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Craft a New Niche

Art supply enthusiasts no longer have to make the one-hour-plus trip to Las Vegas to enjoy their craft, thanks to Pahrump Rentals & Do it Best Hardware’s newest endeavor. The hardware store, located in Pahrump, Nevada, recently added a 600-square-foot paint and hobby center that stocks all kinds of art supplies, including pastels, oil paints, coloring books and much more.

The center came to be from a combination of customer and manager demand. “I got a little artistry from my grandma and had no resources in town growing up,” says manager Meghan Thomas. “When customers started asking for art supplies, I jumped on the opportunity.”

One of the stores in the strip mall where the hardware store is located was vacant, and Thomas got to work transforming the space into Do it Best Paint & Hobby. “There’s no one in our area who could give us advice on art supplies. It’s so different from hardware, so I spent hours researching online. Eventually we got in touch with good vendors, and they were happy to guide us.”

The customer response has been overwhelmingly positive, says Thomas, and has attracted a younger crowd.

“Our main customer base has always been seniors, but young people are finding out they don’t have to go all the way to Las Vegas for these supplies. We have high school kids come in every day after school to find out what they can get.” Currently, adult coloring books and professional-grade colored pencils are the most popular items.

The store wasn’t planning to host a grand opening event until customers expressed interest. With support from its co-op and art supplies vendors, grand opening guests enjoyed food and drinks and participated in an art supplies raffle. “Word of mouth is the most important advertiser in our community. The town has really come forward and helped us,” says Thomas.

Thomas hopes to expand the craft niche in the future. She’s waiting for the other space in the strip mall to open up. “Six hundred square feet is not nearly enough for everything. I’m dying to add fabric and yarn.”

About Lynnea Chom

Lynnea is the senior graphic designer for Hardware Retailing magazine, where she works on the layout and design of the magazine and other custom publications. She also does print design for NRHA’s marketing materials, programs and other in-house projects. Lynnea graduated from Ball State University with a degree in Graphic Design. She lives in her hometown of Greenwood, Indiana. During her free time, she enjoys designing, painting, reading and volunteering at her family-owned childcare facility.

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