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You know this place is going to be charming before you're even out of your car. The white picket fence at the entry and the lace curtains in the window just say so.

Inside the store, that promise is fulfilled. Stitch 'n' Frame is more than just a hobby supply shop. It's a place where friends with common interests spend time, practice their craft, and share their lives.

Barb Schoppman, owner, says that her customers are more like family. You can tell it's true. The open table at the front of the store seems never to be empty. There's always someone there, busy stitching. Some days, the table's completely full.

Groups meet here regularly. These are not store-organized gatherings. Rather, these are groups whose regular meetings came together organically, born of the shared interest of the members and the warm, supportive atmosphere inside the store. The groups have been meeting here for years. The women talk as they stitch, sharing stories, marking one another's life events, even celebrating holidays with shared suppers.

Attractive as the friendly atmosphere is, it's not the whole story here. This store would not have lasted without the complete line of goods and superior services provided.

As a retail source for counted cross-stitch enthusiasts, Stitch 'n' Frame is a true one-stop shopping place. Hoops, needles, and evenweave fabrics are just the beginning. A wide variety of flosses, including hand-dyed specialty floss, can be found here. Pattern books fill multiple racks in the main room. For those who prefer all-in-one convenience, kits are available. So are embellishments such as beads and charms, called 'treasures' by the stitchers. Finished goods to be enhanced with cross-stitched designs, such as aprons, blankets, and tea towels, can be purchased for quick projects.

Near the back of the store, selected patterns and kits make it Christmas all year 'round. Here, an entire room is reserved for holiday-themed goods. Projects are available to challenge needlework artists of all skill levels.

Framed stitchery borders the main room, piquing the imaginations of crafters. Many of these were worked by Paul "Butch" Schoppman. "Butch can do anything," Barb says of her husband. These hangings showcase the skill of the framers who work here.

All framing is done on-site, unlike some outlets which send framing jobs to centralized shops. Stitch 'n' Frame provides a specialist for each step of the process. Butch does the framing; Barb cuts the mats. Stretching (for stitchery projects) and assembly are accomplished by others in the shop. Nothing leaves the store, and each project is inspected at every step, ensuring the quality of the finished work.

Pricing and turn-around time are very competitive. "Lots of people are surprised," Barb notes. "They expect us to be higher, but we're not."

The Schoppmans have been in business locally for over 29 years. They began in a shop on South Anthony, selling art supplies, paint, and wallpaper. In time, they moved to a store in Southtown Mall, discontinuing the wall coverings and adding yarns and hobby supplies. When Southtown closed, the Schoppmans relocated again, this time devoting the store to a single specialty. They've been in their current location for over ten years.

Through all their moves, their customers have followed. "We have one lady who visits from Canada four or five times a year. She always comes in, when she's in town," says Barb.

Sometimes, the interest in cross-stitching runs in a family. Groups made up of grandmother, mother, and daughter sometimes shop here together. "There are several of them," Barb smiles. "It's really nice to see."

Stop in Monday – Friday, 9:30AM to 5:30 PM, or Saturday, 9:30 AM to 4:00PM, at 4220 Bluffton Road in Waynedale, or call (260) 478-1301 for more information.


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