Fabric store closing its Wakarusa doors

WAKARUSA — People were lined down Elkhart Street in Wakarusa the morning of Aug. 23 to get first pick of the deals at Jeanette’s Fabric Boutique. But it wasn’t any ordinary sale. The business is closing it’s doors at of the end of September after 32 years serving the community and surrounding areas’ sewing needs.
Fifty people were on hand that first day of the closing sale at 9 a.m. waiting for the doors to open and in the first two hours, owner Jeannette Prenkert and a handful of helpful staffers served 140 customers. The draw wasn’t just for the regular deals and attentive and exceptional friendly service. Every item in the store is being sold at reduced prices and a raffle is being held with prizes such as an air purifier, a television, digital camera, George Foreman grill, and an Elna press to be awarded to lucky winners. No purchase is necessary and the winners need not be present to win. To be eligible, contestants must register in person at the store Mondays through Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“We had some 211 sales transactions that first day,” Prenkert said, “and more than 270 signed up for the prize drawings.”
Customers will find discounts on brand names like Janome and Baby Lock in sewing machines, fabric, sewing notions, tools and parts, embroidery supplies, books, patterns, lace, accessories and much more, and can buy to the bare walls — which includes all the boutique’s fixtures, furniture and equipment.
Prenkert said she got into the business after earning a degree in Home Economics and that she taught at Jimtown schools and Nappanee’s middle school on and off between raising her children. “I really enjoyed teaching and sewing so it was great to be able to have the chance to do something I love to do,” Prenkert explained of her business opportunity.
So why is she choosing to close after running Jeanette’s Fabric Boutique since 1980?
“After 32 years I think it’s time for me to actually do some sewing that I would like to get done,” she said with a laugh. “I love sharing and sewing with my customers but there are other things I’d like to do with my time.”
Those “things” will likely include spending time with her three children and six grandchildren, (four in the area and two in Bloomington, including a new one born July 5).
All classes have been canceled or suspended during this sale, but Prenkert plans to continue offering training for her customers at Calico Point on County Road 40 near State Route 119, four miles east of her current location. To learn more visit the store, call 574-862-4207, or email jeanette@jeanettesfabric.com.