Lasting Memories, a specialty store located at 729 Washington St. in Huntingdon, is set to host its grand opening on Saturday, Nov. 16. Owner Debora Greene spoke of experiences, passions and future plans regarding the soon-to-be-opened business.

One of Greene’s first business ventures began in 1985. At the time, she had started another business offering Lasting Memories’ mainstay: custom picture framing.

“I have done custom picture framing since 1985,” Greene said. “I had a shop in the Pittsburgh area. So, I am still doing custom picture framing—that’s sort of the mainstay here.”

Greene’s framing experience lends itself to her expertise. She said that the usual turn around for custom framing is two weeks “unless something is on back order.”

Her other interests —knitting and crocheting —motivated the inclusion of specialty yarn among her stock.

“I have knitted and crotched since I had been ten years old. (That’s why) I am offering to the customers, that are interested, specialty yarns,” Greene said.

These specialty yarns include notable offerings, alongside accessories and other products.

“I have some alpaca yarn; I have a company called Darn Good Yarn. It’s women-owned and it empowers women, so I really, really like that,” Greene said. “I carry a lot of the knitting accessories and crochet accessories; Thompson candles and electric burners; Bridgewater candles; photo frames; framed wall art; fillet crochet sayings, such as Gather and Faith to mention a couple; inspirational signs; Christian greeting cards; handmade soaps and face scrubbies to name a few gifty items.”

The frames offered by the shop vary just as much.

“I have ready-made frames (and) I have photo frames. It’s a pretty nice variety. (Lasting Memories, with all that is offers,) is sort of a specialty store,” Greene said.

When asked why she chose to open a business in Huntingdon, Greene voiced her enthusiasm for the community.

“I am not from Huntingdon,” Greene said. “I came to this area about four years ago as a vacationer, and I ended up falling in love with the area. I love the people; I love the river. It’s a really nice, friendly town. I love it here.”

Present and planned marketing strategies for Lasting Memories include a publicized opening, social media use, flyers and, above all, word of mouth.

“I’m planning my grand opening (for) Nov. 16 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. I’m planning on advertising with the (The Daily News) and, of course, social media — Facebook probably,” Greene said. “Word of mouth is actually the best. I have found that out over the years. I’ve owned construction companies, I had my framing business in the Pittsburgh area, and word of mouth is the best. I have (also considered flyers). I’m going to be calling a friend of mine who has offered to help me and I’m going to ask her if she wouldn’t mind passing some (flyers) out.”

Greene explained that her preference for word of mouth advertising comes from the good word of customers.

“I feel word of mouth is usually one of the best because a customer was satisfied with the service, product, and work and referred others,” Greene said.

Future expansion is something Greene will play by ear.

“That’s really hard to say. I don’t think I want to go huge, but you never know. You just don’t know what’s going to happen. You don’t know how the people are going to receive you,” Greene said. “I’m hoping to do knitting and crochet classes (at some point.)”

Despite the unknowns, recent enthusiasm from residents has Greene optimistic.

“Even when I was out painting the outside of the store, people who went by just seemed excited that something new is coming to town,” Greene said. “I’m very optimistic. I think (Lasting Memories) is going to do very well.”

After the opening on November 16, the store will begin its regular hours of operation: 10 am. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays and Saturdays. The store is closed closed Sundays and Mondays.

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