At a time when many businesses are struggling to keep their doors open, local seamstress Elizabeth Lind and husband, Lance, have seen a steady increase in their business, prompting their third expansion in the past two years.
After building a strong business foundation through five years working out of the couple's Chino Valley garage, the Linds moved their all-things sewing business, Elizabeth's Crafts 'N' Things, to Lively Shopping Center on Perkinsville Road.
Within a few months, the Linds realized the small storefront where Elizabeth served the embroidery and alteration needs of the community was too small, and they moved into a larger suite at the center.
"Our first shop was in Suite 8, but after about two months we were so crammed, we needed more space," said Elizabeth. "We moved into a larger unit, but about three months later that space was too small as well, but we stuck it out for another year and four months."
A major component of the growth was the sewing machine service and repair business the couple added, using Lance's handyman expertise.
"I started repairing her machines out of necessity. It was just too expensive to send them out," said Lance. "I have always been mechanically minded and love working on them."
With a strong customer base, the couple decided yet another move was needed to properly serve their customers. In the past two weeks they have again relocated, this time to 1174 S Highway 89, Suite 1, just south of the Maverik station.
What is the secret to growth when others are struggling?
According to Lance, that struggle is itself a key factor.
"A lot of people can't afford new clothes, so they buy secondhand or vintage clothes, and then bring them to us to get them fitted," said Lance. "Also, for some, repairing a torn pair of pants instead of buying a new pair just makes sense."
Good old-fashioned customer service is the main factor, said Elizabeth.
"One of the main phone calls we get is about set hours," said Elizabeth. "Some businesses in Chino Valley post business hours, but close their doors early and that reflects badly on all of us. If we say we're open certain hours, we are open those hours. Another thing is just providing good service. People know when they come to us they are going to get quality. Also, this is what I love to do. If you don't love what you do, you won't love your customers, and I do."
Elizabeth's Crafts 'N' Things provides a full range of sewing services including embroidery, mending, alterations, custom tailoring and costume design, as well as special discounts for law enforcement and emergency service personnel.
The couple currently provides service for the Chino Valley Police Department, the Embry- Riddle University ROTC program, and many local service organizations.
The Linds also provide classroom and individual instruction on sewing and sewing machine operation, and machine service and repair.
Elizabeth's Crafts 'N' Things is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., with future weekend hours planned.
Call 928-899-0545 or visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/Elizabeths craftsnthings for more information.