By Cynthia Washicko
ASTORIA — After years of hosting paper crafting parties out of her house, Cindy Young moved her efforts selling and designing paper crafts from her living room to downtown Astoria.
Young’s business, Young at Heart Paper Crafting, opened in mid September, and the store has filled a niche in the city, Young said.
“Our town needs this kind of store. There’s a ton of people that are scrapbookers and cardmakers and just paper crafters in general,” she said.
Before opening her store, Young was a representative for Stampin’ Up!, a company specializing in paper crafting products sold through catalogs. Part of her efforts as a consultant for the company included monthly gatherings to instruct others in creating cards and other crafts.
Part of Young’s business model includes weekly cardmaking classes, an offering that has allowed her to continue the work she was doing out of her home, she said. The same group of crafters who met with her regularly has followed her to the store, she said, and it’s on class days that the majority of the shop’s sales are made.
The classes have added more work than she expected, however. When she worked out of her home she was designing two cards every month plus an additional monthly mailer. Now, with around 30 attendees spread out over four classes, her workload to accommodate her customers has jumped, she said.
Even though she missed opening her doors during one of the busiest summers on record, Young said she’s not worried about making it through the winter. She was disappointed to miss out on the tourist traffic that boosted sales for a number of other businesses in the busy months, she said, but her business caters to winter-appropriate activities.
“This is something that people do in the winter. You can’t be outside gardening and doing all those things, people are doing these kinds of things in the wintertime,” Young said.
Eventually Young plans to hire a part-time employee to run the shop off her plate, she said, but that will wait until Young at Heart is stable enough to provide for the range of expenses that come with an added worker.
“I don’t want to have to support this store, I want the store to be able to support itself,” she said.
Until then, Young will continue running the shop on her own six days a week.
This isn’t her first time running a business — her husband owns Nu-Way Carpet in Astoria — but it’s nevertheless an exciting endeavor, she said.
“It’s exciting. It’s overwhelming. It’s just a bunch of things rolled into one,” she said. “It’s going to be a great experience.”