Two Noble County entrepreneurs have taken over operation of Stien Designs & Graphics, a long-standing business in downtown Kendallville. Monica Corbin and Andrea Beachy are purchasing the company from its original owners and are doing business as Betty Lou Designs & Graphics. Stien Designs, located in the basement of Weible’s Paint & Wallpaper Store at 106 South Main Street, served the community for around 23 years before the owners decided to retire. Corbin and Beachy took over operation of the established business and its customer base in November.
Like its predecessor company, Betty Lou Designs & Graphics offers screen printing, embroidery, trophies and engraving. The firm also offers corporate gifts and sports-related items such as decals and medals, in addition to trophies and lettering for player uniforms.
“We can design something for you from scratch, or use your own logo or design to create your product,” according to Corbin. In addition to screen printing, Betty Lou’s also can embroider logos, monograms and names onto customer items or on clothing such as shirts, jackets and hats, as well as on canvas bags, towels or any cloth item, all of which can be ordered from one of the firm’s many suppliers. Custom-designed trophies, engraving, executive gifts and vinyl signage also are available at Betty Lou’s.
Betty Lou Designs & Graphics was named after the new operators. The name was created by combining their middle names, which were family names given them in honor of their grandmother and great-grandmother.
Each owner brings her own set of skills to the business. Corbin graduated from Heidelberg College with a degree in computer programming and mathematics, and married her husband of 26 years right out of college. She worked using her computer programming degree for about six years before having their first child and deciding to become a stay-at-home mom. Once her husband completed his Family Practice Residency, they moved to Kendallville, where they have resided for 20 years. The couple has two daughters and two sons. Corbin worked at the local YMCA as a swim instructor and aquatics team leader for 20 years before deciding to follow in her grandmother’s footsteps and go into the sewing business to foster her love of sewing and crafting.
Beachy was born and raised in Kendallville, and now resides in Avilla with her husband and their two children. She has years of experience in silk screening that date back to high school and include working in a graphic arts business for several years. When the opportunity to co-own the local design and graphic business became available, she says she “jumped at it.” With her love of crafting things, she believes that she has “truly found a passion in this area of work.”
Corbin and Beachy hope to expand Betty Lou’s in the future to include a digital vinyl cutter, a laser engraver and a sublimation printer to create more cutting-edge designs and products. “We also will be creating a website store for teams and businesses to be able to order products easier,” Corbin said, and indicated that they hope to offer their heat-press product services onsite at various community and school events.
The entrepreneurs are clients of the Northeast ISBDC. They have worked with business advisor Mary Popovich to receive guidance on purchasing the business as well as on marketing strategies for their new venture.
For more information on Betty Lou Designs & Graphics, call 260-346-9136 or visit www.bettyloudesigns.org. To learn more about the services of the Northeast ISBDC, visit www.isbdc.org or call 260-481-0500.