May 2007 Issue
A craft store in Columbus operates under a most unusual form of capitalism, where a sense of pride supersedes profit, and selling something made with one's two hands is still an accomplishment.
Housed in a former schoolhouse in German Village, The Golden Hobby Shop is a nonprofit consignment store for artists and crafters 50 years of age and older who reside in Franklin or surrounding counties.
"There's no other place like it," says Rebekah McCaleb, who has shopped for handmade doilies and quilts there for 25 years.
Operated by the Columbus Recreation and Parks Department, the shop features six rooms filled with items guaranteed to delight browsers of all ages. Smiling Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls rest on shelves in a children's corner, ready to be tucked into handmade wooden beds resting nearby. Crochet-topped dish towels decorated with flowers and chickens hang in the kitchen aisle near lacy outfits created for the "well-dressed pet."
The "hillbilly briefcase," a wooden handle bearing a pair of large underwear, awaits takers in the gag-gift section. "They were a big hit last year at the Ohio State Fair," says Pat Glassburn, one of 400 consignees the shop represents.
A retired accountant, Glassburn, 69, sets her own prices on the doll clothes and afghans she makes. The shop adds 20 percent to cover operational costs. If her items sell, Glassburn earns her asking price. Most consignees aren't in it for the money, though. "If we were, we'd be broke," she says. "You're lucky to pay for your supplies."
For customers such as McCaleb, the shop is the ideal spot to find one-of-a-kind crafts at old-fashioned prices. "And, she adds, "if you see something that takes your fancy and it's not the color you want, you can order one that is."
The Golden Hobby Shop is located at 630 S. Third St. For more information, call 614/645-8329.