Straight From Home joins the Winchester Square
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By Carmen Ensinger
Winchester’s newest business isn’t really a new business at all. However, it is new to Winchester and it has taken a new form.
Becky Fearneyhough has operated Straight From Home from her home in Bluffs, selling all different kinds of sewing items and homemade craft items for many years, so when Square Trade closed and the building became available in the heart of the Winchester Square, the wheels began spinning.
“The area at my home is very small and I had always wanted to have a store up here on the square that would allow me to expand the items I could offer,” Fearneyhough said. “But I knew for something like this I would need a partner.”
That is where her good friend and fellow vendor Crystal Tedrow comes in.
“Crystal and I met several years ago because we found ourselves going to a lot of the same vendor shows,” Fearneyhough said. “We talked about it and decided we would go in together and open up the store here on the square.”
Square Trade, closed their doors in December and, after several months doing some much needed repairs, Home from the Heart opened for business on March 4.
“We had to do a lot of work in here to get this place ready to open up again,” Fearneyhough said. “The ceiling was chipping off and needed repainting. The floor was almost falling in in some places so we had to fix that and we ended up putting up some walls and did a lot of painting.”
Tedrow’s craft is making homemade soap – something that doesn’t take up near the space that Fearneyhough’s sewing notions does, so being that it is a huge building, the obvious thing to do was to rent out booths to other vendors to sell their crafts and antiques.
Two weeks after their grand opening and all 15 of their booth spaces were rented and there is currently a wait list for those wanting to rent space.
“I think it is just fantastic that we have already filled up and have people waiting in line to have a booth here,” Tedrow said. “We had no idea when we decided to open it that there would be so much demand.”
Tedrow is from Jacksonville and the way she got into making her homemade soap is almost a story in itself.
“It sounds really cheesy, but many years ago, I had a dream one night that I was in the kitchen making soap and when I woke up, I was like who in the world makes soap – you just go to the store and buy it,” Tedrow said. “Then, I started researching it and I got really interested in it and started making it as a hobby.”
As with many people who start something as a hobby, it kind of grew into a sideline business.
“I started going to the vendor shows and it was selling pretty good,” Tedrow said. “People seem to really like it, especially the goats milk soap. I feel like it makes your skin feel a little bit softer than the other kind of soaps.”
Of course living in Jacksonville it is not like Tedrow can have a herd of goats in her back yard, so she uses powdered goats milk in her soap. One learns something new every day – who knew there was such a thing as powdered goats milk?
The booths in the store sell a wide variety of just about everything imaginable. In addition to Fearneyhough’s sewing and Tedrow’s homemade soaps, there are booths that sell wreaths and signs, furniture and antiques, light bottles and crafts, fishing items, tractors, diamond art, resin items, tumblers, jewelry, woodworking, tie-dyed items and the West Central High School girls CEO girls have shelves selling their items from their individual businesses.
Right now, the store is open seven days a week – Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., but Tedrow said that may change in the future when they learn when the busy times are and when the not-so-busy times are.
“Our main goal is for this store to be successful,” Tedrow said. “We just want it to be a place that people can go to find that special gift for someone or buy that unique something they see and just have to have.”