Business Spotlight - Charm Fabrics & Clothing

Posted by Amish Country Insider on 15th Dec 2017

Custom Service for Every Customer

Admit it. It’s time to buy a new wool hat. You’ve been putting it off, because your old one just feels so good on your head. It fits so well that it’s almost a part of your head by now.

Perhaps you don’t wear a hat but a bonnet instead, and what’s going on under your bonnet right now are many musings about where you can find fifteen burgundy shirts—in ten different sizes to fit all those young men in the wedding, the six year-old-old to the twenty-two-year-old. And they will all need black vests, again, in ten different sizes. Mixed with those musings is the question you’re asking yourself every morning: When you will ever find time to sew that new work coat your husband needs?

Then there’s the new baby next door, and a soft, fluffy blanket or a sleeper would be just the right gift to take along on a visit.

All very good reasons to visit, write, or call Charm Fabrics & Clothing. Steve and Susan Yoder’s store in Charm, Ohio, will be able to help with your predicament.

The necessary new hat, for example. Not only does the store have multiple sizes of brims and crown heights, but they’ll also steam your new wool hat to fit the shape of your head. Wear it for one half hour after steaming, and it will be “made” just for you.

As a matter of fact, even if you purchased a new wool hat elsewhere and now find that it doesn’t fit “quite right,” the Yoders will be happy to put their hat steamer to use and shape that hat for you. Their specialty—and the service they most enjoy providing —is custom fit clothing. While their store does carry many fabrics, baby items, books, toys, gift items, sweaters, and sweatshirts, providing clothing to fit each customer’s specifications makes up a big portion of this store’s endeavor to serve its customers.

The business originated long before there was a physical building housing a retail store. Susan did some sewing of church coats and vests for boys, but when she began making pants patterns designed to distinctively fit a customer, she found her business growing rapidly.

Our Customer Service

Deciding to create a full-fledged business offering custom clothing, “was quite a venture for us,” says Susan. Their store opened in the lower level of Charm Marketplace (formerly the Charm General Store) on January 8, 2010, and in the past five years, the request for their custom work has outgrown the fabric business.

Susan still makes pants patterns. She also had many requests for dress patterns. Attending the Sewing & Quilt Expo at the I-X Center in Cleveland, she sat in on several sewing classes, but there wasn’t much they could teach her about Amish dresses. So, doing her own research, she found “fitting patterns” created by companies like McCall’s and Simplicity. These are basic patterns that can be altered in many different ways to produce the exact dress style and size a woman needs. From the patterns, Susan also made “fitting dresses,” which the store uses to fit a woman who is ordering a garment made to her specifications.

A custom fit is available for every member of the family. Vests, hats, capes, dresses, pants, coats—all can be ordered custom made, or, if a person finds, say, a ready-made coat on the rack that is almost right but just a little too long or too wide in the shoulders, Charm Fabrics & Clothing will make the alterations.

The attention to each individual’s size and fit makes this store a good partner in wedding planning. Need fifteen maroon, button-down, long-sleeved shirts, all in different sizes? You won’t find those at Kohl’s or Penney’s. The children’s sizes are especially hard to find. But you can order them from Charm Fabrics and Clothing. They stock about 30 colors of these quality shirts, in almost every size. “We send them everywhere,” says Susan.

Another wedding service that many families are finding helpful is rental of the black vests. Again, fifteen maroon-shirted young men will need fifteen vests. And we all know how fast young men grow—they may never wear that expensive vest again. The practical answer? Rent the vests for one day. Susan will have them laundered and pressed, all ready for the wedding day. When the wedding is over, return the vests, and Charm Fabrics & Clothing will do the laundering and pressing to have them ready for the next rental.

With years of experience at custom fitting clothes, Steve and Susan are able to provide this service even to those who do not walk through their doors. Supplying basic information like sizes, measurements, and style details, a long-distance customer can benefit from this store’s expertise and have clothing made or shipped to them without even visiting Charm.

Browsing through the store’s new catalog gives some idea of the range of merchandise and services they offer. Besides custom clothing, the shelves and racks hold factory-made shirts, sweaters, and sweatshirts. In addition to the men’s wool hats, there are straw hats and seagrass hats. The ladies will find coverings and over a dozen different sizes of capes, in numerous styles. Girls’ dresses and boys’ pants, shirts, and coats hang in neat rows. Customers can browse through almost 100 men’s coats and at least 70 women’s coats, ready-made and ready to wear.

The clothing is all made in the U.S., almost all of it in Ohio, and 75% at local sewing machines . One woman in the area has sewed as many as 500 shirts in one year. Susan says she is “a walking sewing machine, and pours out these gorgeous shirts.” Hats and coats are made locally—they have designed a duck cloth coat very similar to a name-brand work coat but without the grommets and zippers and pockets.

And don’t forget, this is also a place to shop for fabric, patterns, notions, shawls, bonnets, baby items, books, toys, and basics like socks, underwear, and gloves.

All can be found at Charm Fabrics and Clothing, 4456 State Route 557 in Charm, Ohio. Contact the store by mail at P.O. Box 247, Charm, Ohio, 44617; by fax at 330.893.0428; or by telephone at 330.893.4758. Requests for a catalog can be made in any of these three ways or when visiting the store.

Steve and Susan aim to please their customers with clothes made to exact specifications and with services that assist in sewing for the family or planning wedding clothes. Whenever they can help overcome a clothing challenge, they will do their best.

“That’s what makes us who we are—our customer service,” says Susan.

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