HOLLAND, Mich. — Fris Supply Shop’s history is probably the key to seeing why the store in downtown Holland has survived and thrived through five generations of family ownership.
Today, casual walk-in shoppers on 8th Street in downtown Holland will find a store that can supply any serious artist or any parent looking for craft ideas for their kids.
But when the store first opened decades ago, parents bought textbooks for school children. "I have people come in saying they remember buying schoolbooks here as a kid,” notes owner Andrew Fris. “There’s a lot of memories and history here.”
At some point, the family shifted the focus of the store to stationery and office supplies and again eventually to its current form.
Even after decades, people are still only now discovering the store. “I've gotten a lot of new people who have come in this year, which is great, saying, ‘Oh, I didn't even know you were here. I didn't know you had art supplies,” says Fris.
The pandemic has also introduced the store to new customers. “There's a lot more people who seem to be doing crafts and that kind of thing,” he notes. And people rediscovering their artistic side: “They're either getting back into it, or it's something they've always wanted to do and now have some time to sit down and actually do it.”
“I've had people come in who just started and (people who) have been coming here for years. And just their progression … it’s fun to see.”
Fris Supply Shop, 30 W. 8th Street, Downtown Holland, Mich. 616-396-6518