The stars were aligned when Jess Rediske founded Red-Roxy Quilt Co. with her mom, Roxanne Schnitzler, in 2012. From an off-the-cuff horoscope promising an upcoming business venture to a serendipitous email saying the previous local quilt shop was planning to sell, the time felt just right to launch this new venture. Plus, crafting is a life-long love for both. During their first nine years of business in their Downtown Decorah location, the daughter-and-mother duo shared that passion on the daily, building Red-Roxy up to triple its original size, with everything from fabric to tools to classes and more.
“We try to carry a nice mix of everything quilting and sewing related,” Jess says. “A variety of styles and designs of quilting cottons, flannel, minky/cuddle, etc. Notions, rulers, scissors, and quilting trinkets, if you will. And a full line of BERNINA and Bernette quilting, sewing, and machine embroidery machines. We also offer a calendar chock-full of classes, with a mix of machine owner mastery classes, project-based classes, classes on clothing alterations, and of course beginning quilting.”
All this growth led to some big changes. Roxie was ready to retire early 2022, so Jess bought out her half, and not long after, a larger, better-situated space came up for sale. Jess and her husband took another leap and moved Red-Roxy to its new location on Short Street in Decorah, opening the new doors in February of 2023.
The gorgeous space is light and airy and encourages folks to linger (the fully stocked beverage station and coffee bar doesn’t hurt either). Customers coming in for that “one piece of fabric” will likely leave with a handful of other fun things as well. Luckily, winter is the perfect time to snuggle in with a project – something Jess enjoys herself.
“My mom has passed on her love of machine embroidery to me, so I enjoy making (and gifting) in-the-hoop projects,” Jess says. “I also cherish our long weekend quilt retreats with my two best friends. I mean sewing, laughing, cocktails, and girl time? What beats that?!?!”
Jess and her husband offer a space perfect for just such a retreat. In addition to Red-Roxy Quilt Co, the Rediske’s own Red’s Retreat & Guesthouse, a retreat house/Airbnb rental located near Downtown Decorah. For quilters, there’s a 1,100-square-foot space that comfortably fits up to 13 quilters on individual tables.
Jess has advice for people just getting started in the quilting and sewing craft-arena as well: “Find a beginner class or hook up with a friend who knows how to sew / quilt and start there,” Jess says. “And remember, nothing is ever perfect. I’m team done-is-better-than-perfect. Find things that you enjoy doing and find the time to do it. Creating by sewing and quilting is a form of therapy and is so good for the soul. Start small. There’s satisfaction to quick, easy projects that don’t take a ton of time!”
Picture: New store front at 804 Short St, Decorah. Inset (L-R): BERNINA of America President Paul Ashworth, Eric Rediske, Jess Rediske, Roxie Schnitzler & John Schnitzler.
ABOUT CREDIT: By Aryn Hening Nichols | Winter 2023-24 Inspire(d)