It’s always good to see a business go into an empty building on Main Street. It’s especially good when the business is familiar to the community and moving to a more visible location.
Stitchin’ Post Embroidery owner Carol Smith said the opportunity to move into the former Hazel Mackin Community Library building at 107 W. Main St. across from the Roberts Grocery store kind of fell into her lap. It certainly wasn’t something she was anticipating.
Smith and her husband Brian had an unexpected offer to buy their house and shop on 70th Avenue, where the Stitchin’ Post had been located since 1999.
“My husband texted me when I was in New Jersey that someone wanted to buy our house,” Smith said. “At first I was like ‘what?’ Then I thought ‘this could work.’”
The Smiths were looking to downsize a bit. Their son Brandon will attend Minnesota State University, Mankato, this fall, and their son Luke will be a junior in high school this year.
They accepted that offer, and had to find a new home and location for the Stitchin’ Post.
“We knew we wanted to buy a building and not rent,” Smith said. “We looked at one in Hammond, and then our Realtor suggested this one.”
Once the building was theirs, they began moving the shop into the new location in early March. The 1955 building is roughly 1,600 square feet, so they lost some square footage moving downtown, Smith said. Her former shop was about 1,800 square feet. But there are some perks with the new location, such as a bathroom and the convenient location.
“I think it will bring more people in,” Smith said. “People have popped their heads in and are excited for the opportunity to buy Central things in a convenient place. I’ve had so many people tell me ‘it will be so nice to have you right across the street from the elementary school.’”
The former library had sat vacant since July 2010.
Smith got her start in screenprinting and embroidery in 1997 when she was looking for a business venture that would allow her to stay at home with her then 16-month old son.
She received training from the people she bought her first machine from, and she had a mentor in Des Moines, Iowa.
To transform the former library into a viable space for her, Smith said they took out one of the bathrooms, covered up the handicapped accessible ramp and built some walls. The only hitch has been figuring out a water issue in the basement.
Smith does much of the screenprinting and embroidery work for many businesses and St. Croix Central and Central St. Croix rec sporting teams, including (middle school and high school) football, cross country, cheerleading, dance, basketball (boys and girls), wrestling, baseball, track and volleyball. She also supplies goods to the school stores, which in turn sell goods at Hackman Town & Country in Roberts.
Smith and her two employees can do screenprinting and embroidery on all sorts of apparel, hats, can cozies, coolers, bags, blankets, letter jackets, plaques and more. Wedding and baby blankets have become more popular lately, Smith said.
For more information on products and services, visit the Stitchin’ Post at 107 W. Main St. in Roberts or call 715-246-0112. Hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.