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Carriage House: Picture Perfect

Katherine Ryder Published: December 1, 2010 9:53 AM
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Nestled along SR 39 between Berlin and Walnut Creek, Carriage House is a smaller building compared to its neighbors. However, it's size is deceiving when it comes to the "house" of merchandise inside.

Mainly known for its custom-framed artwork and assorted pictures that line the walls, Carriage House is a family business.

Shellie Dawson bought the business from her parents about ten years after it opened.

Among the home accessories and various dcor, Dawson stresses the highlight of her framing.

"All of our matting and framing is done here," Dawson said. "We work with a lot of different styles, including country, folk art, and rustic."

As many tourists already make their way toward Berlin and Walnut Creek when they decide to visit the area, Carriage House is often a bustling store.

"When tourists come in and find a picture they like I can have it matted and framed within the hour," Dawson said. "It's often that they're only in for the day or weekend so we try to be as accommodating as possible."

Dawson explains that she keeps many different styles of matting and frames readily available, just for the fact that tourists are always filtering through.

Window treatments are another big seller for the business.

However, the custom framing is what appears to be Dawson's biggest success.

"We get a lot of repeat customers," Dawson said.

"We've been a family business for the past 18 years, so we are very well known throughout the community."

Dawson explains why her parents decided to start the business.

"It was their love for decorating," Dawson said.

"They had both retired from previous careers and we're looking for something they could share as more of a hobby.

"After ten years they were ready to not be here on a day-to-day basis...so I bought it from them."

After making it through October " what is considerably the busiest time of year for the area " Dawson still expects to get quite a bit of traffic.

"The fact that we've been here for so long definitely keeps people coming back," Dawson said.

"There will be different things going on throughout the season that always keeps people visiting the area...we'll stay busy."

As far as the day-to-day operations go for Carriage House, Dawson tries to keep it simple.

"We just want to offer our customers what they're looking for," Dawson said.

"If we don't have it in our store then I'll suggest a place where they can go to get it."

"We take care of our customers."

It's a theme throughout the Amish country, you may notice. Customer satisfaction is a consistent goal.

Carriage House is located at 3213 SR 39 between Walnut Creek and Berlin. Store hours are Monday-Saturday 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information call Shellie Dawson 330-893-3653.


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