There is a difference between a craft store and a hobby store. It’s almost like the difference between a bookstore and a comic shop. It isn’t that either caters exclusively to one gender, but in a hobby store, much like a comic shop, there tends to be a scarcity of females present. I imagine as a guy this isn’t a big deal, but for me (being female as I am) it is a fact of which I am keenly aware.
When I walk into a craft store I can go unnoticed for up to five minutes before anyone even thinks of asking me if I’m finding everything alright. However, the moment I open the door at the hobby store there is instantaneous notice. I generally don’t make it a step or two past the threshold before someone (typically a guy) is asking me if I need any help. Things can go one of two ways at this point.
If I say, “No, thanks. Just looking.” Then the store clerk usually gives me the cursory, “Well, let us know if you need anything,” and dismisses me as a lost soul that will figure it out soon enough and leave.
However, if I say something like, “Yes. Where are your D&D die?” I become the center of a curiosity vortex. Just about every eye shifts my way, though some are more discreet than others. The clerk begins to pepper me with questions that generally start off with why I might be looking for such an item. Do I want loose die or a set? Is it for a friend?
Now as a good business man, it is in the interest of the clerk to determine if I have the potential to be a repeat costumer and how I can best be served, so I typically don’t mind the questions. But I assure you these are not the questions I get asked at the craft store when I’m looking for scrapbooking supplies or stamping materials.
No one in the craft store seems as attentive to what my intentions are or seems quite as interested in how long I’ve been into it, whatever “it” may be. When I visit, no one ever whispers to their friend, “Dude! A chick just walked in!” This only happens to me in the hobby store.