Lancaster farming. (Lancaster, Pa., etc.) 1955-current, May 19, 1984, Image 42

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    ■2—l—castf Finwtm, Safriay, Way 19,1984
Craft shop eaten
to country theme
Staff Correspondent
MT ZION Most women know
that decorating a home in a
country theme is very popular
today. One farm wife has taken
advantage of this popularity.
Audrey Mull, a farm wife from Mt.
Zion, Lebanon county, produces
and markets crafts with a country
Audrey recently opened a craft
shop near Mt. Zion, where she sells
her own homemade items, in
cluding countless strip quilted
items, tin and copper punch,
grapevine wreaths, woven wheat
hearts, calico accessories, baler
twine wreaths, and more.
The opening of her shop was the
result of a rapidly increasing
business. Audrey has been in
volved in crafts since she married
a dairy farmer more than three
years ago. Along with a husband,
she got the “privilege” of helping
to milk. This did not keep her busy
and, since her his husband
preferred that she not work off the
farm, she began making craft
items and participating in local
shows. In fact, it was her husband,
Ken, who persuaded her to go to
the first craft show that launched
her business.
The idea of making and selling
craft items was not new to Audrey.
She remembers making and
selling suede handbags as a teen
ager. She sold over 200! Obviously,
she was a wise businesswoman
even then.
Her business has grown rapidly
over the past three years. Last fall
she found it a problem to try to
show her products to customers.
“Everything was packed in
boxes,” she said.
Thus the idea of a small store
was the next step in her business
endeavor. A small summer house a
few yards from her home was
remodeled over the winter months
and has become a beautiful display
Audrey originally hoped to do
some of her work in the shop, but
Coordinated bathroom accessories are Audrey's most
sought after products. One example is a wooden towel rack
with a calico durk accenting the top.
has found the entire store is needed
for display purposes.
Her first products were
macrame and twine wreaths. It
was not long until she added sewn
items. Although beautifully
decorated twine wreaths are still
part of the display, strip quilted
items are now the most numerous.
One of her most popular items is
a wooden towel rack with a calico
duck perched on the top with
elegant lace-accented hand towels.
This is a part of what Audrey feels
makes her items so popular.
At Audrey’s it is possible to have
a number of accessories for your
bathroom, all of coordinating
calicos. Beautiful strip quilted
toilet seat covers, tissue covers,
towel racks, and much more are
available. These products combine
the country theme of quilting with
a little lace for an “extra-special”
look. Also, soon to be added to the
inventory will be bolts of matching
fabrics and lace which will allov?
the home decorator to make
coordinating curtains to complete
the decorating scheme.
Although Audrey sells items
directly from her store, a high
percentage of her business is made
on order of customers who wish to
select the fabrics to coordinate
with their home. The availability
of custom designs has been a boost
to the business. Often a customer
will come to pick up an order and
decide to order another item when
she sees other products on display.
Many items for sale are in
response to a customer request.
This was the case with tin punch.
Audrey made an item for her home
and people asked if she had these
available for sale. She practiced a
little more and soon had become
skilled enough to offer framed
pieces of tin and copper punch.
Actually, Audrey says she never
dreamed her first ventures into
selling crafts would reach this size.
She found herself maintaining a
larger inventory to meet the
demand, an now it has become a
full-time venture.
Audrey has spent many hours remodeling a small summer house to open a store in
which to market her custom-made country decorating accents.
A new strip-quilted item will be
coining soon a small wooden
stool with strip-quilted top. Audrey
also plans to begin growing some
of the dried flowers and accents
she uses in her arrangements. She
has started many plants this
spring and looks forward to her
first crop this fall.
Audrey enjoys being outside
during the summer months and
this project will keep her outside
while producing her own flowers.
If this new venture succeeds,
Audrey hopes to offer dried flowers
for sale in the store.
The wheat used in her wheat
weaving is also grown on their
farm. A special variety which is
bearded and has a very long head
is hand-seeded by Audrey.
What makes this store and these
craft items so popular? Audrey
readily admits the current trend to
country decorating has helped.
However, one of the best features
is that the customer buys directly
from the craftsman. There is no
middle man to earn a commission
and items can be made to order.
Audrey also attributes much of
her success to her husband’s en
couragement. Although he farms
over 100 acres and milks SO cows,
Ken finds time to accompany
Audrey to most of her shows. He
enjoys meeting the people and
assists with customers at shows.
Ken got her started in this
venture and has continued to make
her craft business a priority.
Ken and Audrey Mull invite you
to stop by and visit “Audrey’s
Country Crafts” which is located
2Vi miles off Interstate 78 or one
mile north of Mt. Zion along Union
Woven wheat hearts are made of wheat grown by Audrey
specifically for this purpose.
Road in Lebanon county. You may Treat yourself—take an af
just drop in or call them at 717-865- ternoon drive through some of
6524 to be sure that someone will be Lebanon county’s beautiful farm
in the store. They are not open for land and explore Audrey’s Country
business on Sundays. Crafts.
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