Longtime friends who ran their businesses in the same downtown Hillsboro location for several years — until the building was sold in February —set up shop together again Aug. 1.
Kessler Kreations, run by Marie Kessler, and Backdoor Quilting, run by Neva Kreutziger, used to operate at 112 S. Main St. They now are operating in the former Chisholm Trail Outfitters building at 805 Western Heights Circle.
Kessler sold her downtown building to Herington Hospital in February so a clinic could be opened there.
Neva and Wayne Kreutziger bought the old gun shop July 15.
“Neva decided they wanted to purchase this building and I came along,” Kessler said.
The partnership between the women, and the friendship that underpins it, began long ago.
Kessler learned to machine quilt in 1994. She took a job as a secretary for a few years, then bought a quilting machine in 2003 and moved her business downtown in 2005.
She quit her secretarial job in 2007 and concentrated on running Kessler’s Kreations.
“I had enough work at that time to keep me busy,” she said.
She bought the building at 112 S. Main St. in 2010.
Neva, one of her regular customers, was getting tired of her full-time job.
“I quit my job that I’d had 20 years,” Neva said. “Now that I was gainfully unemployed, I went to pick up my last quilt from her and spent my last paycheck on it, and I told her I didn’t know when I would be back. The next day she called me and offered me a job.”
Neva bought a computerized quilting machine from Kessler, and Kessler set Neva up with her own set of customers for Backdoor Quilting.
The two worked side by side until Kessler sold the Main St. building in February. Both the working relationship and the friendship had been too good for too long for the separation to settle well with either of them.
“I miss my Neva when we don’t get to talk together,” Kessler said.
“This has been a good thing for both of us,” Neva said.
Though customers can get machine quilting done by the women, they won’t be able to buy bolt fabric much longer.
“What we have here we’ll sell, but we won’t order any after that,” Kessler said, gesturing toward rows of fabric bolts along one wall.
“We’re not really a quilting shop anymore, but still do long-arm quilting,” Neva said.
The Kreutzigers are buying a lot immediately east of the new shop from the city of Hillsboro. They have plans to put in storage units and a coin laundry.
“We’re hoping to start next year,” Neva said.
She said she was sure a coin laundry would do well in Hillsboro.
“There hasn’t been one here in Hillsboro for some time now,” she said. “I have no doubt that it would take off. We’ve got enough low-income or senior housing that I think there would be a decent revenue stream there.”
Wayne, retired from AgCo, has been kept busy doing handyman work for the two women as they set the shop up exactly as they want it.