EASTON — After 25 years, Ben Franklin Crafts & Framing Center, at 101 Marlboro Ave., Suite 31, will close its doors in late October.
“It basically comes down to dollars and cents, and being able to operate a profitable business,” store owner Scott Milligan said. “The cost of doing business — labor costs and rent — is going up.
“With the current outlook and prospects that we have for doing business, with our type of business in the area, long-term it doesn’t look too good. It is best for us to liquidate at this time and move on.”
Ben Franklin Crafts & Framing Center sells arts and crafts to cater to customers’ artistic needs. If a customer needs to put together memories, scrapbooking, picture frames and custom framing are available.
Seasonal items for fall, Halloween, Christmas, spring, Easter and Valentine’s Day also are available. Needle works, yarn including premier yarns, knitting needles, crochet and stitchery kits for those interested in learning to knit and crochet are available, as well. If you are an artist, Ben Franklin offers artist paints, sculpting clay, modeling clay and children’s crafts.
The store has started to liquidate and is offering discounts on all items.
Scott and Mary-Ann Milligan opened the 10,000-square-foot store in August 1994. Twelve to 14 years ago, the store expanded to 15,000 square feet.
Over the years, the store has given back to the community, including with Plein Air Easton, the Academy Art Museum and the Ben Franklin Artist of the Month program at Easton High School.
“We are fortunate to have been able to operate a small business in this community for 25 years,” Scott Milligan said. “I think it is a heck of an accomplishment. I sure would have loved for it to be 30 years, but that wasn’t in the cards.”
Outside Ben Franklin, Milligan works for the Avalon Foundation and has a sound and production company.
With a new chapter starting, Scott and Mary-Ann Milligan said they will never forget all the people they have met along the way.
“We want to thank all of our clients, all of our business associates, customers and all of our employees that have supported us over the years. We couldn’t have done it without them,” Mary-Ann Milligan said.
One of those customers was Suzanne Todd of Claiborne, who has been a regular for more than five years. She recalls wanting to explore the store after having a friend who worked in the framing department and did beautiful work.
That inspired her to keep coming back for not only frames, but art supplies for classes at the Academy Art Museum. To see one of her favorite places close is sad for Todd.
“If I needed art supplies and they didn’t have in stock, they would order it and it came in just a few days,” Todd said. “The service was great, and people here were very helpful and friendly. I’m sad it is going to leave, and I’m guessing it is mostly because of competition. I will go to Michaels, but I would have preferred that Ben Franklin stayed here.”
Ben Franklin will continue to be open until the end of October, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call 410-820-0202.