Shirt Shop customizes holidays

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December 5, 2011 - 12:00 AM

Those looking for Christmas gifts with a personal touch can find scores of ideas at the Shirt Shop in Iola.
From monogrammed towels to shirts, hats or jackets with personalized messages, Elizabeth Donnelly’s shop at 20 W. Jackson Ave. caters to individual tastes, often limited only by the imagination.
The merchandise is part of Donnelly’s efforts in recent years to appeal more to holiday shoppers.
She notes that in other times of the year, her main focus is screen-printing, producing mass numbers of shirts for athletic teams or special events, such as the Melvin Run or Jingle Bell Jog.
“But what we’ve found for Christmas is that people usually want just one or two items,” she said.
The Shirt Shop’s embroidery services include monograms, Donnelly said, with pre-programmed sewing machines providing intricate details previously considered a task only for the most skilled seamstresses.
Donnelly also is touting her “Wall Words” collections, vinyl lettering or designs that can be posted on walls, signs, fabrics or other materials.
The Wall Words are available in up to 62 colors, 16 of which are available immediately (the others take a day or two to order.)
We can do pretty much do any kind of line art or font,” Donnelly said.
That’s where the brainstorming comes in.
“A customer comes in with an idea, and we’ll work with them,” she said. “Sometimes we can help come up with something even better.”
April will mark Donnelly’s 12th year as owner of The Shirt Shop. She originally opened her store on the east side of the square, relocating in 2008 to her current location, a building that originally housed Shannon Hardware, then in subsequent spells Otasco, Classy Attic and a hair salon.
The new site added an abundance of floor space for more merchandise, which coincides with Donnelly’s efforts to stress Christmas shopping at this time of year.
Donnelly also has started up a Facebook page — www.facebook.com/shirtshopiola — where she will offer an assortment of special sales through the Christmas season.
The Shirt Shop is open from 9:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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