Sew much more to do — Glenwood shop changing owners
If quilting and sewing clothes is a form of therapy, then call Sandy and Bob Boyd, longtime owners of the Glenwood Sew shop in downtown Glenwood Springs, the counselors.
“Making and creating things is a form of therapy for some people,” says Sandy Boyd, reflecting on 39 years in the business and the people who have come to know Glenwood Sew as the go-to destination in the Roaring Fork Valley for fabrics, sewing and quilting supplies.
“We call it fabric therapy,” she said, noting that traveling quilters often make a point to stop by while passing through on I-70 “just to see what we have going on.”
Elizabeth Axthelm had been a regular customer at Glenwood Sew going back to the late 1990s before she moved away for a few years. And when she returned to Glenwood Springs last year, the sew shop was one of the first places she visited.
Upon learning that the Boyds were thinking of either selling the business or going out of business so that they could retire, she just had to do something about it.
“I learned to quilt here,” Axthelm said of her regular participation in the store’s quilting classes over the years.
“When I came back and heard they might close, I talked to them about how I saw the continuity of the store being so important to the community,” she said.
With a business background herself, Axthelm decided, and the Boyds agreed, that she was the person to take over Glenwood Sew.
The official transaction occurred in mid-March, and Axthelm is planning a grand re-opening for the store this Saturday, April 19.
The Boyds have still been around helping with the transition, and in fact probably won’t stray too far.
“We’re not going anywhere, this is our home,” said Bob Boyd, who will continue to service customer’s sewing machines, for a while longer anyway.
The Boyds first purchased what was then just a Singer sewing machine and service business in 1977, and the following year added the fabrics side of the business.
“It was all about clothing then, and people made and repaired a lot of their own clothes,” Sandy Boyd said. “We didn’t have Wal-Mart then.”
As clothes-making became less common, though, quilting had its resurgence in popularity starting in the early 1980s, she said, noting that it’s now a multi-billion-dollar industry.
“There’s a multiplier effect in terms of what they become worth as they are passed on,” Boyd said of the often intricately embroidered quilts that have become a popular art form as well.
“People really enjoy making things, and it’s a wonderful creative outlet for kids,” she said.
The store moved over the years from the Van Rand Center, to another downtown location on Eighth Street, and then to the historic Schwarz Mercantile building at 822 Grand Ave., which the Boyds later purchased.
They will continue to own the building, and are renovating the upstairs for eventual office space, while Axthelm now owns and operates the sew shop.
“We always wanted to keep the business in the valley, and this turned out to be a good opportunity to keep it open,” Sandy Boyd said.
“We’re still around and available,” she says, “but now we also have more time to do some of those things around here that you never have time to do when you’re trying to run a business.”
Axthelm said she will continue to offer the popular quilting and sewing classes for all ages, and particularly likes to see kids become involved in the fabric arts.
“I will probably also expand some of the fabric options,” she said.
In addition, Axthelm is looking to introduce a new long-arm style quilting machine that will be available for classes and for people to rent to use on site.
“To own something like that you need to have a lot of space, so this will be something for people to come here and use,” she said.
To learn more about what Axthelm has planned for the store, visit http://www.glenwoodsew.com and “like” Glenwood Sew on Facebook.
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A refunding of about $27.7 million in Roaring Fork School District bonds issued in 2011 and 2012 is currently projected to save taxpayers about $1.6 million over six years.