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Creative Stitches Is Alive And Well In New Location Downtown

By Staff | Apr 23, 2009

SAME NAME, NEW LOCATION – There’s a change in location and ownership, but the quality of Creative Stitches remains the same for the Emmetsburg business. The embroidery business was purchased earlier this month by Terri Whittaker, right, of Ruthven and moved to 2110 11th Street in Emmetsburg, adjacent to the Pizza Ranch. Creative Stitches staffers Pam Hartman, left, and Sharon Mueller, in the center, will continue to offer original embroidery services, along with silk-screening at the business. — Dan Voigt photo

In the world of sewing, the occasion may arise where it becomes necessary to “pick up a stitch” during a project. For the staff of long-time Emmetsburg business Creative Stitches, picking up the stitch involved a new owner and a move to a downtown location in the past few weeks.

After opening its doors back in 1996 as a subsidiary of Horizons Unlimited, Creative Stitches and staff members Pam Hartman and Sharon Mueller were notified in early March of this year that the business was going to be phased out of the Horizons umbrella of operations.

At the same time, Terri Whitaker of Ruthven, the owner of Relativity Tee’s, a silk-screening business, learned of the impending closure of Creative Stitches. Having worked with both Mueller and Hartman on various projects for the past several years, Whitaker was very familiar with Creative Stitches, Mueller and Hartman. She began doing some research, put pencil to paper – and did some thinking.

“We’d worked together since 2003, when the Whittemore Centennial took place, because I came to Sharon and Pam for some help with some items for the celebration, and our relationship grew out of that,” Whitaker recalled. “I thought about purchasing Creative Stitches as a way to allow my business to grow, and the more I looked into the idea, it just seemed to be a natural fit.”

Once the decision was made, Whitaker made an offer to purchase the assets of Creative Stitches from Horizons Unlimited. The offer was accepted, and Whitaker, along with her new employees, began moving the business from its location on Emmetsburg’s south edge over the Easter weekend, The perfect location was waiting for the new Creative Stitches – 2110 11 th Street, across from the Palo Alto County Courthouse, in the former Beans and Blarney location.

It didn’t take long for the word to get out, or for Hartman and Mueller to get back into the swing of things, as Creative Stitches opened its doors uptown on Monday, April 13.

All of the services of Creative Stitches remain unchanged – the emphasis is on embroidery – designs, logos or stitching on shirts, jackets, caps, soft chairs, golf bags and even soft side coolers. Customers can order about any clothing item through Creative Stitches, or bring their own items in to be embroidered.

With four embroidery machines at their disposal, Hartman and Mueller can turn out a lot of stitches in a day’s work. Hartman works with the machines, keeping the sewing room humming. Mueller handles the ordering, merchandising and the bookkeeping end of the business.

While Creative Stitches specializes in embroidery, they are still able to provide silk-screening services through Relativity Tees in Ruthven, Whitaker’s home base of operations.

Creative Stitches will be expanding their lines of ready-to-wear clothing items, such as E’Hawk apparel, and collegiate apparel for University of Iowa Hawkeye and Iowa State University Cyclone fans. Customers looking for special clothing items for business or casual attire can also order them from Creative Stitches, with or without embroidery.

A lot has happened in a short time for the business, which has hit the ground running, so to speak. Whitaker is thankful for the efforts of her employees in making it possible. “We finished the interior work here in a day’s time and the way this has all come together, I just couldn’t have done this without Pam and Sharon. They’re the best.”

“We’re just happy to be able to keep doing something that we both have enjoyed so much over the years,” Mueller said, with Hartman nodding in agreement.

“We were both a little worried about what we were going to do,” Hartman noted. “It’s a good feeling to know that we can keep on creating items for our customers.”

Creative Stitches can be reached at 712-852-4989, or via email at


The business plans to host a Chamber Coffee event later this year to welcome the public to their new location and to introduce Whitaker to the business community as the new owner.

Currently, the business is open Monday through Thursdays from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and on Friday’s from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.