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Filling a niche in Marshall

Graceful Marilyn Quilt Shoppe opens in former Fabrics Plus location on Main Street

Photo by Deb Gau Heather Rokeh, at right, helps customer Joy Jones pick out fabric at Graceful Marilyn Quilt Shoppe.

MARSHALL — Fabrics Plus closed earlier this year, but that doesn’t mean the Marshall area will be down a source of quilting and sewing supplies. A new business, Graceful Marilyn Quilt Shoppe, has moved into the former Fabrics Plus location on Main Street.

Graceful Marilyn owners Michelle Salfer and Heather Rokeh said it was exciting to see the response from the community as the store opened its doors last week.

“It’s been fun,” Rokeh said.

Opening their own fabric store was something Rokeh and Salfer said they’ve always joked and dreamed about. When they heard the news that Fabrics Plus owners Tracy Veglahn and Cami Nichols were planning to retire, they had the chance to make the dream a reality.

“Michelle asked, ‘Are they selling?’ “ Rokeh said.

Salfer and Rokeh said they knew they could help fill a need left when Fabrics Plus closed.

“A town this size should really have a quilt shop,” Salfer said.

Quilting is an activity where you really need to be able to see and feel different fabrics when picking materials for a project, she said.

Rokeh and Salfer are sisters who grew up in Wood Lake, and both enjoy quilting.

“We’ve been sewing, crafting and quilting forever,” Rokeh said.

Part of their inspiration was their mother, Marilyn Schmidt, who is also a seamstress and quilter.

“Mom always taught us to be crafty,” Rokeh said.

The name of the store, Graceful Marilyn, pays tribute to both Marilyn Schmidt and Rokeh’s daughter Grace.

Planning for and opening the store has been “kind of a wild ride” over the past few months, Salfer said. But she and Rokeh plan to offer not just quilting supplies, but handmade items from local vendors, and space to sit and sew.

Rokeh said they also want to continue to offer classes and popular programs like the Block of the Month club for quilters.

Graceful Marilyn officially opened last week, and Salfer and Rokeh were busy welcoming customers to the store on Saturday morning.

“Mom’s been kind of building word of mouth,” Salfer said of the store’s opening.

To start out, Graceful Marilyn will be open from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, and on Saturdays from 9 a.m.-2 p.m. The shop also has a website, www.gracefulmarilyn.com, where customers can order fabric, sewing notions and other items.

The people visiting Graceful Marilyn have been happy to have a quilt store back in town, Salfer and Rokeh said.

“Everyone that walks in thanks us for opening one,” Salfer said.

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