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Jan 16, 2021, 05:45 PM
lectroglide's Avatar
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A dying breed

This isnt a rant or rave simply a sad fact most beloved HS are gone or fading away. Grew up in seattle and rememeber many favs that I still invision...............interlake hobby, webster hobby, Dow U village hobby, U/W ave hobby, lynnwood hobby, woodys hobbys, queen anne hobby, Ballard hobby toy, Bob hales hobby, west seattle speedway, pearl lectronix and hobby , and not too mention the few great dept store hobby shops downtown seattle which are long gone
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Jan 21, 2021, 09:46 PM
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And yet some / many local hobby shops are doing well.

The Quincy Hobby Center is 53 years old. We started small with less than 40 RC fliers as a customer base. I was transferred to Quincy IL as a BioMedicial Engineer to install and maintain new X-Ray departments in the then two local hospitals. learned to fly control line planes in 1947 and got my first ride in a J-3 Cub the same year. Started in RC ~ 1954 with home built RC equipment. I have always had a good hobby shop close by. There was no hobby shop in Quincy so wife and I decided to start a small one.

After two years in the lower level of our house we bought a store in downtown Quincy and moved the business there. The business took off, We added trains and ceramics as well as some gaming. Sales increased and the business really took off and then the downtown area started going downhill. In late 1975 we purchased a strip mall in the new east end commercial area of Quincy. By November '76 we re located and were open in a 3000 sq ft sales floor and two 1200 sq ft units for rent / lease.

We again expanded with more gaming products, plastic models and RC cars and boats and deeper stock in our existing products. One decision we made before the last move was that the shop would only barrow money for the physical property, improvements. All product lines and stock were to be financed by sales income. Sales increased and with the better location and more parking. We hired our first sales manager as the business was beyond the point where the two of us and our four daughters could not handle it.

By 1980 I was spending too much time on the road as the senior BioMed engineer central US and that occupation was not nice to it's employees then. I made the jump to microcomputers while involved in a design & prototype of a new X-Ray control panel using an Intel 8080A cpu. I was on the design team for field engineering and user input as I an a Registered X-Ray Technician now called Radiographer. Purchased one of the early MITS Altair 8080A kits and by 1977-8 had a primitive Point of Sale with inventory control running in the shop. Software development by dad and first daughter.

In the mid 1980's I wanted to get out of the image engineering field totally and wife, an Intensive care cardiac care RN wanted to go back to school to get an Master's degree in nursing requiring her to locate out of town so we first formed an Illinois corporation to own the property and operate the hobby shop as a DBA.
Jan 21, 2021, 09:47 PM
Registered User
1986 to present continued
Post corp. changes included closing out some products such as ceramics and rail roads and the reasons were that ceramics fell of to almost nothing and took a lot of floor space and the local model railroaders had completed the construction of their home layouts and a major club layout at a local retirement home and then it was all about running the layouts. Most understood some didn't.

1990 saw a divorce and purchase of shares by a third party. The daughters were very insistent that they remain with their dad. We all survived and put a lot of effort in to being a family and as long as a daughter continued her education we provided a home and part time work at the shop and a real paycheck. The last daughter left the shop in 2000 although #2 daughter came back in 2002 for five years as a stand in for me, staph infection with heart and spine damage, replaced heart valve and fused lower spine and ~ 5 months in a hospital and 5 years off work except for mentally planing the road ahead. When I was able to work full time we paid her way through a two year X-Ray training program.

Somewhere about 2000 the RTR RTF foam airplanes became popular and assembling / building a kit more or less died. Not a trend I like primarily because the drivers & flyers do not stay with it more than a year or two. I am not sure the increased popularity offsets the stable customer base.

The hobbyshop (me) does a lot of repairs on hobby products and radio systems. We have increased our stock in games and hold magic and other games three nights a week although we have shut that down for the duration due to CV 19. We kept the shop open (drive through pick up or drop off) through the worst of the CV 19 shutdown. Now operating with sales floor open masks optional.

Remarried in 97 to a fellow -Ray Tech I have known since 1966 who just recently retired as Director of Medical Imaging at a regional hospital. Went back to school finished a BS degree and then a Masters in Health Care Finance. Does all the accounting for the corporation and our family farm corp.

#2 Daughter is happily un married working as a Radiographer at a near by Veterans hospital. Home frequently and is the corp VP for continued operations. Five years ago she wanted to talk to wife and I about something personal. Asked us to legally adopt her. She had a good reason so it took a year for the paper work and then a court date. Basically my daughters had all fallen in love with her and had listened to encouragement to finish their education. Dad was/is proud of all of them.

We have had a website for 12 to 15 years. We do not use it for internet sales, it's purpose is to get the people in the shop door. We do our website in house with WYSIWYG V16 Our network server room has two 4 Terabyte windows server and two Novell 3.12 servers. Internet service is via Fiber from a local county phone company. Phone service is over fiber. Workstations are a mix of Win 98SE, Win XP and Win 10

Now at 79 years old starting a hobby shop is one of the best things I and the girls ever did. It was good for the daughters as they learned several skills they use now. There have been good and bad years but even the worst of years were better than not having the shop to serve the community and our customers. What I fear most is what is/will happening here in the USA in the next few years.

All for now, will answer questions
Last edited by Qhobby; Jan 21, 2021 at 11:50 PM.
Nov 25, 2021, 07:21 PM
Extra Class Radio Op
pinballwiz's Avatar
Amazon killed the hobby shop.
Nov 30, 2021, 08:55 PM
Originally Posted by pinballwiz
Amazon killed the hobby shop.
And Evil Bay, too.

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