SUNSET HILLS, Mo. – With shelter in place orders for many, time spent indoors can be cause for cabin fever. But one St. Louis business is keeping hobby and craft enthusiasts busy.
Schaefer’s Hobby Shop in Sunset Hills is a fourth-generation, family-owned business that is trying to keep folks entertained while they’re at home.
“Yeah, always in times when the country is struggling and there’s time of panic wondering what’s going on in the world, it seems like people turn to hobbies because they’re safe spots for them,” says Art Schaefer, store owner. “Maybe in the basement, that train layout or model kit they haven’t put it together for several years. All that stuff seems to be coming out. “
But when customers can’t browse the aisles looking for what they want, this business stepped outside to deliver.
Since 1946, this St. Louis hobby shop has been about keeping people occupied. Whether it’s puzzles or planes, paints and jewelry or art, Schaefer understands the importance of projects.
“Long pieces of straight rubber used for model airplanes,” Schaefer says. “They would put them inside the airplane and wind them up and then throw them. That is what contest rubber is used for and now we’re selling it like crazy for making surgical masks.”
And being open for business is a welcome sight for many.
“We’re happy to provide for all these people, give them something to do in these tough times,” says Don Lash, who’s worked at Schaefer’s for 22 years.
And the resourcefulness of the St. Louis community and customers to this now curbside pick-up business is showing up in ways where some are trying to help others.
“We just had a hospital call us,” says Schaeffer. “They’re buying electronic speed controllers. They’re taking CPAP machines and converting them into respirators. Especially for doctors who are looking at patients. That way they have a mask on and they can control the speed of the fan so it’s not blowing too much or too little. So, I think that really shows us what kind of world we’re living in right now.”
Disaster Loan Information for U.S. Based
Dear NRHSA Members,
As expected, the global pandemic of COVID-19 is having a major impact on businesses.
You can apply at approved banks for the Stimulus Funds from the U.S. Treasury. There are no fees related to the loan. You can borrow up to 2.5 times your average monthly payroll and it will be forgivable if you spend it over the 8 weeks after the loan origination on payroll, utilities, insurance, rent and interest on business loans. Click this link for the loan application:
NRHSA is continuing its efforts to drive traffic to your store’s website with Facebook Advertising. The Store Locator is by far one of NRHSA’s best benefits. It is our hope that you are getting business via your websites and curbside deliveries.
Stay safe everyone, let’s get through this historical time together.
On January 1, 2020, NRHSA began an aggressive Facebook advertising campaign.
Art Schaefer, Chairman of The National Hobby Month Committee stated:
"In my opinion National Hobby Month surpassed expectations. We made an investment in social media ads that has gained us a valuable list of people who have liked the NHM page.
The next step is to keep the momentum moving forward and building onto what we have already accomplished.
NRHSA will highlight a category of the hobby industry each and every month. NRHSA will make 3-4 advertising posts on the following hobbies:
Jan - Pinewood Derby
Feb - Slot Cars
Mar - Model Rockets
Apr- Kites and Outdoor Toys
May - R/C Boats
Jun - R/C Aircraft
Jul - R/C Vehicles
Aug - Die Cast and Collectibles
Sep - Plastic Models
Oct - Gundam & Science Fiction Models
Nov - Educational Toys and Games
Dec - Model Railroading"
According to Rob Gherman, National Retail Hobby Stores Association (NRHSA) Executive Director, the Facebook ad campaign reached an audience of more than 39,000 people during the month of January. There were more than 3,200 click throughs to the NRHSA Store Locator. Rob stated " This is NRHSA dues in action and we are driving customers to our member stores. Our goal is to remind consumers about the joy of the hobbies we support and inform the public where to purchase them".
For further information logon to www.nrhsa.org.
A hobby can be many things, from horseback riding to playing the banjo to knitting. For the National Retail Hobby Stores Association, Hobby Manufacturers Association and the Game Manufacturers Association, we're defining a hobby as recreational activities supported by a hobby store.
We're concentrating on traditional pastimes such as model trains, plastic model kits, rockets, radio controlled airplanes, cars, trucks and boats, as well as board games and tabletop and role-playing games, puzzles and more.
Each January our goal is to remind consumers about the joy of the hobbies we support. Our hobbies can bring generations together, give people a sense of accomplishment, and instill a life-long love of learning and creativity.
Hobbies have been a part of American culture for decades, from the earliest model train sets to balsa wood airplanes to slot cars. The Wright brothers used their skills from carving flying toys as boys to build their aircraft. Neil Armstrong, the first man to walk on the moon, honed his engineering skills as boy working on his model trains.
Today, science, technology, engineering and math skills are vitally important for young people to learn to succeed in today's economy. With hobbies they can learn problem solving and critical thinking skills while they assemble a rocket or tumble rocks into gemstones.
For more information on how you can support National Hobby Month, contact the National Retail Hobby Store Association (NRHSA) www.nrhsa.org or the Hobby Manufacturers Association (HMA) www.hmahobby.org.
Suggested Retailer Activities
News Release from the
Regarding an overview of Remote ID there are three scenarios proposed.
You can read more at: https://www.modelaircraft.org/about-ama/advocacy
Obviously, there are issues with all three scenarios and we encourage you to contact congress through our national campaign. Please post to your social media outlets and share where possible. The more comments given the better. You can use this link to share for comments: https://www.federalregister.gov/documents/2019/12/31/2019-28100/remote-identification-of-unmanned-aircraft-systems It is important to reiterate that you do not have to be an AMA member to make a comment.
LIG Solutions Announces Partnership with National Retail Hobby Stores Association
Cleveland, Ohio (September 17, 2019) — LIG Solutions, a division of Lighthouse Insurance Group, announces a partnership with National Retail Hobby Stores Association (NRHSA) to offer its members, their families, their employees, and others committed to the NRHSA mission access to exclusive healthcare insurance coverages. Click here to download pdf.
Hello HMA Members:
The president's administration is proposing a new 25 percent tariff on $300 billion worth of imports from China, including toys and reduced scale models. The move comes days after the president raised the duty rate to 25 percent on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports that were already subject to 10 percent tariffs.
The Hobby Manufacturers Association (HMA) has joined the efforts to raise awareness of the damaging impact that tariffs would have on the hobby industry, U.S. jobs, and consumers. The HMA supports and has joined the Americans for Free Trade.
We strongly encourage all of our HMA members to join the fight against these tariffs by joining the Americans for Free Trade coalition at americansforfreetrade.com. Scroll down and provide your information in the online form - it's free to join and will help strengthen coalition efforts.
Members will be kept apprised of developments with these new tariffs on the hmahobby.org homepage.
HMA Executive Secretary
MRC IS ACQUIRED BY VSA, INC
MRC will operate as a division of VSA. MRC's headquarters will remain in NJ and the core management will continue in place, including Akiko Kimura, as president and Donald Boyce as executive vice president.
MRC will continue to serve the hobby industry with its category-leading hobby lineup. This includes MRC-Prodigy DCC systems, sound decoders and accessories, and DC & AC train controls.
Among the company's front-running plastic model brands are Academy Model Kits which features armor, aircraft, warships, and ships. Academy also delivers DaVinci, fully functional edu-trainment kits.
Italeri Plastic Models is another MRC brand highlighting military armor, aircraft, trucks, and sports car kits. Finally, Easy Model's factory assembles, hand painted, armor, ships planes, tanks, and figures offer modelers a ready to display choice.
JTT Scenery Products featuring trees, flowering plants, vegetables, and otherlandscaping items are in demand by railroaders and craft enthusiasts. The company's Garden Craft Series round out the MRC brand roster.