Hobby Lobby confirms it’s coming to Gainesville

Transient

 By Anthony Clark | The Gainesville Sun

Hobby Lobby has signed a lease to open a Gainesville store in the location currently occupied by Stein Mart at 6111 Newberry Road.

The Oklahoma City-based arts and crafts retailer plans to open the store sometime next year, spokesman Vincent Parker wrote in an email Monday.

Stein Mart plans to close its Gainesville store next to Books-A-Million on Aug. 27 after 16 years. Linda Tasseff, director of investor relations for the Jacksonville-based clothing retailer, previously told The Sun the store was not meeting expectations.

Hobby Lobby has 530 stores nationwide that carry 67,000 products in 13 departments, including floral, fabric, needlework, frames, art, hobbies, wearables, jewelry, crafts, cards and party, scrapbooking, seasonal and home accents. Many items in the stores are manufactured by Hobby Lobby at its facility in Oklahoma City. The closest store to Gainesville is in Ocala.

The stores offer space for arts and crafts classes. Classrooms are offered free of charge to teachers, but students are required to use products purchased in the stores.

Parker said the store manager and co-manager usually would train in other stores and that the store would hire 30 to 50 local employees. Full-time employees start at $14 an hour, and part-time employees start at $9.50 an hour. Hiring will not start until a month before opening, and the jobs are advertised in newspaper classified sections, he said.

Virginia MacKoul

Virginia is a graduate from the University of Florida's College of Design Construction and Planning with a degree in Sustainability and the Built Environment, and a minor in Urban Regional Planning. Virginia joined the Front Street team in 2011, as an intern. Upon graduation, Virginia joined the Front Street team full-time as the Director of Client Services. Ms. MacKoul’s addition furthers Front Street’s continued growth and expansion within Gainesville and other North Central Florida markets. She was promoted to Director of Marketing in 2014 and now manages the firm’s team of interns and oversees all marketing and branding activity. Virginia was born in Boston and moved to Lee County, Florida in 1997. Virginia graduated her high school's International Baccalaureate program and started at the University of Florida with a focus on Architecture. Virginia shares Front Street's passion of giving back to the community and those in need. Virginia's hobbies include photography, cooking, football, movies, music, and spending time with her dog, Brinkley.

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