Hundreds of crafters turned out the morning of Oct. 5 to welcome JoAnn Fabrics to Culpeper.
A line of more than 200 people snaked through Dominion Shopping Center as the store opened in the location once operated by Sports Authority.
Store manager James Hinton cheerily greeted customers and helped them line up for an opportunity to win a gift card of up to $250.
Hinton noted that the crowd was excited because everyone knows exactly what they’ll get at JoAnn Fabrics.
“JoAnn has their identity, to me it’s the brand,” Hinton said.
Craft supplies, decorations and fabrics were the draw for the customers, who have had to travel as far away as Warrenton or Fredericksburg to visit a JoAnn store in the past.
“We are really excited, this was an area that uncovered by us,” district manager Mike Burton said. “We have stores all around and we thought this would be the perfect location. We have customers who travel miles to get to other JoAnn stores.”
Burton said JoAnn offers a one-stop shop for crafting and fabrics.
“We’ve always been synonymous with good quality product and our customers love shopping with us,” he said. “Our goal is make sure we make this their happy place.”
Diana Young, Regional Vice President of JoAnn Fabrics, said she is constantly amazed at what customers create.
“A lot of customers will finish a product and come back and show it to us,” Young said.
It’s not always for personal use, either, Young said, as customers often make crafts for charity events – whether it’s for military, cancer shawls or young children in need.
“It’s really exciting when we get to be part of that,” Young said.
JoAnn made an immediate impact in the community, donating $2,000 to Culpeper County elementary schools. They also invited the Culpeper County High School women’s a capella group “In the Key of She” to perform at the grand opening.
“We love to teach the younger generation,” Young said. “We just joined an exclusive partnership with Girl Scouts. We’re really excited because that’s a whole new generation of young girls we can inspire.”
Down the line of customers, many expressed their thrill with JoAnn Fabrics coming to town.
“We finally have a story here that we can deal with when it comes to crafts,” Jeanine Resau said.
Sheila Rutherford used to craft before moving to Culpeper, but the amount of time needed to travel to get supplies turned her away. Now, she’s looking forward to getting involved again with JoAnn Fabrics in town.
“I’m excited for the crafts and the opportunities it brings to our town,” Rutherford said.