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This is Fred Ball for Zions Bank, speaking on business.
Some people take a hobby and make a business out of it. Some ... make a business out of other people's hobbies. Well, that's exactly what Mack Bingham did. He saw potential profits in selling products to people with special hobbies and talents, and created a 40,000-square-foot business called Macs Hobby & Craft Superstore.
Before Macs Superstores existed, Mack worked his way up from the ranks to be an executive for one of the world's largest retail companies, Skaggs/American Stores. After he resigned from his position at an early age, Mack's wife, Carole, suggested he occupy his time by opening a store in the hobby and craft industry. For this reason, the store's name "Macs" spelled with a C combines Mack's and Carole's names.
Mack started the store in Boise with no intent to grow. However, low prices, convenience and a large selection of products have allowed Mack to build an additional store in Nampa, and four others in and around Salt Lake City. In fact, Mack is looking to open two more stores in Salt Lake along with plans for expansion into Nevada.
Mack tells me the craft and hobby industry is worth more than $5 billion because of the popularity of home projects, whether it is painting, flower arranging, framing or scrapbooking. Mack says that crafts and hobbies give people a break from today's pressures.
Mack tells me that although 80 percent of his customers are women, Macs Superstores is still a big toy store for both women and men. At times, professionals are hired to teach classes in things like wood, oil or watercolor painting, and even cake decorating.
Mack said one of the biggest problems in the craft and hobby industry is that customers have to go to several different stores to get the things they need. But Macs Superstores has counteracted that problem by supplying approximately 56,000 products.
For Zions Bank, I'm Fred Ball. I'm speaking on business.