follows:
The first and foremost issue is one of simple convenience. As stated above, in order to find a large store that sells a diverse selection of craft items the people of Los Banos must drive to either Merced or to Gilroy. These places are just under an hour away in somewhat opposite directions. Gilroy is over a pass that is notorious to some folks who absolutely hate to drive it. If for not other reason than not having to waste 15 dollars in gas and two hours of round trip drive time I think that a craft and fabric store in town makes sense. It also gives the reluctant craft-commuter another 15 bucks that can go toward scrapbook material and silk flowers instead of gasoline.
Since OurLosBanos.com opened I have learned of more boutiques in town than I'd have ever imagined and I do not even hear of all of them! In fact on the day I first started writing this article I came across another Christmas boutique that was being put on by 4-6 families out of someone's home. This boutique which will be running on the weekends all through the rest of November and up until Christmas had dozens of items made by local women who were trying to make a little extra income for their families.
There are also regular Church boutiques and several art and craft shows all of which would allow locals and others to make items that they purchased at the craft store into resale goods. The annual Mother's Day In The Park event is the epitome of this sort of event and every year there are numerous booths set up by artisans and craftspeople who could buy their materials locally rather than having to seek them out elsewhere. I think a side benefit might also be that others who had not really considered making things for the event might just try their hand at doing crafts for profit and this would make our local events grow even larger thereby pulling in more out of town visitors too.
Another angle to consider is that the people of Los Banos seem to really like to 'do things up' on the holidays. I have seen a large number of homes do some pretty extravagant decorating for Halloween and Christmas. Families seem to like to put on haunted houses and other things that require this kind of fabric and craft material.
From the viewpoint of a business I'd make note of a couple of other facts as well.
With a large percentage of single family homes being owned by commuters with decent disposable incomes, Los Banos finds itself with a growing number of stay at home moms, homeschoolers and others who have chosen to live here rather than "over the hill" because the cost of homes affords them the opportunity for a more traditional lifestyle or at least one where they can afford to spend their money on something other than a million dollar mortgage. I believe these families would regularly patronize a craft and fabric establishment if it were built in Los Banos. There are also plenty of others members of the community who though of lesser means would be able to make use of a local craft store.
So in summation, I think it is about time that someone consider opening a large scale craft and fabric store here in Los Banos. Many families would benefit from such a store and I believe that such an establishment would be a well received and commonly patronized business. I would expect that a city that is already given to doing special things around the holidays would actually probably engage in that sort of activity this even more if for no other reason than the simple convenience of having a nice craft store would now allow more of that sort of activity without a two hour drive time investment.
Share your opinions with the Los Banos Community on the Los Banos Forums Bulletin Board!
Copyright © 2006 by Our Los Banos and Memorable Places Web Design This page last updated on: March 25, 2007
[Los Banos Forums & Bulletin / Message Boards] [The City Of Los Banos] [Resources] [Los Banos Recreation] [Weather In Los Banos] [Dining and Food] [Community Events] [Maps & Aerial Photos] [Churches] [Education & Homeschooling] [Public Safety] [Opinion Pieces] [Contact Us] [About Us