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Cindy Lou's Gifts & Quilt Shop

March 2023

Chariton Area Chamber/Main Street is proud to feature one of our local contributing businesses in the monthly Small Business Spotlight!

This month, we met with
Cindy Parker of Cindy Lou's Gifts & Quilt Shop and got her take on being a small business owner, what it takes to run a small business, and why she chose Chariton for her shop.

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What is your job title and role?

I am the business owner and I oversee all of the business activities, including ordering products, checking in merchandise, and all of the books.

How long have you been in business in Chariton?

I have been in business 7+ years! I am the first owner of Cindy Lou's and the store was empty when we purchased the building.

Describe your business

My business is a retail full-line quilt shop and gift shop. I order all the merchandise and my staff help with product displays.

Why do you do what you do?

I love being a shop owner and visiting with people that come in from far and near. I have been quilting for around 30 years and I enjoy it as much today as I did back then.

Was there a specific moment or realization where you made the decision to start your own business?

Seven and a half years ago, I had a bad accident on a riding lawn mower. I could have sat in my recliner having a pity party, but I decided to get up and tell my husband we needed to buy my current building and start a quilt shop and gift shop! He wasn't sure about it (he said quilting was my hobby), but after telling him about the apartments upstairs, he agreed.


What are your biggest challenges as a business owner?

My biggest challenge is keeping up with the daily book work. I could always be busy doing books. I have a long-arm quilting machine that I run and that keeps me very busy most days, too.

What are your biggest rewards?

My biggest rewards are my customers coming in and saying so many nice comments about my shop. I also hear great comments regarding my employees being very helpful and kind to the shoppers.

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What inspires you to keep at it each day?

I am inspired each day to keep going because every day is different. Different customers, different ideas, and there is always something to do.

Why did you choose Chariton for your business?

I chose Chariton for my business because we are from here and my husband works here.

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What will people get from your business that they won't get anywhere else?

People hopefully get great customer service from my shop! We take pride in making many quilts and finishing them for people. Not all shops can do that without a longarm quilting machine in-house. We also always offer free gift wrapping for gifts!

Learn more about Cindy Lou's Gifts & Quilt Shop at:

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907-909 Braden Avenue, Chariton, IA 50049

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