Great American Stamp Store Closes Soon

It may seem like a strange, niche business.

great-american-stamp-storeBut for 25 years — now behind Little Barn; before that, tucked away past Carvel and Aux Delices — the Great American Stamp Store has provided Westporters with artful rubber stamps, from over 100 manufacturers. They also sell art tools, ribbon, punches, dies, pens and more.

Yet all good things must end. Owners Judy Ritchie and her daughter Jamie are retiring. The shop closes on January 27.

A longtime customer says:

Together they’ve written books, taught classes, and provided the large scrapbooking, journaling and mixed media artist community with a big variety of stamps, paper, inks and embellishments. They’ve brought in well known mixed media artists from around the country to teach classes. On Tuesday mornings, they have a free “make and take” where they teach you how to make a greeting card.

There are no stores like it in the area. People travel from all over to go there. To me, they are like family. I will be sad to see them go.

Judy Ritchie (standing), with customers hard at work during a class. (Photo/Michael Trent)

Judy Ritchie (standing), with customers hard at work during a class. (Photo/Michael Trent)

Another customer adds:

Judy and Jamie don’t blame the new Michael’s as much as the internet. It’s easier to buy online than travel 25 miles to the store. I’ll tell you this though: Nothing beats the advice and inspiration you got from going there in person.

There’s still a couple of weeks left to head over, and buy your final stamps.

Including the one saying “The End.”

11 responses to “Great American Stamp Store Closes Soon

  1. Wow, what a bummer! They have the most wonderful arts and crafts supplies, stamps, papers and ribbons, and are always so helpful. I made my boyfriend a stunning scrapbook/photo/collage album for his 50th birthday that was largely inspired by the goods there, and their good advice! Wishing Judy and Jamie a happy retirement but boy, will they be missed!

  2. I know you’re always looking for “the angle”
    And it seems that there’s always an angle when a store goes out of business for you.
    I am sure I am not the only one who didn’t know that the store existed which in itself is extremely sad . Perhaps if you would use you are widely read space to help some of us mom-and-pop stores in town to stay in business you would not have to regularly declare the closers. I know I know I know that’s not what you’re there for but why then do you feel it necessary to always announce those stores that are closing ?

    • In Dan’s defense, I have seen him write about ongoing and/or new local mom-and-pop businesses from time to time and the niche that they fill.

    • I’m assuming this is written by someone associated with the Winged Monkey store. I’m allowing it to stay up, but in the future please use a full, real name as requested in the Comments box.

      I post stories about store closings because they’re news. “Great American Stamp Store Exists” or “Winged Monkey Gets New Shipment of Women’s Clothes” is not news.

      However, I am always on the lookout for stories with a great angle — one that will resonate with people. Whenever I can, I highlight a great small store that is going up against the odds. Here are 2 about Le Rouge, Aarti Khosla’s wonderful chocolate shop:

      I’ve mentioned the Winged Monkey twice. Once it was in a story on a program about how you donate clothing to people in need:
      The other was in a story that listed local businesses that provide internships to Staples students:

      I would be happy to elaborate on things like that that you’re doing. If you’ve got a special employee who goes above or beyond; an intriguing program that the community would be interested in, or even a hook like 25 years in the same location, I’d love to tell your story.

      But I’m not a mind reader. Unless you — or somebody — tells me about it, I don’t know how you expect me to know about it.

      I’ll keep announcing news, whether it’s a store closing or a store that does something special to serve the community. All I know is what people tell me.

    • Dear Mr/Ms Monkey,
      Why do you think — among other reasons — Dan created 06880+?
      Happy New Year.

  3. I also had no idea that this store existed. I would have definitely been a customer.

  4. Amy Schneider

    This is a celebration of 25 years at a well-loved store. The owners are retiring to begin a new chapter in their lives, and are not closing due to high rents. Because many of their supplies can not be bought online or at big-box craft stores, new orders are arriving daily and will be discounted as they come in. This is a thank you to their devoted customers, like me. The Great American Stamp Store has the most diverse and abundant supply of ribbon, craft paper, pens, inks, as well as stamps. It’s not too late to visit them on Church Street. A big thank you to Judy and Jamie. You will be missed!

    • Mary Hoffman

      Amy, I agree with all you said. The Hoffman family visited the TGASS countless times over the past 20 years purchasing supplies for school projects, homemade cards, and beautiful ribbons. You will be missed.

  5. David Squires

    Loved & Used TGASS thru the years. Great little hands on store. It was a pleasure to have you in The ‘h
    ood! Best Wishes to all involved!

  6. Oh I’m looking for a store like this where I live. Preserving memories such as Judy and Jaime teach will become a lost art in the next generation or so as everything will be mostly electronic — online. I’m creating physical scrapbooks now and need help. It’s overwhelming to sort through a lifetime of photos and clippings.

  7. Bobbi Essagof

    Amazing store. Learned how to Decoupage there years ago and have been doing it ever since. Always got much needed stamps for the GFS LMC. I’ve sent many friends there when they couldn’t find something I was sure TGASS would have. A real loss. Thanks for all you did.