The Ribbon Store gets crafty to compete with online and big-box retailers

Summer Goodrich grew up behind The Ribbon Storeu2019s counter. She joined her father, Howard Grant, as a co-owner in 2006.

Summer Goodrich grew up behind The Ribbon Storeu2019s counter. She joined her father, Howard Grant, as a co-owner in 2006.

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The Ribbon Store
To co-owner Summer Goodrich, The Ribbon Store radiates joy.

It beams from the storefront’s signage, featuring a prominent flower motif and stylized as “Ribbon Store!” It is the common thread among the statement wreaths, custom shirts, glittery bows and shelves filled with more than 10,000 bolts of ribbon. It brightens Goodrich’s face as she welcomes customers.

“I gave up law to sell ribbon,” Goodrich said. “Because it’s such a better environment. It makes me happy to be around the cheer, the creativity and my family.”

38 years in business

Goodrich’s parents, Howard and Irene Grant, opened the niche business in Mesa 38 years ago before relocating to Gilbert in 2012.

Howard contributed artistic design while Irene ran the business end. It was Irene’s savvy that repeatedly saved the store when fellow mom and pops closed, Goodrich said.

“She had the mindset of, ‘If something’s changing, then we’re going to change, too,’” Goodrich said. “It took a lot of financial risk.”

Irene died in 2018, so Goodrich has taken over the back-end business. The transition has been tough, especially as the store faces intense competition from online and big-box competitors.

“Their prices go down when our rent goes up, minimum wage goes up, the cost of our goods goes up,” she said. “We just have to keep spending more, but also charge less … That doesn’t work for a business model.”

Working to beat the competition

Channeling her mother’s grit, Goodrich is not giving up. She is differentiating her offerings in ways the competition cannot easily recreate: educational craft workshops and experiential craft nights.

“Once a month we have ladies’ night, where we serve appetizers and wine; we turn up the music; and we make wreaths,” she said.

Goodrich’s goal is to pass the business down to her daughter, Summer Belle.

“People say that mom and pops will basically be history in five years,” she said. “We hope to prove them wrong.”

The Ribbon Store
3143 E. Williams Field Road, Gilbert
Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-5 p.m.; closed Sun.


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