By Jackie Salowitz
Tribune Recorder Leader
On Thursday, March 9, Stephanie Hooper, of Deckerville, purchased the old Gospel Hall, located on Mills Road, and is now the proud owner of Peace by Piece Designs & Decor LLC. (which her sister, Stacy, helped name). The building is a landmark – as it was part of the town of Mills from long ago.
A crafter by nature, Stephanie previously sold her products through DeSigns by Stephanie out of her home and at craft shows.
A mom, grandma of one (with twins on the way), a farmer’s wife, and also until recently, an employee of Production Development Systems of Sandusky (which she quit so she could begin this new endeavor), Stephanie has been busy to say the least.
Stephanie said, “Crafting and home decorating are like therapy for me.” Her father-in-law put a bug in her ear about the gospel hall being up for sale, and when she visited the building with the realtor, seeing the integrity of the building, from the hardwood floors, and even the cracks and crevices telling the history of the building, it was the encouragement that she needed. Having outgrown her space at home for her crafting, this made absolute sense. Stephanie has no plans to change the building, except for a new coat of paint, possibly a new tempered glass door, and making it handicap accessible.
Hoping for a mid-April opening, Stephanie plans on being open Thursdays and Fridays (noon – 6:00 p.m.) and Saturdays (10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.), and also doing workshops and private parties. She hopes to include birthday parties for kids, where she can incorporate crafts into it. She was a former substitute teacher, and would also love to host a summer program where kids could come once a month and do a craft project, that could possibly be a 4-H project for them. Being background checked/fingerprinted to work at local schools, she feels that parents will trust their children to her. Stephanie is planning various DIY workshops.
The main part of the building (where church services were held) will hold the retail aspect of the store. Stephanie will showcase her own products, and will also feature home decor that she has been purchasing – everything from throw pillows, to dinnerware, wall hangings, framed art, metals, woods, linens and candles.
The building also has a small kitchenette, two bathrooms and another room that will serve as a work area for workshops and also for private parties.
Stephanie emphasized that her store will not impede on other local businesses, as her products are things that these businesses do not carry. She feels that her workshops will help others to feel empowered, and help those that are “craft-challenged” to be able to make something they are proud of. She hopes to work with other small businesses in the area to bring more foot traffic through the doors.
Peace by Piece is located at 3995 Mills Road, Deckerville. If you travel from Deckerville to the east, it is three miles to Maple Grove Road (paved), a turn to the north, going four miles. The building is at the crossroads of Mills and Maple Grove. If traveling from M-25, you will take Deckerville Road to the west until you reach Maple Grove Road, turning north to Mills Road.