Business roundup: Caroline's Closet

Published on Wed, Aug 27, 2014 by Steve Guntli

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Caroline and Dave Winfrey have been making embroidered goods for sale out of their home in Birch Bay for going on three years now. After successfully selling their products at carnivals and street fairs, the couple has decided to go Main Street and open their own store. 

Caroline’s Closet, located at 384 H Street, celebrated its grand opening on August 1. The company specializes in handmade clothing and custom embroidery on clothing, bags and towels, and has found a niche selling items specifically designed for 
Blaine High School. Borderite hoodies, gym bags and scarves are among the Winfreys’ best-selling items. Aside from being a way to show school pride, the embroidered garments also serve a practical function.

“Some people like personalized clothing so they can avoid their clothes being stolen,” Dave Winfrey said. “Personalization is about more than just adornment.” 

The couple splits the duties at the shop. Caroline, who is also works for UPS in Blaine, makes the scarves, handbags, jewelry and baby pouches. Dave, a retired heavy machinery operator, manages the  day-to-day business operations and does all the custom embroidery. Using high-tech embroidery equipment, the couple can handle just about any custom request. 

“For really complex designs, sometimes we’ll contract out to some experts we know, who can convert the design into a format our computer will understand,” Dave said. “But there’s really very little we can’t do. I have about 10,000 designs just waiting in my computer right now.”

Tea towels have been the company’s top seller. The towels can be purchased unadorned or can be personalized in a matter of minutes. Caroline’s Closet also sells the Winfreys’ embroidered jewelry, which Dave said has been very popular. 

“We get a lot of repeat business from people who have visited us at the fair,” he said. “We’re very fortunate to have such a loyal customer base.”

Caroline’s Closet is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.