Style and creativity fueled the inspiration of Rock Paper Scissors, an Authorized Brother Dealer and the hottest cross-crafting store in the Montclair, New Jersey area. Known as one of the most eclectic stores of its kind, owner Beth Rowan describes her store as far from traditional. She and her staff make and wear their own clothes, showcasing the latest trends in fashion and accessories. “We are not just a sewing store,” Beth explained. “We live in a creative community that has made us a destination store where customers can come to explore all facets of their creativity through cross-crafting.”
With her Wall Street career behind her and outgrowing her home-based garment business, Beth decided that it was time to expand her passion for creativity. She opened Rock Paper Scissors six years ago and never looked back. “My passion for cross-crafting led me to the concept of Rock, Paper, Scissors,” Beth said. She explains that “Rock” represents the jewelry making part of her business, “Paper” is for mixed media arts like paper arts and card-making, and “Scissors” for sewing, embroidery and quilting. Combining two or all three of the components in one project is known as cross-crafting and has become one of the hottest trends today.
Last June, Rock Paper Scissors became part of the Brother family of dealers and Beth said it has been a great fit for her business. “Brother machines and their cross-crafting technology applications are amazing,” Beth said. “I love how the company designs their machines and thinks outside the box.” The Brother ScanNCut2 is becoming one of the most popular machines at Rock Paper Scissors. “ScanNCut2 is a great machine for us,” Beth said. “We have done amazing cross-crafting projects not only with the paper element, but with fabric as well.”
Rock Paper Scissors has earned its reputation on many levels, and Beth said it’s their dedication to education and offering classes to a diverse group of customers that has helped them earn that credibility. Their Tweens and Teens program is part of a four level course for kids from 10-15 years old. “Each level builds upon itself so the kids can work toward independent sewing,” Beth explained. “It helps them discover their own unique abilities.” Beth said she incorporates Brother machines into the classes. “Our younger students love the Simplicity® by Brother line of machines. They are not only fun and easy to use but they’re affordable,” said Beth. “It’s a great sewing line for beginners, and I love the way Brother keeps all the features consistent when moving up to a more advanced machine. It’s a comfortable transition that makes Brother a great choice.”
Millennials make up one of the fastest growing markets in the sewing and crafting industry today. Beth explains that the Brother Persona PRS100 is one of the most popular embroidery machines with millennials who are tapping into their entrepreneurial sides and starting their own businesses. “Embroidery and monogramming are huge trends,” Beth said. “Machine embroidery and digitizing custom artwork on finished projects are some of the most popular embellishments with today’s sewers.”
With spring/summer classes approaching, Rock Paper Scissors has adopted the Me Made May concept as part of their “wardrobe series” of classes. Me Made May was first started in 2010 by blogger Zoe Edwards, author of the popular sewing blog So Zo…What Do You Know, as a personal challenge to test how well her handmade wardrobe would function. She then introduced it to the online sewing community. The goal is to wear at least one self-stitched or refashioned garment each day in the month of May, documenting the outfits on blogs and social media. Today there are over 700 bloggers around the world participating in the challenge. “This blogging phenomenon inspired us to shape our wardrobe classes around this concept,” Beth said. The wardrobe is always selected and designed for the upcoming season. For example, the spring wardrobe will include garments such as a sundress, beach cover up and shorts for the summer. In addition to the wardrobe series, the schedule of classes include beginning sewing and quilting which Beth said is a great way to introduce her customers to Brother sewing machines and to increase her sales.
Quilting is a big part of Beth’s business and her quilting program at Rock Paper Scissors has a strong voice in the quilting community. The New Jersey chapter of the Modern Quilt Guild started at her store, where modernday quilters could participate in the community-based program. The response was so overwhelming that they now meet at an outside location. With such a strong quilting presence and her love for the amazing quilting features on Brother machines, Beth created “The Journey of Rocketman,” her own unique quilt project to show the power and diversity of Brother machines. “I wanted to create one consistent project showing the progression of the quilt to showcase the amazing capabilities of Brother machines,” Beth said. “I loved using the Brother ScanNCut2 and THE Dream Machine Innov-ís XV8500D throughout the project,” Beth explained. “It made the process fun and effortless.”
Beth affectionately refers to herself, her staff and her customers as “makers” who love to sew, quilt, embroider and create. She says in the short time she has been a Brother dealer she can already see a trend in some of the stand-out machines in her store. “The amazing technology in Brother machines allows sewers and crafters to partner with their creativity and expand and support their artistic side,” Beth explained. “It’s where technology meets creativity.” Beth said her favorite Brother machine is the DreamCreator™ Innov-ís VQ2400 quilting and sewing machine, and raves that it is the ultimate machine to strive for when stepping up and growing into a higher end machine.
Embracing the trends and staying ahead of the curve have been a perfect combination for Beth’s success. She explains how being a Brother dealer has added another layer of excitement to her business and has expanded her clientele. “I’m thankful to Brother for supporting Rock Paper Scissors as a new dealer,” Beth adds. “I believe everything you do in life leads you to your destined life path.”