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Lovell Chronicle
Lovell , Wyoming
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July 9, 2020     Lovell Chronicle
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e 8 I The Lovell Chronicle I July 9, 2020 Fifty-year Lovell fari store to ose BY DAVID PECK A longtime Lovell busi— ness is closing its doors this week after 53 years of op— eration in the Rose City. Mayes Fabric, 3 busi- ness that drew customers to town and provided ma— terial for seamstresses for more than five decades, has fallen victim to the times, unable to compete against Internet shopping and a de- cline in the love of sewing, owner/operator Geraldine Allred and husband Ed said in an interview Monday. Ma es Fabric was opene in 1967 by Denver and Hannah Mayes and De— loy and Nellie May Mayes, a family in which two Mayes brothers married two Hag— gen sisters. The shop was original— ly part of the Mayes Broth- ers Auto Body/D&D Auto- motive complex. There had even been a grocery store at the location. Needing more room, Mayes Fabric moved to its current location, 435 Ore— on, in the fall of 1972, the amily converting a historic dance hall and skating rink building that is now more than 100 years old. The building had been vacant for some time, and Ed Allred joked, “It was a skating rink as long as they dared.” Not only did the move give operator Nellie May Mayes more room, it also allowed the store to get away from the fumes of the auto body shop, Geraldine Allred recalled. The fam- ily remodeled the inside and added a 25—foot brick addition to the west of the wood frame building. Nellie May was soon joined by her nieces Car- rol Mayes Allred and Mona Mayes Wilkerson in the op— eration of the shop. Also helping over the years were her daughters Juani— ta Hawley, Pauline Waters and Geraldine , Hender- shot, now Allred. Wilkerson died in 2003, Carrol Allred in 2012, and after the loss of her cousin Carrol, long— time local teacher Geral— dine took over the store with sister Juanita in 2013, then retired from educa— tion in 2018, having mar- ried Ed Allred, both having lost their spouses, Kev— in Hendershot and Carrol Allred. Ed and Geraldine not- ed that Carrol and Mona taught many 4-H members how to sew over the years and assisted in many com: munity plays with costume making and design, includ- ing Joseph’s “coat of many colors” for the community production of “J0seph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” For five decades Mayes Fabric drew customers from across ,.the country and even overseas, espe— cially the Big Horn Basin and western Wyoming. “We had a custom— er today from Riverton,” Geraldine said. “But it has changed over the last 10 or 15 years. Young people “Better'than Billings. pricing everyday!” . , LW911548-2269 Cody sat/r5990 Worland 347-6548 DAVID PECK Juanita Hawley (right) helps customers at Mayes Fabric on Monday afternoon. There was still a great selection of fabric for sale early in the week. don’t sew, and if they do, it’s for crafts and quilt— ing. We’ve also seen a de- cline in sales due to online shopping.” Mayes Fabric has al- ways been known for its large inventory of quality fabric, as well as customer service, Ed said. “People come in be- cause they like who works here,” he said, adding with a smile, “A lot of peo le come in and instead 0 talking to a bartender they talk to the ladies.” “Carrol was a profes- sional quilt maker,” Geral- dine added. “A lot of quilt work was done here. She gave most of them away. She also made Christmas stockings, stuffed animals and toys. She made quilts for her extended family for special occasions a lot of baby quilts and quilts for baptisms and high school graduations.” The family was frugal with the store’s displays, Ed said, noting that many of the current tables came from the former CR Antho— ny store. “Any profit was turned back Into inventory,” he said, t ough he noted that the store also paid for fam— ily members to attend col- lege. Both Carrol and Ger— aldine went to BYU, for instance, Geraldine in edu— cation and Carrol in cloth— ing and textiles. “We want people to know that we appreciate their support,” Geraldine said. “COVID did not cause this. It’s declining sales. I decided it was time. “When Mona was alive she and Carrol alternated work days and babysat each others ‘kids. Pretty much all of us raised'our children here. There are grandchil- dren in here now.’ A three-week closing sale ends Saturday, with a quilt drawing on Friday. Juanita Hawley will con- tinue to work with the long arm quilting machine in the building, and any re— maining fabric will be do- nated, Geraldine said, es— timating about half of the store inventory had been sold during the sale as of Monday. “I can see a dent,” Ed added. , ., .k V _ U , DAVID PECK Juanita Hawley (left) and Ed and Geraldine Allred pose in Mayes Fabric with examples of some of the quilt work sewn by talented members of the Mayes Fabric crew. 3’ l DAVID PECK Whitney Hendershot displa s the “coat of many colors” sewn by Mona Wil erson with Carrol Allred’s help for the community production DAVID PECK Sariah Hendershot works with the long arm quilting machine at of “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Mayes Fabric on Monday. Juanita Hawley hopes to keep creating Dreamcoat” staged in 1998. quilts with the machine even after the store closes on Saturday. In the end, the shop that on top of the cost of get product cheaper,” she The future of the build— said. “And when it comes to (ordering) inventory, we are last on the totem pole.” could not compete with the Internet and chain stores, Geraldine said, ~ noting material the shipping cost is “outrageous.” “The chain stores can ing is uncertain, they said, noting that Neil Mayes ac- tually owns the building. - Basin Ropublitan Rusllvr 307 568 2458 - Greybull Standard 307 765 4485 - lovoll (hronide 30754842217