Business

Longtime Bellingham business to close after putting a stamp on crafting community

Longtime Bellingham craft business owners retire

Stampadoodle and The Paper Cafe at 1825 Grant St., Bellngham, Wash., are closing in August 2019 after 28 years in business.
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Stampadoodle and The Paper Cafe at 1825 Grant St., Bellngham, Wash., are closing in August 2019 after 28 years in business.

A longtime Bellingham business that organized a vibrant community of art and stamp fans is closing at the end of August.

Steve and Wendy Schwartz have decided to retire and started a closing-business sale for Stampadoodle and The Paper Cafe at 1825 Grant St., near the North State Street intersection.

The company has been in business for 28 years, starting out in a 153-square-foot spot in Fairhaven. With its card-making classes, art demonstrations and hard-to-find stamps and paper, the business kept growing, eventually landing in its 6,000-square-foot spot at the end of 2008.

Steve Schwartz said in an interview with The Bellingham Herald that what they will miss the most is the customers who became friends over the years through workshops and demonstrations. The weekly Wednesday demonstrations have been in place for 24 years, drawing 20-50 people each week. The “Tuesdays with Wendy” sessions have been around 13 years, also drawing around 50 people in multiple sessions.

“If you can get your customers to come to your store every week, that’s huge,” Steve Schwartz said, noting that it gave them the chance to really know their customers.

The store is also known for its art and craft products, including paper material to make invitations. It is also a popular place for notary stamps, Steve Schwartz said.

While Stampadoodle itself is ending, its ideas and concepts may not be. Elli Anderson, who has worked at the store for seven years, is working on a plan to open a smaller store later this year with many of the same products. She wants to be in the same part of town and is currently looking for a new location. For updates on Anderson’s plans, go to Stampadoodle’s website and click the Newsletter Sign-up button.

Once the store closes, the couple plan on doing some traveling and Wendy Schwartz plans on continuing her artwork and teaching classes.

The retirement sale started July 4 with 20% off all products. Fixtures are also on sale. Updates and details can be found on the company’s Facebook page.

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Dave Gallagher has covered the Whatcom County business community since 1998. Retail, real estate, jobs and port redevelopment are among the topics he covers.
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