The School Place Moves, Adds Tutoring, Crafts Space
The store, which hosted its first birthday party two days after the move, can still be found in the Silos shopping center.
The School Place moved just next door to its original location last week, but despite having to move the entire inventory and many shelving units, Abby Rush and her staff stayed open throughout the move. And two days later the new store hosted a birthday party.
"We are serving people. We can't skip a beat," she said.
The School Place moved to expand with a birthday, crafts and tutoring space.
"So we're still in the Silos, we are just one spot over," Rush said.
She opened The School Place two years ago in Crabapple in response to a need she had with her own family.
"My daughter came home with a school report in third grade. It was my only day off, it was raining and it was November – and I didn't want to drive to the mall," Rush said.
She had wished a store with all the supplies her daughter needed was nearby. When she couldn't find another store to come to her neighborhood, she opened her own store at 12315 Crabapple Road. That's still the street address, but it's now in Suite 136.
Rush also wanted to bridge together schools and businesses.
"I waned older people and younger people to work together and all come to one place," she said.
She also wants "a place where teachers came in and felt like heroes the way they used to feel before all the politics. I jus wanted that type of community for my kids."
Her mother taught Latin for 40 years, and her dad was a high school principal, giving her an education lineage.
What she didn't know until after opening The School Place was that people wanted a place to tutor, hold birthday parties and do crafts.
"But I found out people did so I created a crafts place," she said.
Rush said they've always maintained a free list of people who tutor. Now they have a place those tutors can meet with students.
This helped her adjust her expenses so The School Place can remain a viable business for the community.
" I don't want to be a burden, I want to be a blessing," Rush said. "The people who have supported me have blessed me, and I just want to return that."
Now her daughter is in fifth grade, and her son is in third. And he's in the family business, giving craft lessons for Rainbow Loom.
"My son has a following," she said with a bemused smile on her face, saying he's demonstrative and outgoing in his lessons.
She's got more experienced staff, too. Two teachers from Crabapple Crossing Elementary School and a local Sunday school teacher give special educated advice, Rush said.
Rush said they intend to start a grandparent shopping day in April on Wednesdays, offering an extra 10 percent off. And sometime in May, her very best shoppers will benefit from a client appreciation event with exclusive hours, extra crafts and activities for their children.
"We feel like the community has asked us for these things," she said.
She said The School Place donated more money last year to public schools than even Publix – $27,000. Teachers in 18 public schools in the area were given $15 gift cards to The School Place.
"They came in and shopped from 6:30 in the morning until evening for a solid week," Rush said.
They have been working with Enable Georgia, but now will present their summer camp craft events every week also.