Burton’s Enterprises in Hillsboro had a weeklong celebration of specials, culminating Saturday with free hot dogs, chips and drinks for everyone.
Located just off Rt. 219, Jim Burton has established somewhat of a mall in the small town of Hillsboro, offering a clean and tidy laundromat, Jeanne’s Styling Salon, Deb Ann’s Fabrics and Melissa’s Knit and Hobby shop.
In the past few years, the businesses have expanded – in number, in size and in service.
“I am tickled to death about the expansion here,” Burton said.
A lot of that expansion – in size and in service – has taken place in the fabric shop.
“That’s not something you hear of in small towns anymore,” Debbie Walker of Deb Ann’s Fabrics said.
While the laundromat and hair salon may be considered utilitarian, the fabric and hobby shop are filled with colors, fun and education.
Melissa Totten, owner of Melissa’s Knit and Hobby, had students gathering Saturday afternoon for a knitting class.
Walker is working on her second annual three-day quilting retreat, “Fall into Quilting,” which will be held October 20 through 22 at the Community Wellness Center in Marlinton. There will be demonstrations and trunk shows, with guest teachers Linda Adams and Evelyn Brown.
A completed Carpenter’s Star quilt is on display at Deb Ann’s, and that pattern will be a part of the 15 classes offered at the retreat.
Walker hopes to build the retreat into something big for the county, eventually having the annual event associated with a full-scale quilt show.
In addition, Walker said she hopes to hold three different classes “between now and snow.”
Those will include Color with Fabric Paints, new patterns, and quilt as you go, so participants “don’t have to send their work to long-arm quilters,” she said.
“The class will be great for baby blankets you need next weekend.”
Walker recently received a shipment of new fabric and has another shipment due this week.
In addition to hands-on shopping at her store, customers can get resources from debannsfabrics.com
In the realm of blankets, the UFO group – that would be the “Unfinished Objects” group – meets once a month at the Hillsboro Library to work on individual projects. The group meets for four hours to work and talk, and share a covered dish lunch.
With the help of the UFO ladies, Walker was able to complete 50 hand-tied blankets in a week and a half for the county’s Snuggle and Read pre-school program.
“The local school system kept it local,” Burton said. “I thought that was outstanding. Why order from California when you can get them here?”
The materials include characters from the movie “Cars,” as well as Tinkerbell.
“They said the girls will take the boys’ blankets, but the boys will not take the girls’,” Burton said.
“We love to do things for the kids,” Walker added. “Those blankets are Pocahontas tied.”
Burton said the shops are further along than where he thought they would be at this point in time, and they get a lot of compliments about the products and services offered, as well as compliments about the cleanliness of the businesses.
“We’ve worked hard to make our niche,” Walker said.
The success of the businesses is a joint effort.
“We all work together,” Burton said. “If one person has to be off, someone else will keep their shop open.”
As Walker said, “expansion of businesses in small towns isn’t something you hear much about anymore,” and Deb Ann’s also offers a service that seems to have gone by the wayside in today’s world – she does mending and alterations.
There’s a lot going on – in and around those shops at Hillsboro.
“And I’m just here for moral support,” Burton said.
Jaynell Graham may be contacted at jsgraham@poc ahontastimes.com