BY LOGAN MCCOURTNEY –
As Christmas fast approaches many people in the community will be out shopping. Shopping for family and friends can be made even more enjoyable when you are among friends and such is the case when you shop downtown Mena’s newest retailer. Lisa Brewer at Stitch Chick and Gifts has been serving the community for nearly four decades in a variety of roles and is excited to make your shopping experience personable.
Lisa is no stranger to the community. In fact, Lisa has been working in Mena nearly her whole life. Her parents, Charles and Jo Stricklin had Lisa and her sister working at an early age in their grocery store. Charles ran a grocery store in Hatfield called ‘Stricklins’ where Lisa and her sister worked the counter. Serving the people of Polk County is almost second nature to her. A few people may remember Lisa’s restaurant that she opened in Potter, the Quicky Burger. She was only 18 at the time. “I had went to school and when I was at home on break Dad gave me a set of keys and said, ‘You can pay be back when you can’” says, Lisa. “I had great parents, teaching me how to care for people and that is something that has stuck with me,” recalls Lisa. Most people may know Lisa and her family from the years she spent working with her dad in the janitorial supply business. She spent 30 years of her career in the field serving schools, small businesses, and even large businesses in the surrounding state. Lisa learned something then that will certainly serve her and her customers now, “I learned to meet the needs of people. It did me no good to just sell them supplies so I could say I sold something. Instead, I tried to care about the people and understand what their needs were and how we could meet them,” said Lisa.
When you love something or somebody, nothing can keep you from pursuing them. Doctors had told Lisa she needed to slow down from the demanding schedule of the janitorial supply world, but she didn’t want to stop. “I never wanted to retire and go home and just sit. I still have the drive and love people so I want to do something,” said Lisa. In the mean time, Lisa spent time helping her two daughters and their growing businesses. Lisa and her husband Marvin have been proud to watch their daughters Amber and Holly pursue their passions here in Mena. Amber is the owner of the Fair Lady and the Refinery. Holly leads a group of ladies at the salon, Lipstick and Curls, which sits next to her mom’s shop on Mena Street. Lisa said, “During my initial down time I was unsure of what to do so I would go help Amber. I would go to shows and market with her and would see things that I liked. I began to think, ‘maybe I could do this’ and so I began to do some research in the gifts and embroidery business. I loved it.” Lisa smiles as she offers sounds wisdom, “My dad always said, ‘Love what you’re doing’ and I love people and serving them so I decided it was time to open my shop.”
Lisa has always loved gifts and decorating her house and so with her already kindled passion she decided to open Stitch Chick and Gifts. “I’ve always loved decorating and I guess I have for as long as I can remember. Mom always told me that I needed my own room for all the decorating I did,” recalled Lisa. When you talk to Lisa you can see her smile as she talks with excitement about the shop and the people that walk through the door. Lisa says, “I always loved people. They have always been the most exciting part of my job.”
Stitch Chick and Gifts offers gifts, decorations, Christian apparel, but the thing that Lisa is most excited is yet to come. “Starting in January we are going to do embroidery here and we are excited. We hear about a lot of people that want a shirt, bag, or even dish towels embroidered and now we are going to be able to do that. I care about what people want and are looking for and I think that this will be loved by a lot of people,” says Lisa.
So when you are out shopping this Christmas season, come visit Lisa at Stitch Chick and Gifts next to Lipstick and Curls on Mena Street. Lisa says, “I’m going to be the voice of the customer. If you come in and want something I don’t have, tell me and I will do my best to get it.” Stitch Chick and Gifts will be open Tuesday-Friday from 10-5:30 and Saturdays 10-4 to serve you.