APEX — When Marnie Cohen began thinking about opening her own business, she only knew one thing for sure: It had to be on Salem Street in downtown Apex.
“Our family is embedded here,” she said. “This is where our neighbors and friends are.”
So when a storefront became available, she was ready.
“I prayed about, it and everything kept moving forward,” Cohen said. “It just all fell into place.”
Cohen opened Gone Stitching Gifts & Monograms in June. She said her choice of location has lived up to her expectations. Often, she knows customers from church or her children’s school.
“We’re a family here,” Cohen said of Apex.
Gone Stitching grew out of Cohen’s monogramming hobby that was housed in a guest bedroom of her home.
As the mother of boys who didn’t particularly appreciate her venture, she found herself monogramming for friends. Eventually, space became an issue, and Gone Stitching was the solution.
Monogramming has seen a surge in popularity, with customers seeking to put their initials on everything from bathing suits to koozies.
Middle school girls are especially enamored with the trend, Cohen said. “They are still innocent enough to pull it off.”
She said she often asks her younger customers what’s “in” so she can stay on top of current styles.
Cohen does all the stitched monogramming herself, on a large machine in a back room. She will monogram items not bought in her store but reserves the right to refuse pieces she knows will be too difficult.
Gone Stitching has a large inventory of items and features several local vendors. It is the only Apex store to carry the Nora Fleming line of customizable serving pieces.
“I have a lot of quick hostess gifts,” Cohen said.
She said she also gets the occasional wide-eyed male shopper who needs some guidance. She offers free gift wrapping.
Having survived her first holiday season, Cohen is anxious to see what spring has in store.
“Christmas was insane,” she said.
December was the one time she bent her hard-and-fast rule against opening on Sundays. “I have a supportive spouse,” she said when recalling the long hours she put in to fulfill holiday orders.
Cohen is fiercely protective of her time.
“For me, I don’t want the business to own me. Family is always first,” she said. “The town is very forgiving when you have to be away. That’s the neat thing about our small town.”
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