September 11, 2011
FAIRMONT — For 15 years, Sew Chic LLC has been offering great customer service to both locals and out-of-staters.
Sew Chic, which opened on Sept. 9, 1996, is celebrating its 15th anniversary during the entire month of September. The shop is located about a quarter of a mile off Exit 139 of Interstate 79 in Meadowdale. Customers can look for the red barn near Gabriel Brothers.
Sue Henderson, the owner, said she has been sewing since she was 14 years old.
“I used to make all my own clothing,” she said.
She sewed clothes for her daughter and even made her daughter’s wedding gown.
In December 1995, Henderson lost her job with a public utility due to downsizing. She began doing alterations out of her home and then decided to open up a storefront.
Henderson started her business in a 12-foot by 15-foot space in the back of White Hall Book and Craft, which has since closed, and shared their classroom to do classes. After staying there for five months, she relocated Sew Chic to Speedway Avenue in Fairmont, where she had 1,000 square feet to work with. That building housed the shop for 5 1/2 years.
She then bought the business’ current home, which is more than double the space she had on Speedway Avenue. Since purchasing the facility, Henderson has added a classroom to the back.
Sew Chic carries approximately 3,500 bolts of fabric, a huge assortment of threads — from regular sewing thread to embroidery thread — and a variety of sewing notions. It sells a full line of the Swiss-made Bernina sewing machines and top-of-the-line embroidery machines.
“We also sell online,” she said. “We’re in the process of redoing our website.”
The website, sewchic.com, should be updated within the next month.
In addition, the staff teaches classes, including quilting and beginner sewing, in both the mornings and evenings.
In honor of its anniversary, the business is having a sale all this month. All fabrics are 15 percent off, and a different in-store special is being offered every week.
Anyone who comes in the store during September can register for several door prizes, and the drawing will be held Sept. 30. The grand prize is a Bernina Model 215 sewing machine, and books, embroidery designs and other items will also be given away.
Henderson said when she first opened Sew Chic, she wasn’t sure how business would go. But after 15 years, its success continues.
“We try to provide good customer service,” she said.
Six employees help her run the store. Most of the staff started out as customers of the business, and Henderson worked with a few of them previously at the public utility company.
“The girls that I hire know how to sew,” she said. “It makes a difference if they can answer the customers’ questions.”
And if the staff members aren’t able to answer a question, they are always willing to find out. Sew Chic’s motto is “where friends and creativity meet.”
“We’ve developed a lot of friends over the years,” Henderson said.
In addition to local customers, people from Charleston, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and other states regularly stop by Sew Chic. The business’ location right off the interstate is very convenient, Henderson said.
Sew Chic is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. For more information or to find out about classes, call 304-366-4135 or visit the store.