After seven years of running Primitive Crossroads Craft Barn from outbuildings on her family farm near Bloomville, Angie Weisenauer is ready to move her store to a larger location.
The store will be re-opening in May in the Court Lee Interiors building on West Market Street.
April 30 is the last day the store's rural location will be open to sell primitive crafts and home dcor specialties, and she and her crew plan to take a few weeks to set up the new store before opening in mid-May.
PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON
Some of the items sold at Primitive Crossroads Crafts Barn.
"We just need a bigger place," Weisenauer said. "In town, we'll be able to expand."
Total space will increase from about 1,500 square feet to 12,000 square feet, which includes nine office suites, all in one building.
"We have four buildings right now," she said. "This one (the main building) used to be a Baptist church in the early 1800s."
To fill the extra space, she is expanding inventory and adding new products.
"We want everybody to come in the door and find something they want," she said.
Instead of having a different theme in each building, the new store will have themed sections.
Weisenauer said she opened her business on the farm because her mother operated a store in Bucyrus and she began to think about opening a store herself.
"My husband jokingly said 'How about the abandoned church on the corner,'" she said. "Next thing I know, we're in here and we're in business."
The store was first open only on weekends, but five years ago she extended the hours to six days a week. The store is closed Mondays.
She started by selling handmade furniture.
"My husband and I make furniture and some people make furniture for us and we buy it wholesale," she said.
She also makes picture frames and sign boards.
"We started with just wooden stuff," she said. "Because that's what I made."
However, customers began asking for other items so she started to expand to meet customer requests.
"We try to carry what people want," she said. "Our No. 1 seller is light bulbs, of all things, the (decorative) silicon bulbs.
"They'll come in to get that and then they'll grab something else while they're here," she said.
A partial list of items include candles, lighting, jewelry, purses, lampshades, floral items, linens, napkins, towels, table runners, crocks, pip berries and quilts.
One part of the store will be a bedding showcase where customers can see quilts and bedding displayed.
"Everybody wants different products and we just expanded into different product lines," she said. "We carry curtains and rugs and we need more room to display those too."
In addition to rag rugs and braided rugs, the store will be expanding into other floor coverings by taking over some of the products now sold at Court Lee Interiors, such as carpet, laminate flooring, wood, tile and vinyl flooring.
Weisenauer said she'll be learning about floor coverings from Bob and Mike Lee, owners of Court Lee.
The expanded space also will allow the store to begin doing flower arrangements.
New employees are to be added and already have been chosen for skills that complement the rest of the store's employees.
To provide relaxed shopping for parents, Weisenauer plans to provide a children's area "with toys to keep kids busy," and possibly an area where men can relax while women shop.
In the office section of the building, she plans to offer space to antique vendors who have non-competing items to sell.
Another part of the office space will handle shipping. Weisenauer said she advertises in Country Sampler magazine and local newspapers, which bring in a lot of business through the mail.
"We'd like to expand on our shipping because right now everything's out of my house," she said. "We want to put everything under one roof and do everything at once."
She said the 14-mile drive to the new location will be a change, but the expanded space will be worth it.
Weisenauer suggested people check the store's Facebook page to find out when the store is to be open.