On the road again. At least that’s what Fred and Sue Gieratz plan when they sell the business they’ve been in for 27 years.
The couple have catered to the sewing, knitting and quilting clientele, running Sew Crafty, now in the heart of Rideau Ferry. They’ve put their property and business up for sale, surprising loyal customers.
“It was part of our plan. I’m 66 and Sue is 63,” says Fred. Anybody who goes into business has to plan to retire, he adds. Soaring real estate prices haven’t hurt either.
They’ve had the business in two other locations; the Perth Mews and the County Fair mall in Smiths Falls. Moving to Rideau Ferry 11 years ago was the start of the retirement plan, says Fred. With property values the way they are, now’s a good time, he adds.
“We love our job, but after 27 years we’re ready to retire,” says Sue.
They say they want to travel, possibly visit Fred’s German relatives and tour on their twin Triumph motorcycles once the Covid 19 crisis is over. Almost in unison, they said, “we’ve put off a lot of travelling.
Since the start of the Corona virus, they’ve kept the business going by providing curb side service and installing pods to separate clients working quilting machines. Their bolts of cloth are massive as are their accessories. As a result, even in the pandemic, “the business has been paying our bills,” says Sue. “We’ve had a good year,” adds Fred. They’ve also done email and phone orders.
In the spring they also sell somewhat exotic plants including Hibiscus that survive the winter in this area, zone 5.
“We’ve put a lot of effort into this business. It’s all rewarding, but I don’t get to do the stuff I love to do. I never thought we would be doing it (the work) after 60,” says Sue.
The customers are surprised at their imminent departure, but congratulatory about their service. Their Facebook page is chock a block with compliments. They’ve catered to clients from all over Ontario and further.
The couple have also bolstered the Rideau Ferry community by sponsoring events such as the Rideau Ferry Regatta, hosting business improvement meetings and promoting the Rideau Ferry Rd. yard sale.
They are selling the property and building separate from the business. The two combines is listed for just under $1 million.