Pauls Valley Democrat
Pauls Valley, Oklahoma —
With every element of Christmas there are stories associated with even the most simple decoration and a Pauls Valley trio of gals have had a hand in making a few of those treasures possible.
What began with artistic flair and the occasional arts/craft fair has recently transformed into a new Garvin County attraction, Sassy Ina’s Fine Arts & Gifts. The business, located at 1419 W. Royal Oaks Road, is purely a family effort through Dorothy Carlton, daughter Nancy McGee and granddaughter Katy Feuerbach leading the way.
Named for Carlton’s mother Ina Smith, who passed away in 2009 and handled the crochet side of their operation, they decided to finally set up shop in separate building after making all of their handmade items out of their home for close to 20 years. Not all of the items on display are hand crafted with some purchased for resale, but they make a majority of what people buy from wreathes crafted by Feuerbach, most things painting related like ornaments or framed glass scenes by McGee to fabric items along the lines of baby blankets by Carlton.
“It’s about making memories and treasures with families that get handed down,” said Carlton, who said their artwork became popular enough to be sought out and even ordered in the past through catalogues. “There’s no rest the last two or three months of the year.”
McGee, who also teaches art at Pauls Valley Middle School, is largely credited with putting forth the first efforts leading to the store opening since she has always worked on one type of project or another. Carlton now has the grandmother role and runs the shop while her daughter works much like Feuerbach, who works for local attorney Lisa Lance during the week.
Most of the emphasis so far is on everything holidays, though the three have plans to have the shop open all year long and focus on all of the seasons, said McGee. In a way, this is already in the works through some of their other items like their glass fired jewelry and honors like Feuerbach personally requested to make the jewelry for one of this year’s Miss Rodeo America competitors.
However, while each of them have a talent they are known for, perhaps their “calling card” is their family trees, which can come in ornament size, be a framed item or actually be a large tree by itself, said Carlton. Usually a Christmas tree, the names of the people in the family or in some more unique cases pets like goats are placed on hearts on the tree with memories lasting well into the future.
In the end, they believe the thing which sets them apart is how they can personalize almost anything they sell, whether it be putting family names on artsy decor or a custom request. They do keep a strict set of hours, but are willing to talk about orders on the phone since home and the workshop isn’t too far away.
“We have a good customer base that keeps us busy,” said McGee. “It’s not a job when you really enjoy what you’re doing.”
Sassy Ina’s can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sassy-Inas-Fine-Arts-and-Gifts/291176137561604 and for more information call 405-238-0433. Though hours after the holidays will change, for now they are open 10 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday.