Her hair is dark and cut in an angled bob. Her porcelain skin and bright, coordinated clothes are a blend of old meets new, much like the shop in which she stands. She is nestled tightly amongst the handmade bookmarks, greeting cards, colorful scarves, and accessories galore, quietly scrolling through pages on her iPad. The shop is Running With Scissors Creative Collective and the woman, owner Ellen Alleman, is a young, savvy entrepreneur willing to take on the challenge of opening a business in downtown Springfield during an economic recession.
Running With Scissors is located in the heart of downtown Springfield next to Un Mundo Café and across the street from the Marriott. This small, local boutique specializes in all-things handmade. You can purchase anything from a greeting card to soap to expensive fiber art for your home.
Running With Scissors originally started as a trio of crafters who joined forces in June 2010 to sell their goods at the Springfield farmers market each week. Garnering its name from the one thing that all three crafty ladies had in common, scissors, Running With Scissors opened as a store last November. Originally, the store was to just open during the holiday season, but sales and demand were enough to keep the store open year round. Alleman has big plans for the boutique.
“I’d love to see some sort of collaboration with a permanent gallery of some kind,” said Alleman. “We would also love to teach classes for people, that’s our biggest request.”
But how does such a niche boutique open and survive during poor economic times?
“It is hard,” admitted Alleman, “The economy definitely took a turn for the worst before we opened. But we have so many items priced under five dollars that it worked out.”
Located downtown, Running with Scissors has a slew of different clientele on a regular basis. City commissioners stop in for gifts as well as people visiting the city and just wandering downtown. Even people with zero income wander into the store just looking for something to do.
“Around here in Springfield, there are no other stores like this,” said Alleman with a smile. “Yellow Springs and the Short North already have such similar stores.”
Despite the small number of square feet in the facility, there is plenty to look at. The most interesting item in the store, according to Alleman, is the anatomically correct box of chocolates. The chocolates are molded into the shape of a brain, heart, stomach, pancreas, and more. The woman who designed the chocolates is studying to become a nurse.
“People either think they’re really cool or don’t like them at all,” said Alleman.
When she isn’t crafting, Alleman spends her time shopping or taking photographs, which she says she would never sell. She insists the majority of her time is spent working on some sort of craft or design project for the store.
With such creative, unique, and handmade gifts surrounding you, it may be hard to pick a favorite. Alleman says her favorite items in the store are the candies.
“They’re the only things in the store that I can’t make!” said Alleman laughing.
Along with the delicious chocolate temptations, being right next door to Un Mundo, a local coffee shop, causes some trouble for Alleman, who purchases coffee there every day.
“I usually get a vanilla latte,” said Alleman with a laugh, “but I do love their caramel mocha, it’s good iced or hot. But I sometimes ask them to make me anything they want and end up with a surprise.”
(Shelly Gregory / email@example.com)