Valdosta Daily Times

Local News

January 30, 2013

Hahira’s Sew Blessed opens Sew Blessed Quilts, The Design Station

HAHIRA — If you ask the women who run Sew Blessed, Sew Blessed Quilting and The Design Station, they will all agree that they're very fortunate and, yes, they are so blessed.

Sharon Respess started out as a silent partner with Sew Blessed, until the original owner, Lois Bellflowers, decided to leave to spend more time with her family. Respess decided to take over the day-to-day operation.

“I thought it would be easy,” Respess chuckled. “I was very naive back then.”

Just before taking over Sew Blessed, Respess met Ivey Crenshaw when Crenshaw made curtains for Respess.

“I told her that a friend of mine was opening a boutique that featured children's couture,” said Respess.

“I put down my curtains and started making kid's clothes,” said Crenshaw.

Since that small beginning, Respess has added a number of talented women to the staff.

“I've been lucky enough for God to send the right people in my direction,” said Respess.

“We all really complement each other well,” said Janie Blalock, the manager of the new Sew Blessed Quilting. Sew Blessed Quilting opened less than a month ago in a remodeled ex-gas station/ex-fruit stand in Hahira's downtown.

Sew Blessed Quilting, as the name implies, focuses on quilting, offering fabric tools, and patterns, as well as quilting classes.

Sharing the space is The Design Station, run by interior designer Jesslyn Brantley, a long time member of the Sew Blessed ladies. Along with running the store and helping customers find the right piece for their home or office, Brantley also makes house calls, running out to a customers' home or office. A recent Valdosta State University graduate with a degree in interior design who has also done corporate design work, Brantley is well-loved by everyone there.

“She has been my right hand these last few years,” said Respess. “And she is amazing at finding things for people.”

“No matter what kind of piece people want to finish a room, she always finds it,” said Blalock.

Fran Roberts, Sue Hudson, and Toni Williams round out the Sew Blessed team. The women come from Douglas, from Pearson, from Quitman, Valdosta, and Hahira every day to work, talk, and/or teach. It's the friendship they all share that keeps them coming.

Still, they're  not without their disagreements. “We're women, so we butt heads sometimes,” said Respess. Blalock agrees.

“You can't be with family without some disagreement,” said Blalock.

“But we're each other's biggest fans and support system,” said Hudson. “We're always here for each other.”

“Some of us are retired and don't have to work, but we want to work here,” said Roberts.

This philosophy extends to their customers. Whether someone buys fabric, pins, patterns, or a sewing machine, the women of Sew Blessed want them to feel like they're buying the shop as well. Customers often come into the store looking for help with the embroidering software they bought, or looking for someone to talk to about their sewing machine. Sharon, Sue, Ivey, Fran, Toni, Jesslyn and Janie take the time to talk with them, something that's sometimes lacking at larger stores.

Their whole philosophy, both for customers and for friends, can best be summed up by walking into Sew Blessed.

You're immediately struck by the large, open doorway that connects it to the store next door, the Tin Bucket. The doors to it have been open since the stores opened next to each other seven years ago.

“We couldn't even close the doors if we wanted to,” said Janie West, who, along with Sharon Darby, runs The Tin Bucket. “We all enjoy working together, the whole downtown. We send customers back and forth to each other. We're fortunate to have that relationship.”

Fortunate, indeed. And so blessed.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 140415-water003.jpg Sewage problems persist

    Early Tuesday morning, Valdosta became saturated when the area received approximately three inches of rain from 4 a.m. to noon. As of 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 manholes throughout the City of Valdosta have spilled 286,500 gallons of wastewater into local waterways, and this number will continue to rise.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • vsuopera1dido.jpg Operatic Conclusion

    When the curtain lowers this weekend on Valdosta State University Opera’s performance of Henry Purcell’s “Dido and Aeneas,” it will not only mark the end of the music group’s season.

    April 16, 2014 2 Photos

  • ‘If I Were Mayor’ contest essays

    If I were mayor, I would do all that I possibly can to make the city of Valdosta marvelous, but I cannot do it on my own. Some things in Valdosta I feel it is necessary to focus on would be our literacy rate, unemployment rate, crime history, and our environment.

    April 16, 2014

  • APTOPIX Boston Marath_Stew.jpg Solemn tributes mark Boston Marathon bombing

    Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city’s resilience in the face of a terror attack.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-valdostaboe001 copy.jpg Valdosta Board of Education reviews finances

    Valdosta City Schools Board of Education celebrated many successes Monday night, discussed budget information and heard an announcement of intent from a hopeful charter school.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • dancing with the stars copy.jpg Dancing with Valdosta Stars raises scholarship money

    Valdosta State University Music and Theatre & Dance’s Third Annual Dancing with the Stars of Valdosta presented a fine dance show this past weekend.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • N0041120.jpg Passover: A nation reborn

    “And you shall tell your children that on that day the Lord has took you out from the house of bondage.” — The Passover Hagadah

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-DFCS001.jpg Luncheon recognizes DFACS employees

    Dozens of Lowndes County Division of Family and Children Services employees gathered Monday at Olympic Park for a barbecue lunch in recognition of their hard work.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • 140414-Sewage002.jpg Fla. calls for Valdosta boycott

    Florida residents are calling for a boycott of Valdosta regarding the sewage spills, with areas affected downstream increasingly distressed over the millions of gallons that have polluted the waters of the Withlacoochee and the Suwannee River Basin during the last several years.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • police-lights-backgrounds-for-powerpoint.jpg ‘Dangerous’ fugitive caught

    A fugitive from Ohio wanted for attempted murder and a number of assault and robbery charges was captured by Valdosta police Saturday.

    April 14, 2014 2 Photos

Top News
Poll

What you think about school and workplace rules about Facebook friends?

There have to be rules.
No need for rules, just use common sense.
If people want to be friends, what is the big deal?
Nobody uses Facebook anymore.
     View Results