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March is women’s history month, so we want to use our platform to highlight a few woman-owned businesses in Decatur. Below is a conversation with Sheryol Threewit, owner of All Things Beautiful in downtown Decatur. Learn about this unique Decatur staple then stop by her shop to check it out for yourself!
Q: Tell us about your background and how you came up with the idea for All Things Beautiful.
ST: This shop is one of those bucket list things I’ve always wanted to do. I’m a Decatur native who moved to California in my twenties. I moved back to Decatur about 15 years ago. I had a similar business in California, but I’d always wanted a storefront. I was working full time doing craft shows when the opportunity to rent a storefront downtown opened up in 2012. I quit my job and starting focusing on the business full time. It’s been open since 2012.
All Things Beautiful sells primitive and folk art as well as farm house items. That’s what I love. I love anything that has to do with history. As they always say, “if you don’t remember your history, you’re due to repeat it.” I love anything warm, rustic, and comfy.
Q: What makes your business unique?
ST: I carry clothes, pictures, and home accessories. I try to buy American made. For instance, all our candles are made in Indiana or Illinois and you can tell the quality when you burn them. They burn for 150 hours!
I sell a lot of decorations with sayings – some are inspirational and some are just goofy. They make great gifts and are all American made.
Another thing that makes my business unique is that I do not buy from salespeople. I hand pick everything in my shop based on how I feel about it. All my clothing comes from Los Angeles and I only buy six pieces of each item so you know you won’t see anyone else in Decatur wearing the same thing as you. Once an item is gone, I do not reorder. I also try to listen to what my customers want and order for them.
Q: What surprised you the most on your journey to owning and running your own business?
ST: What surprised me the most if that you open a storefront, you have to wait for people to come. You have to make sure you have foot traffic. It’s also important to have a positive view about your business. People come in and talk and hold conversations and you really gain friendships as well.
Q: What do you believe is the biggest challenge women face when starting their own business?
ST: Funding. Especially as a black owned business. Getting support and finding funding is so important so that you can stay in business. Another challenge is building your clientele. You have to build and keep building. And you need to stay on top of things like fashion and style, while still maintaining what you believe in.
Q: How do you find work/life balance?
ST: I usually work six days a week and I recently starting selling online as well. When I get home from work, I work on that until about 9:00, then I watch some of my favorite TV shows and fall asleep. During my day(s) off I try to do something I enjoy, which usually means shopping. Even when I’m shopping for myself, I have my shop in mind.
Q: What does success look like to you?
ST: Success is my bottom line. It’s about how much I make. I am a former accountant, so I can tell exactly how the business is doing. I just don’t feel like I can fail. I have come close, but I don’t give up.
Q: What women inspire you?
ST: Maya Angelou. I met her at a book fair in California. And Nikki Giovanni. I love poetry and artists and I really admire those two women. Also my mom. She is such a fighter. She’s 94 years old and still living on her own. She is someone I admire and strive to be.
Q: What is one thing you would tell young women who are just starting out in their careers?
ST: You have to know exactly what you want and do what needs to be done to get it. And be kind and positive while doing it. If you’re opening a business, you have to know your finances. If you don’t, hire someone who does. You have to be tenacious and committed – that’s the main thing. Whatever you do in life, you have to commit to it if you want to be successful.
Q: What does the future look like for All Things Beautiful?
ST: I plan to stay open! I really enjoy running the shop. I can’t imagine doing anything else. It’s what gets me up in the morning. The future looks good!