Tales from a Shopkeep –

There are few things better in this world than the support of friends . . . but one of the few things, is when you get the chance to see one of your friends succeed and grow and reach their dreams. I’m lucky enough that some of my best friends are fellow small business owners here in Bloomington *and beyond*. But today, I’m going to focus on just one, my dear friend Liby.

14925315_368586026818638_3090238498580444353_nFor a few years now, I’ve been watching with bated breath as Liby came to terms with her dream of opening her own shop in Bloomington. Liby is a local seamstress whom, for as long as I’ve known her as been outspoken, supportive, and specialized in a certain kind of business that it’s hard to put your finger on. If you know Liby at all, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Liby is the outspoken introvert. The conundrum to us all. She’s a talented belly-dancer, a mysterious burlesque performer, a multi-faceted artist and seamstress who specializes in (all sizes, and all styles) wedding gowns, but focuses on nearly everything in between. That’s not even coming close to the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the complex enigma that is Liby Ball-Wendell.

I’ve traveled with Liby down the long hard road of financials, business plans, and real estate. I’ve played the shoulder to cry on, the ear to vent to, and the fist to wave in the air when things have just gone … not as planned. And then, when the stars finally aligned – all of Liby’s hard work paid off – all those hours spent scouring over numbers, questioning and doubting, but also being so sure that this was her path. Because, quite simply, it was.

15027534_10154121342671309_4290535705769535003_nThis past January, first Friday of 2017, Liby opened the doors to Bloomington Stitchery. And it’s gorgeous, and it’s Liby in every single solitary way. From the holiday lights dangling from the front window, to the chalkboard that greets you when you walk in. All the work she has hand-picked to feature at Bloomington Stitchery fits perfectly not only with Liby’s aesthetic, but her lifestyle. It’s immediately welcoming when you walk in the door – inclusion is not something Liby takes lightly.

Her Grand Opening was filled with like-minded people supporting the blue haired goddess by taking silly pictures in the make-shift photo booth and purchasing the handmade items that fill her shelves. Her snarky and ‘cool girl’ (inside jokes aside) assistants were busy playing hostess and demonstrator while Liby herself stood behind her hand-crafted cash wrap decorated with vintage yard sticks. It was amazing. And I am so proud.

I am so proud because Liby worked fucking hard for this. And she deserves every single bit of success that comes her way. So, if you have a wedding dress (or a jumpsuit, a onesie, or just about anything else) that needs making, mending, or just thought of, I guarantee Liby is your gal.

Stop in to Bloomington Stitchery and tell those cool girls that Talia sent you. I promise you won’t regret it. We have to continue supporting small business in this town, or we’re going to disappear. So, remember . . . we’ve worked hard to get here – and we ain’t going nowhere anytime soon!


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