As a child, Angie Steinmetz took an interest in flowers and started on a journey that included making decorations for her home, setting up a booth the Y-Wives Extravaganza and other shows, working in a craft store, and making new friends with other artists and customers.
This past June, she opened her own gift shop, adjacent to her residence, at 204 Ohio Ave.
"My grandmother used to take me out in her back yard to pick lilies of the valley. She used to make things. She did sewing and painting. I can't sew or paint, but I started doing flowers about 20 years ago. I would go to the arts and craft shows while I was working outside the home," Steinmetz said.
PHOTO BY MARYANN KROMER
Decorated ceramic pumpkins sit beside a wall arrangement made of barn siding and burlap.
Earlier this year, Steinmetz approached her husband about turning their garage into a small shop. With his approval, she borrowed money to update the structure. Then, she stocked the store with her handiwork and merchandise she researched and carefully selected. She calls it Heavenly Creations.
"I have wanted to do this since I was in my early 20s. It's been a dream of mine, and the opportunity came up last March, and I decided to bite the bullet and go into business," Steinmetz said.
The business became a family project. Her son did about 90 percent of the interior work, including constructing her sales counter. Her husband installed the electrical system, and Angie did all the painting.
"Two young men from Sentinel Vocational School did all the outside work. I highly recommend them. They did a wonderful job," she said.
After closing for vacation in July, Steinmetz has re-opened with regular hours 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday. She is to have a grand opening Sept. 26-28, and a fall open house is planned Oct. 3-6. From Oct. 6 through Christmas, the shop will be open every Saturday 10 a.m.-3 p.m. with samples of the gourmet mixes for soup, dip, cheese balls and other food items available in the store.
"I've probably tested all the food products except the coffee. I don't like coffee, so I have my friends test the coffee," Steinmetz said. "I buy what I like or what my girlfriends think customers will like."
The owner had made planters and stocked birdhouses and other outdoor items for the summer, but Heavenly Creations has an abundance of country and primitive fall decor, such as garlands and candle rings; twig wreaths and lighted branches; scented candles, tarts and tart warmers; battery-operated candles with timers to turn on and off automatically; and Blossom Buckets merchandise.
For Halloween, Steinmetz has brought in "Aunt Liz's Attic" creations by an artist in New Jersey. They feature a witch figure and vintage fabrics, ribbons and lace. A group of senior citizens does the sewing and the artist adds wood, gourds, beads and other materials for seasonal art.
"Each one of these is made individually by hand. There's no two alike," Steinmetz said.
Shoppers also can find framed needlepoint, paintings and photographs by Bonnie Mohr, Billy Jacobs and other artists, as well as registered Ohio State University lithographs by Don Huber. Steinmetz orders room sprays, potpourri, oils and rose hips from a favorite supplier and country furniture from a southern Ohio company.
"I looked at about eight different furniture companies before I went with this company ... This was the best company I could find," she said.
Other products for the home include kitchen towels, woven, braided or quilted table runners, metal ware, benches, re-purposed end tables and accent pieces. Steinmetz also carries many bereavement gifts, such as grave stone saddles, garden stones, angel sculptures, floral arrangements and throws made by "the No. 1 textile mill in the country." She delivers
these items to funeral homes in Tiffin.
Customers also can bring in saddles and wreaths for re-decorating, if they are sturdy enough for additional use.
"I make a lot of the florals and I also do custom jewelry work," Steinmetz said.
Her collection includes inspirational bracelets, angel wing pendants, earring and necklace sets, and beads from the "Good Bead" company. Other personal items include scarves with baubles, lace and fringe; and handbags and totes by designers such as Victoria Leland and Bella Taylor.
"I am always looking for something that is American-made and different ... My philosophy is, if I don't have it, I know other stores that I can send the customer to get it," Steinmetz said.
She is open to suggestions for products to add to her stock, and she also values feedback about items that come out of her store. If a product does not hold up under normal conditions, she will "make it right."
Having her own business allows Steinmetz to have weekly sales. It could be candles, jewelry, pictures or other items. On occasion, she has a "gamblers day" in which customers draw from a deck of playing cards. The number on the card determines the percentage that will be taken off the cost of an order.
"I always have sales every single week," Steinmetz said.
If a purchase is for a gift, she will package it so it will not need additional wrapping. Of course, the Christmas season is not far away. Steinmetz is gearing up for that by making holiday swags and wreaths. She also offers in-home decorating for Christmas.
"My God, my family, my business" is Steinmetz's motto. Her shop will always be closed in July to spend extra time with her six grandchildren and to restock the shop. She plans to post updates online with a Facebook page.
If people want to shop on a day the store is not open, Steinmetz said people can call her at (419) 448-8526 to arrange other times to stop in.