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quiddidyquestions's avatar

What's with the Christian tilt on craft stores?

Asked by quiddidyquestions (1869 points ) April 18th, 2012

I’ve been doing lots of projects lately and have found myself at a few big chain craft and fabric stores.

One of them (Hobby Lobby) has a sign on the door saying they’re closed on Sunday to allow their employees time to worship. They have a whole aisle of cross sculptures, lots of crosses and Jesus themed cards, frames, accessories, etc. I went around the winter holidays and couldn’t find any decor or anything for any holiday other than Christmas. Another fabric store has a whole lot of fabric with cross prints and other Jesusy things.

What’s with this? Is there some big Christianity/crafting crossover I’m not aware of?

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31 Answers

bkcunningham's avatar

The founder of Hobby Lobby David Green is a Christian.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

@bkcunningham Pretty simple I guess! But aren’t many business owners Christian? They don’t all go all out making it so clear. There must be a reason the business model is working in the craft world. I don’t find many (any) blatantly Christian restaurants, gas stations, etc.

JLeslie's avatar

@quiddidyquestions I’m going to say yes, there is a lot of Christians who craft. There are also a lot of Christians in America in general. Hobby Lobby does work with Christian Ministries..

bkcunningham's avatar

It seems like crafting is have a big resurrection.

JLeslie's avatar

Lots of businesses in the bible belt have biblical quotes, the sign of the fish, crosses on walls, on cars, all over. I had never seen a Hobby Lobby until I moved to the south, I am not sure if they are located more in the bible belt, and so their market is heavily evangelical christians? Also, and this is generalizing, Christians tend to do a lot of crafts not only as family fun, I think everyone does that, but also when putting together parties and special events they many times do a lot of the work themselves.

Other businesses are closed on Sundays for religious reasons like Chik FilA if I remember correctly.

JLeslie's avatar

Hmmm, I was just thinking about what you said that every holiday thing was for Christmas. It didn’t register with me shopping wjere I live, becajse it is almost impossible to find Chanukah items at all where I live, unless I drive 25+ minutes to the more Jewish area that suburbs Memphis. Are you saying you live in an area that has a lot of other religions and they are not marketed to at all by Hobby Lobby?

Charles's avatar

If a superstitious organization can convince billions of people there is an invisible man in the sky, then a smart entrepreneur would assume these same people can be convinced to buy products in his store.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

@JLeslie Yup. I live in a fairly large city that leans liberal… not in the Bible Belt.

JLeslie's avatar

@quiddidyquestions Yes, but Hobby Lobby has a Christian founder who started his stores in the Bible belt, well Oklahoma, part of the state is Bible Belt if I remember correctly, and his buying office might be very in tune with that customer. I don’t know if Hobby Lobby stores tend to be in very Christian areas for the most part, even though you are in a liberal city. Don’t misunderstand me, I am pretty liberal, Jewish, and I shop there sometimes when I need crafty things.

JLeslie's avatar

There is definitely more crafty country stuff in the homes here in the midsouth than when I lived in southeast FL, NY, or MD.

Dutchess_III's avatar

What is with this recent rash of “Christian” questions?
It’s a privately owned business. They can do what they want.

GracieT's avatar

This will be somewhat off topic! What struck me as funny was hearing Christian Christmas carols, not just ones like Jingle Bells- actual CHRISTIAN
carols in their stores over Christmas. The owners decorated for Christmas, played Christmas carols, etc. the funny part of that is that the store owners were Jewish. Made it all seem rather silly, even though I understood why they did that.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

@Dutchess_III I certainly didn’t say they couldn’t. But, um, thanks?

JLeslie's avatar

@GracieT I don’t get why that is weird? My favorite carols are the more religious ones.

Carly's avatar

I currently work at Joann’s Fabric and Craft store, and most floor sale employees (cashiers and counter cutters), are required to be available on Fridays, Saturdays AND Sundays.

I’m scheduled on Sunday so often that I haven’t been to church for almost two months.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

Consider the religious demographics of the US. The vast majority claim to be of some sort of Christian faith. Next comes people who claim to have no religious belief. Less than 5% claim to be of a non-Christian faith.

@JLeslie, you could probably address this based upon your retail experience. It seems to me that a large chain like Hobby Lobby would cater to the majority of the population in order to move their products. It’s possible that they have carried craft items targeted to other religions in the past, and they didn’t sell. This could just be a business decision.

There could be other possibilities as well. Maybe they were out of stock on the day that you were there. Maybe a special section is set aside for crafts for other religions and you just didn’t see it. I’ve been to Hobby Lobbys, and those stores are huge! Maybe they do if the store is located in an area has a community that is heavily populated by people of a certain religion.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Yes, it would usually be market driven usually. That is why I asked if the OP lived in a place with many Jews and other religions and Hobby Lobby was not catering to them. Here in the Wolfchase area it would not surprise me at all if they did not have Chanukah stuff, because as I said it is hard to come by in many stores, this past holiday season Dillards at Wolfchase, which in years past had Chanukah items for sale, didn’t. I assume they did not sell well previously. The Kroger at HWY 70 and Appling does not carry any Jewish food, unless it changed this passover, not even during the holidays. I found out one Chanukah when I needed some potato pancake mix, otherwise I had not even noticed. Other Krogers do cater to a Jewish market, even the one on 64 that took over Shnuck’s has some products, and the one near the Paradiso theatre I think is considered the “Jewish Kroger.”

But, it is also possible Hobby Lobby only carries Christian items whe. It comes to religious items, because that is what they want to do. They might be willing to give up some business related to other religions if their convictions about their faith for them, also mean only selling those items. I think they are a private company, not sure, but if they are they certainly can do whatever they want regarding that. I would not be offended by it as a Jewish person, but I find it frustrating having trouble finding stuff for my holiday. There were not any barmitzvah cards in my nearest Walmart or Target when I needed one, I assume if I had gone to a Hallmark store I would have found one. Still Walmart and Target could have 2 or 3, other Jews here are frustrated by that too.

Pied_Pfeffer's avatar

@Leslie That’s interesting that Target doesn’t carry them. I’m guessing that we shop at the same one. A couple of years ago, I bought Chanukah cards, as well as gift cards with a menorah picture on them there.

JLeslie's avatar

@Pied_Pfeffer Target might very well have Chanukah cards. Usually during big holidays stores like that will have a section. The Target near me (I am sure it is the same one) does have a Chanukah display of wrapping paper, plates, dreidrels always during the holiday season in that store, usually facing the main aisle easy to find. I have never shopped for Chanukah cards there, I assume they have them. That is why I was surprised the Kroger on 70 did not have potatoe latka mix during Chanukah. What Target did not have was barmitvah cards, at least when I looked, and I did ask also, which is not a special time during the year.

Aethelflaed's avatar

I think crafting is a bigger part of the Christian middle class culture. It’s that sort of Thomas Kinkade, Precious Moments, televangelists and lemonade thing.

Judi's avatar

There is a three day retreat among Christian communities that involves a lot of little hand made gifts. The format is similar among all of them. It’s hard to explain what they do, but I can tell you that they buy a lot of craft supplies, sing a lot and eat good food.
There are several different groups. You may have heard of Cursillo, Walk to Emmaus, Via de Cristo, Chrysalis, Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) or Kairos. There might be others, but these are the ones I know about.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi What do you think about them? Do you think it is really just a money maker?

Judi's avatar

The weekends? No. They don’t make any money. The crafts are made by the team who actually pay to work the weekend and pay enough to cover their cost and the costs of the “Pilgrim” (person who has never attended a weekend.)
The crafts are given to the pilgrims during the weekend as gifts of love. It doesn’t cost a dime. It’s just an exercise in selfless giving. Community is created in the team preparing for the weekend by making crafts together , planning the menu’s, and preparing for the various talks throughout the weekend. For the most part is stays politically neutral and actually, if the ones I participated in had a leaning it would be liberal.

JLeslie's avatar

@Judi I see. I wasn’t sure if they were selling the products. Thanks for the explanation.

Coloma's avatar

Crafty Christians they are. lol

Judi's avatar

You will probably notice a lot of frogs, butterflies and roosters, but I cant tell you anymore. I’m sworn to secrecy.

DaphneT's avatar

What’s the problem with having Christian oriented products available in craft stores? Does it matter any more than all the products made in India, Bali, China, Taiwan, Argentina, Turkey, and other countries? What sells is what sells, it’s made where it’s made. If that’s the project you want to do then spend your money on the best materials you can afford, buy where the materials are available when the materials are available.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I’m curious @quiddidyquestions…you didn’t indicate one way or the other in your details, but are you offended or miffed by the references to Christianity in the store?

JLeslie's avatar

@Dutchess_III Interesting question. I did not get the impression he was offended or miffed at all. I was just thinking curious.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I didn’t get any impression either, one way or the other. But the fact that the OP even posted the question made me wonder. I wouldn’t think twice about it.

quiddidyquestions's avatar

@Dutchess_III As an atheist, I roll my eyes at it. But I have no real issue with the Christian stuff. I’m choosing to walk into a business. The owners can do as they wish.

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