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Helping businesses thrive in Steubenville | News, Sports, Jobs

Grow your business — Pat Bailey, owner of Vontry’s Couture on North Fifth Avenue in Steubenville, sells all manner of t-shirts, tumblers, bags, mouse pads, baseball caps, mugs, soaps, essential oils, mango butter, and more. offers custom products. Incense. She is a talented seamstress and has won awards for her nail work. — Linda Harris

STEUBENVILLE — Pat Bailey got his first sewing machine when he was 10 years old. She had asked her mother to buy it for her for Christmas, and her mother did not disappoint.

“I taught myself how to make clothes” she said. “I had no one to teach me, and I thought it was something I wanted to do. My mother took me to pick up fabrics and patterns. I started making my own clothes, and that’s where it all started.”

By the time she was 13, Bailey was working and remodeling for two of Chicago’s major cleaning companies. Two years later she was making prom dresses and wedding dresses.

“It was a passion, it interested me” Bailey said. “I do whatever interests me. When I got to high school, I was trained in tailoring.”

She became proficient not only in manual work, but also in machine work.

“After that, I will challenge things that interest me because I am interested.” she said.

Bailey says she doesn’t remember how old she was when she remade her hat.

“I started to change the design of the hat my mother let me wear.” She said she added that she would go to the hat shop and buy “different” She wanted to add to them. “If you take a radiator nozzle and put a hat in front of it, all the steam comes out and the hat changes shape. Or you get bored with the hat and get a new one.”

Bailey said the do-it-yourself steamer method worked. “Until one day I was caught in steam coming out of my bedroom.”

“I never stopped designing hats. I never stopped reshaping them.” she laughed.

It was during those early days that she also became interested in what doctors were telling people to put into their bodies.

“When I was 12, I was babysitting and had no books.” she remembered. “I looked around the woman’s house and the only book I could find was ‘Doctor’s Desk Reference’. When I started reading it, I didn’t like what I was reading.” . What I found was crazy. What it was used for, what it was prescribed for, and (side effects, interactions, warnings) you get a small paragraph on the page… that it does more harm than good If you can, why bother with it? That was my question when she was 12, why would she take such a chance? ”

She persuaded the woman to take the PDR home and made a phone call. “Every neighbor and family member I knew had a prescription.”

“I made a promise for them.” she said. “I had them come and talk about the drug. I didn’t believe in grown-up humans.” If they knew what to do to them, they would put those drugs into their bodies.

Bailey said she wasn’t sure if the information she gave her friends and family made a difference in their lives, but it definitely shaped her. have, “We can make products for people with compromised immune systems.” she did her homework “Study ingredients and narrow down” What triggered her allergic reaction.

“I was always curious. I used to read a lot when I was little.” Bailey said.

She also began creating her own all-natural products, utilizing manufacturer-provided cosmetics training at a store in her native Chicago where she worked as a cosmetologist.

“I did all the research myself. Since I was young, I used to buy and introduce products with one raw material. As long as you have butter, you’ll be fine.”

She also learned how to make shoes and has everything she needs to make them herself.

“I made some pairs” Years passed, she said. “I went to a ball every year, so I made my own gown and shoes to go with it.”

In 2014, Bailey combined her early passions for sewing, crafting and skincare with her own business, Vontries Couture, at 739 N. Fifth Street in Steubenville. She started sharing her oils, manicures and pedicures expertise with local residents, specializing in helping people with autoimmune diseases when the pandemic hit and people practiced social distancing. is.

We were forced to rethink our business model. She started creating personalized face her masks and she was looking online for designs when she discovered a new kind of design her files, svg and her png.

Crafters recognize these files as the kind that work on electronic cutting machines like the Cricut and Silhouette, but Bailey admitted at the time: “I didn’t know what they were.”

But that never stopped Bailey from finding the answers he needed. She did her homework and eventually bought a cutter, a silhouette. When she found out she could cut vinyl, she got a heat press and started making t-shirts.

“I had no problem learning. I love learning.” she said. “Whatever interests me, I learn it. It’s fun. I enjoy the challenge.”

She jumped from vinyl to sublimation printing to transfer designs onto clothing, mugs, signs, etc. Sublimation printing uses heat and special inks to apply designs permanently.

“I’ve been doing sublimation for a little over a year now. It’s so much easier than other things like vinyl, embroidery, and tailoring.” she said. “It’s instant gratification, you can see it right away, it’s permanent. It doesn’t stain or change at all in the wash like vinyl. And it’s fun. Mugs, tumblers, We are always looking for things that can be sublimated such as notebooks, journals, mouse pads, coffee cups, coasters, wine glass coolers, tableware, wine bottle caddies, ties, dresses, all kinds of clothing and even shoes. I’m just trying to get it in.”

Bailey said you’re only limited “With your imagination and your notebook”

“Some new items I’m working on are lunch totes and small carriers. signboard” Bailey said.

“I do what I’m interested in. If I buy something, I buy it for my size and my (gauge) needs. If there’s enough interest, I carry it in other sizes.” I’m not thinking, ‘Somebody’s going to buy this.’ It has to be something I like.”

She admits she was on the verge of quitting when the pandemic isolated her customers.

“I was ready to give up, quit” Bailey said. “After the pandemic hit, I was in the process of shutting down because I didn’t know how I was going to survive. But then I got interested in sublimation printing.A client stopped by and said she was on her way to a meeting that would benefit her business.”

That meeting was with Thrive of Steubenville, a business incubator program aimed at breaking down barriers to entrepreneurship. Paramount Pursuit, the Pennsylvania consulting firm behind the program, helps income-qualified entrepreneurs create business and marketing plans, provide digital marketing assistance, understand finances, and access capital and networks. Helps build a foundation for your business by identifying and enabling you to acquire

Participants must be residents of Steubenville and the business they operate or wish to operate must be within city limits. You must also meet income guidelines.

Once approved, you will be assigned a mentor who meets twice a month. They will learn how to write a business plan and how to network with other small business owners. If you have questions, just ask. If Paramount staff can’t answer, find an expert who can.

Bailey said a friend was at her store “I was helping her with what she needed for her business, essential oils. She asked if I needed anything and gave me information[on Thrive]. I have been there ever since.

Her success at Steubenville forced her to rethink her business model.

“They encouraged me and taught me how to do everything. They taught me all the things I didn’t learn[early in my career]that I had to put in place. .” she said. “They covered every aspect of your business, encouraged me to go further, and taught me how to develop this into a business. There are a lot of things you don’t always know.”

Flourish, she said, give her access “For all sorts of resources that you couldn’t get your hands on otherwise, or that you knew you needed information but didn’t know where to get it from.” she added. “They teach you the basics of starting a business—what to do at each level.”

Bailey thinks he would have stayed home if it hadn’t been for the incubator. “Have fun alone at home”

“Without Paramount, I wouldn’t have been able to scale to this level.” she said.

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