Oak Creek residents who love scrapbooking and stamping now have a new, local place to go.
My Paper Playground opened last week at 8880 S. Howell Ave., as part of the Centennial Park strip mall that is also home to and .
The business sells scrapbooking paper and supplies, as well as rubber stamps, inks, tools and embellishments. Owner Sharon Bukowski said she chose companies that couldn't normally be found around here - one of the lines in her store, for example, was produced in New Zealand, and another was produced in South Africa.
"I was really trying to get a lot of diversity in the companies that I have in the store," she said.
Bukowski also offers classes in one of the store's back rooms. When classes are not going on, customers can use the room at no cost.
Bukowski said there isn't a store like this in Oak Creek or the south suburban area, which was one of her motivations in opening it.
But another of her motivations was to try something new after working in the hotel and restaurant industry for about 15 years and for a time as a construction project manager.
For the better part of a decade, scrapbooking and stamping has been one of her passions, and a few months ago she decided to try turning into her profession.
"I was tired of working for somebody else and decided to open this," Bukowski said. "I believe in the philosophy that you have to love your job, otherwise it's just not worth going to."
Not that it wasn't scary, especially with the economy still struggling. Bukowski knows the economy will play a big part in the business' success, but she said scrapbooking is an affordable hobby.
"It's not something they have to give up," she said. "Preserving your family heritage and family memories are always going to be at the forefront."
My Paper Playground is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
FOR MORE: Visit My Paper Playground's website or call (414) 768-6911.