Ben Franklin Crafts


About Ben Franklin Crafts (thanks to Wikipedia):

Ben Franklin is a chain of five and dime discount stores found in small towns throughout the United States currently owned by Promotions Unlimited. They are organized using a franchise system, with individual stores owned by independent proprietors. It was perhaps the first retail franchise, starting in 1927. They are named after Benjamin Franklin, taking a cue in their merchandise offerings from Franklin’s saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.”


The chain originated in Boston in 1877 as Butler Brothers, a mail-order wholesaler selling general and variety-store items. At the turn of the twentieth century, Butler Brothers had over 100,000 customers in the United States. The rise of variety stores, which were taking their market, led the company to found the Ben Franklin stores chain. It sold this chain in 1959. At Ben Franklin’s peak the chain had 2,500 stores nationwide.

Wal-Mart founder Sam Walton made his start in retailing as an operator of a Ben Franklin store. In 1973, Michael J. Dupey converted a Ben Franklin store to start the Michaels chain in Texas.

Duke & Ayres

Ben Franklin Stores purchased Texas retailer Duke & Ayres in the early 1970s. Duke & Ayres was a chain of 5 and 10 cent stores based in Dallas, Texas, with stores that were located throughout the state from approximately 1910 to 1990.


The chain had functioned largely as a wholesaler of variety and craft merchandise sold to its franchisees under the name Ben Franklin Retail Stores Inc. In the early 1990s, however, it began opening stores of its own. Those stores were not successful and their financial problems ultimately interfered with the chain’s ability to deliver goods to its franchisees, 860 locally owned stores in 47 states. The company went bankrupt and closed these stores in 1996-1997.

Promotions Unlimited

Promotions Unlimited had stepped in as a supplier for many Ben Franklin franchisees during the corporation’s descent into bankruptcy. It acquired the name of the chain in 1997 as the old corporate entity was moving into Chapter 7. It has continued operating as a distributor servicing individual franchisees and advertising the products sold there through direct mail services and newspaper inserts. The chain comprises about 209 craft stores and 123 variety stores, the latter being akin to five and dimes. Promotions Unlimited provides similar advertising and promotional services for thousands of other retail stores unaffiliated with Ben Franklin Stores.

Retail focus

Ben Franklin Crafts stores carry creative products like needlecrafts, florals, wicker, paints, fabrics, yarn, and offer services like custom framing, craft classes, and the Ben Franklin Crafts Club.

The company logo, a key giving off a spark, refers to Franklin’s famous experiment to prove that lightning was a form of electricity using a key suspended from a kite.

Williamson Fine Teas Ltd. Launches Website Showcasing Tea Farming Transparency

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(Nr Marlborough, Wiltshire)– According to doctors, tea offers a variety of benefits for a person who drinks it on a regular basis. Tea has anti-inflammatory benefits as well as antioxidant properties. Those who drink tea are at a lower risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Making tea without additives also contains very few calories, making it a healthy choice for a drink.

The downside to tea is the amount of pesticides that might be used in the production and the lack of knowing what sources were used to make the tea. For those concerned about the environment, the carbon footprint created when teas are shipped across the world is also a concern.

Williamson Fine Teas Ltd. is a fifth-generation company attempting to alleviate these concerns with their new website. In light of stories about Tea farmers being taken advantage of, pesticide use being higher than national limits, and trouble determining exactly where the tea was cultivated, this company is working to show consumers exactly where their tea is grown and how it’s cultivated and delivered to their home.

Edward Magor, spokesperson for Williamson Fine Teas Ltd., stated, “We believe everyone should know the origin of their teas. We are offering complete transparency of the process from the growing tea leaves to the cultivation, processing and shipment. Consumers can visit our website to learn everything they want to know about our teas.”

The Bush to Cup Transparency offered by Williamson Fine Teas Ltd., focuses on introducing consumers to the way tea is grown, who is growing the tea, and more. The company manages all of their farms sustainably to ensure future generations can enjoy the benefits of the fertile soils and wild forests. Williamson Fine Teas Ltd. uses the unique properties of each of the farms to grow the tea naturally, without the use of pesticides.

On the website, consumers can learn about their four farms located in the Kenyan highlands. Consumers can click on a link to each of these farms to learn about the climate, soil, and animals living in the area. The blog also reviews information consumers may want to read to learn more about tea, the benefits of tea, and the growth of the tea. 

Consumers can purchase teas directly from their website and take advantage of free shipping with a minimal purchase. The consumer can choose from a variety of flavors and can even choose tea grown at the farm they prefer. This is done by clicking on the name of the farm on the main website and taking a look at what teas are grown there.

Magor stated, “Our teas arrive in a unique elephant container. We have partnered with the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and a percentage of every elephant caddy that is sold online is donated to this trust. Tea drinkers can feel good about their contributions as they purchase the finest quality tea from our farms.”

About Williamson Fine Teas Ltd.:

Williamson Fine Teas Ltd. is a fifth-generation tea farming business committed to growing the highest-quality sustainable teas. The company strives to benefit Kenya, where their farms are located. The company has over 140 years of experience growing tea and blends fine teas completely grown on their own farms to control the quality of the product. The company is introducing their new website with an innovative bush to cup transparency program to ensure consumers know they’re receiving pesticide-free, sustainably grown teas.

Media Contact:

Edward Magor

Manor Farm, Little Bedwyn Estate, Little Bedwyn, Nr Marlborough, Wiltshire, SN8 3JR



Buying Craft Materials Online

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Ruth asks…

Any good craft ideas to do with my son for Easter?

I want to make Easter crafts with my son but everything I find online ask for a lot of materials. I don’t want to spend 40-60 dollars doing crafts. I don’t mind buying materials but the ones online are too expensive. Can anyone give me any cheap good craft ideas. I don’t care if they are religious as we believe in Jesus. Thank you for your ideas!

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Color Easter eggs and bake some Easter cookies ans mini cup cakes. Let him help decorate them.Then take some to a near by nusing home. That would be a very kind thing to do as many of the folks there don’t have family and friends near by.

Mary asks…

Where can I buy materials for resin jewelry making here in the Philippines?

I’m looking for a store where I can find materials for resin jewelry making such as molds, mold release and the like.

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Often you can find supplies for making resin jewelry at craft stores, art supply stores, and sometime hobby stores, as well as finding craft-quality epoxy resin at hardware stores…don’t polyester resins there though–won’t be craft quality.

If you want more than a few molds, or a few types of clear resin and brands of each though, you’ll probably want to go online:

You might also want to check out the info I have on this page at my site re resins–using them, brands, tutorials, examples, etc:

And you might want to read some of my previous answers about resin here at YA for some summarized info in these questions:;_ylt=AqRoGzjtN95Is41Kmm_SHHfsy6IX;_ylv=3?qid=20091011042033AAytK0x
releases and molds especially:

Susan asks…

Do I need some kind of permit to participate in a Craft Show?

I am planning on having a table at an up coming craft show, however this will be my first show. Because of that, I need to know if I need to have a vendors license/permit or some other document allowing me to sell my products. Are there any experienced crafters that can help me?

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

These are two different things:
1) the permission to join the show activity, which some craft shows address in the form of a prejudging (to be sure all vendors are of a similar artistic level). And then the
2) legal tax entity in the form of a wholesale license, reseller’s license, or seller’s permit. You can get one for a short term, like 30 days or as a permanent business.

You’ve already cleared any hurdle regarding #1 if you are welcomed to the show, and please remember that you should never have to pay to get information regarding #2 because this is normal state tax activity.

The object of the game is: The state wants to collect sales tax or otherwise be advised of business operation. The benefit is, that with a wholesalers or sellers’ license, you can purchase your materials at a lower cost and tax free; it can often get you into areas of trade shows that the ordinary purchaser (the retail buyer) has no access. The down side is: welcome to business, you’re now expected to keep records. But this stuff really isn’t that hard.

The laws are different by state – so you will want your own state’s websites, the examples I have (below) are California because that’s were I live. Search on your state’s name and Seller’s Permit.

Seller’s Permits are usually FREE, they can be had for short periods (like 30 days to cover just the one show) or ongoing. The records you keep are simple: what did you buy & what did you sell. You tally total goods sold and pay the sales tax to the state. It’s a form and you write a check. So where did you get the money? Well, as a business – you charge your customers.

And how do you deal with that at the show? You could plan ahead, figuring what you were going to charge, what the tax would be and round up to an currency-even number so making change was not tedious. Whatever price you choose, plan ahead. If you make it easier for customers, it will encourage sales. “Who must obtain a Seller’s Permit?”

California Board of Equalization “Do You Need a California Seller’s Permit?”

For California, where to get the forms (small business center) note the online tutorials on state tax:

CA Seller’s Application form:

Websites like this one, have a lot of general information well beyond the simple Seller’s Permit that you need, but you can go through their checklists and learn something. Please remember, there’s no reason to give them money to file for you – filing is FREE at your own state’s office. Http://

Craft Business: Basics of Getting Started

Federal Tax info – & BTW don’t get scared, lots of people have businesses on the side. If you’re a single entity (not a partnership) all federal tax is on your own tax return just stated as additional income, when it’s over a certain amount, federal tax laws kick in.

Barbra Brabec’s Craft Business website – some good tips

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Scrapbooking Ideas

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Jenny asks…

Any good places to get cheap scrapbooking materials?

Does anyone know of any good places that are cheap, but still have cute scrapbooking ideas + items.

If you could tell me, that would help me out a lot!

:-) thanks

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Target has a lot of cute scrapbooking stuff now… JoAnnes fabric store has a TON of stuff. Doller tree and dollar general have stuff too, but make sure they are acid free before you buy otherwise there is a chance you will screw up your pictures. Wal-mart has some cute stuff, Hobby Lobby and Michaels are my two favorites though. To find lots of paper, pens, stickers, adhesive, and other fun scrapbooking goodies, check out Ebay.

Lizzie asks…

What is a good website to look at for scrapbooking?

I am just looking for a kool site to browse through for some scrapbooking ideas!!

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:


Try the following websites: – type scrapbooking in the Search box and see what happens – best one I found…









Http:// – type scrapbook websit in the Search engine…







Http:// scrapbooking…


Also check this Answer section for others who asked the same question. By typing in ” scrapbook ideas” in the search box

Also goto to Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Meijers,Pages in times,Joanns,Micheals they have tons of stuff and well as scrapbooking magazines to help you get started Also look in the Yahoo Yellow Pages for: Scrapbook Stores,Art and Crafts Store as well as the Store above located around your area. Also try your public library they have a lot of stuff on the subject .

Hope this helps.

Mandy asks…

Can you give me some new scrapbooking embellishment ideas?

Looking to add some jazz to my scrapbook pages but don’t want to use the typical embellishments like brads and simple stickers. Anyone have scrapbooking embellishment ideas that are unique and fun?

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

You should check out paper quilling for scrapbooking embellishments…you can make some really cool quilled patterns and its not all that expensive to buy the materials (although not available in most stores, so you have to get online.) Quilling is a great way to embellish your scrapbooks. If you don’t know what it is, its basically coiling thin strips of paper into fun designs like quilled flowers, animals, letters, etc. I discovered it not too long ago and I think its pretty cool and definitely a neat paper embellishment for scrapbooks; plus its pretty unique! You can check it out at and watch the free video lesson on quilling to see what I mean. Enjoy your scrapbooking! Hope that gives you a good idea to use for your pages!

Susan asks…

I’m making a scrapbook for my boyfriend for a graduation gift. Help?

I need some good tips or scrapbooking ideas to make it as special as I can. It’s only a little one, but I thought it would be nice. Any ideas of things I could add?

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

You can ask his parents for pictures for when he was growing up. You can scan them, so you can give them back the originals. Do a year by year review all the way up to graduation. Or, you can just do his high school years. Include his yearly pictures, pictures of any sports or clubs he was in, snap shots of him and his friends through the years. Remember to journal everything that happened throughout the year, and include any memorabilia that you may have

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Arts And Crafts Furniture

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Sandra asks…

help me Limbert arts&crafts Furniture Grand Rapids and Holland?

I bought a mahogony dressing table at a yard sale it measures 34″X19″ & is 29″ tall it has one long drawer across the top spindle legs with a dainty rail around three sides on the bottom, and has a tri-fold mirror{needs repair to wood} the table is in excellent cond. with the original hardware and no damage to carvings.Without the tri-fold mirror it looks like a ladies writing desk.I don’t think the finish on top is original it is in such good shape it must have been refinished but they did a good job.Inside is branded LINBERTS ARTS & CRAFTS FURNITURE GRAND RAPIDS AND HOLLAND. Can anyone tell me where to look to find the value? I found lots of history about the maker and I know this furniture is mentioned with the same respect as STICKELY any help will be greatly appreciated will be happy to send pic’s thanks,L.S

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

I have a numbered marked dining room suite..10 pieces
made by the Grand Rapids chair company

if you can fine anyone who wants one..let me know

Susan asks…

Do anyone know where there is a consignment store that sell arts and crafts?

I looking to sell my art and crafts products through a store but I don’t where the consignment stores are. I already look at Google. I found shops for clothes and furniture. I will be able to sell a few of my items through a furniture and some my other items through clothing store, but I looking a place to sell all my item through one store.

I will be selling light switch cover designs, artworks and jewelry and more.

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Most art & craft galleries/shop sell much of their stock on commission. Find an outlet that suits your own work and contact them to show them a sample of your work.

Sandy asks…

What is the best color scheme to use on walls and bedding for honey colored bedroom furniture?

I bought a bedroom set that is arts and crafts style and is a light honey color. I am getting ready to redo the bedroom and have no idea what color to use on bedding and the walls. We just did the living room in blues and now I am thrown for a loop trying to figure out what colors to use for the bedroom. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Try out the light colours…the look will be really gr8…with adjustable lghts it vll b even more better, fr colour combinations u can search online sites vch vll help u better..

Laura asks…

What were the factors influencing design trends of the arts and craft movement?

what were the factors influencing design trends of the arts and craft movement in the 19th and 20th centuries

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

The Arts and Crafts movement arose during the ?rst world-wide depression.Born in England during the late 19th century, the movement spread throughoutWestern Europe and as far as Russia, Australia, and the United States beforebeing e?ectively annihilated by the First World War. While remnants of themovement survived the War, never again would its techniques and ideologyresonate as strongly. The conventional story of the movement’s birth is wellknown: reacting to the degradation of human labor accompanying the rise ofindustrial capitalism, Ruskin, Morris, and their compatriots sought to recoverthe romance and dignity of craftsmanship by reinvoking the spirit of a bygoneera wherein artisans, working side by side, created art with their hands ratherthan producing commodities as part of a machine. Reacquainting work withgrace would reintroduce meaning to labor. And realized as home and furniture,housewares and decor—what has been called the “stu? Of life”—the Arts andCrafts movement would restore beauty to the world.

As the movement spread from country to country, it attracted a diverse groupof practitioners. Some joined with the movement’s founders, eschewing indus-trial production and returning to traditional craftsmanship, standing againstcapitalism and joining the blossoming socialist program. Others departed fromthe founding ideologies in one or more ways: declining the socialist call, toler-ating or embracing the machine, abiding or encouraging the commercializationof one’s craft. More overtly, a variety of styles and design techniques emerged.

While many have recognized the diversity found within the Arts and Craftsmovement, few have sought to understand it. Typically, artistic movements arede?ned by a particular aesthetic style. But the Arts and Crafts are not de?ned as such. Aesthetic styles varied within countries, across countries, and over time.A recent Los Angeles County Museum of Art retrospective, The Arts and CraftsMovement in Europe and America, 1880–1920: Design for the Modern World,was the ?rst exhibition devoted to exploring and appreciating how various coun-tries adapted and transformed the ideals of the movement “to suit their ownnational identities and economic needs amid rapid industrialization.”

Typically it is said that the design of an object should re?ect its nature and purpose.While elaborate ornament is characteristic of the Arts and Crafts movement, “it does not embellish it unduly or make it look like something else.”

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Ben Franklin Arts And Crafts

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Ruth asks…

Where can individual colored pencils be purchased inexpensively?

These individual colored pencils are for children – professional quality not needed. Looking for gold. Thanks!

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Michael’s Arts & Crafts

AC Moore

Ben Franklin Arts & Crafts

Dick Blick Art Supplies

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Ben Franklin Craft Supplies

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Laura asks…

where can i find plastic rolls for cake making here in san jose?

I live in san jose california and I’m trying to find a place to buy supplies for making cakes. Any information is welcomed!!!

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Michael’s Crafts carries Wilton’s cake and decorating supplies also see if you have a La Sur Table store in your area. I’m up in the north bay and I know there is a few La Surs in the area. Just google either of these places and go to store locator. Ben Franklin’s is another place to try. Good luck

Lisa asks…

where could my gramma look for quilt ideas?

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

I would just try searching for “Quilt Patterns”. I bet there are a ton of sites out there dedicated to a million different patterns and ideas! You could also try a fabric store in your area. I know that Jo-Ann’s and Ben Franklin’s Craft Store both carry a lot of books and all of the supplies a quilter needs. Good Luck!!

Maria asks…

Does anyone know where to buy a Price tagging tag gun ?

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Try first going to a craft store like Michaels, Ben Franklin Crafts or any large craft store. If They can’t help you then try an office supply store. Either one could probably order one for you. Or try E-Bay. They have everything!

Sharon asks…

I have quite the collection of hotel soaps… What can I do with them? A craft of some sort.?

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Don’t throw them away! I hate wasting anything and I think that is awful to just throw something away that is perfectly fine. I think you should buy soap scents and different plastic design soap cups. Melt the soaps, add a little scent to get rid of the hotel smell and make your own soaps! You can get the supplies at Michael’s, Ben Franklin, or any craft store.

Lizzie asks…

where can i find these craft supplies in a store?

Ben Franklin Crafts answers:

Most major craft stores like Michaels, JoAnns, Hobby Lobby, Ben Franklin, A.C. Moore, & Tall Mouse. You might even try WalMart in their craft section.

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