When Sandi Abrams made her first quilt for her nephew’s daughter, she didn’t realize she was being infected with the “quilting bug.” Her hobby became a part-time job she did in her spare time while working her full-time job in the pharmacy industry. Last year, Sandi left her a 30-year career in pharmacy to work full-time on her passion.
“There’s not another quilt store in the county, and I needed a place to buy decent quilting fabric,” Sandi noted. “I started out ‘hobbying’ and working, and finally got to where I needed to be here to run it.”
Sandi’s business, Stitches Quilt Shop, is tucked in the heart of downtown Spiceland, just south of I-70. The shop carries quilting fabric, tools, and general crafting items. Sandi has a longarm machine, which is a 14-foot long device that puts quilting on the back of assembled quilt blocks. Customers can bring in projects and Sandi adds the quilting to the back with the longarm machine.
Several key people were instrumental in helping Sandi make Stitches Quilt Shop a reality. Kim Clemons helps with inventory and bookkeeping, and Donna Lowhorn helps with merchandise and displays. Both friends help to staff the store when Sandi needs to be away. Another person who helped Sandi achieve her dream of business ownership was Scott Underwood, business advisor with the East Central ISBDC.
“He was a wonderful help. He guided me through the business plan, numbers, and how to get funding,” Sandi expressed. “He was patient with me, and I wouldn’t have any of this if it weren’t for him.”
The company continues to grow as Sandi offers a block-of-the-month club and anticipates hosting quilt retreats soon. She hopes to soon outgrow her space, but wants to keep the shop in Spiceland.
“I believe it’s important to be part of this community.”
To connect with Stitches Quilt Shop, find them on Facebook or call (765) 987-1188.
This story was originally published by the East Central Indiana Small Business Development Center at www.ecisbdc.org.