By Amber Jurgensen | Staff Writer
Sisters Lisa La Pointe and Lynn Harberl are the fashionistas of their new store, Inspire! Quilting and Sewing.
Dressed in bold prints with even bolder colors, the trendy two are accessorized with chandelier earrings that complement their bangle bracelets and glittering rings. Their dynamic style matches the vibrancy of the store, which is a collage of vogue prints, modern quilts and stylish décor.
“This is not your grandma’s quilt shop,” Harberl said.
La Pointe and Harberl had a soft open for Inspire! last week; 30 women from a church group were waiting outside before the doors were unlocked. The grand opening will be on Sept. 22. The store contains 1,500 bolts of fabric, and in the future, sewing and quilting classes will be offered for all skill levels.
Both self-taught, the sisters have been sewing since they were 10 years old. They used to make their own prom dresses, reconstruct long pleated skirts into mini skirts — much to their mother’s dismay — and sewed outfits for their friends.
“We probably stole our mother’s sewing machine from her and didn’t even let her get near it,” La Pointe said, laughing.
The idea of a store came from Harberl, who has always wanted to own one. Originally, she was leaning toward starting a home décor shop, but La Pointe steered her toward a quilting and sewing shop. La Pointe has won awards for her quilting.
“If she wanted me involved in owning the store with her, I wanted it to be something I liked,” La Pointe said. “Everything about quilting is an art. It’s inspiring.”
“When women start creating, the juices get going and they get inspired, hence the name of the store,” Harberl said. “It’s so easy to create. It’s as easy as picking your fabric and just going at it. Fun without frustration.”
But for those who may get a little frustrated with a sewing machine or don’t know how to work one yet, Harberl and La Pointe are here to help. They encourage patrons to bring in their projects for a little direction and tips.
Harberl, who lives in Lakeland, had been eying Plant City as a potential location for her store.
“It’s a great day trip,” Harberl said. “There’s so much history and unique shops in the downtown area. We’re excited to be part of it.”
Before she opened Inspire!, Harberl was teaching a group of women from her church how to sew out of her home. The group pushed and encouraged Harberl to open her store.
“We want this place to be a hang out,” Harberl said about the shop which has a boutique feel. “This is not going to be a quiet store. It will be filled with laughter and chatter.”
The shop is located at 101 N. Collins St. For more information, call (813) 704-4867.
Contact Amber Jurgensen at email@example.com.[