Carrie Rengers

Charlotte’s Sew Natural evolution inspires Eau Lily Boutique in Newton

When Charlotte Wolfe opened her first store in Newton 30 years ago, she says Charlotte’s Natural Fabrics was “just a plain old fabric store.”

Then, she says she “had a natural evolution to becoming a quilt shop.” Today it’s known as Charlotte’s Sew Natural.

“The quilters found me, and the business has sort of turned over to quilting,” Wolfe says.

She’s now realized another sort of natural evolution, but this one took a little longer to figure out.

Wolfe says a lot of people would come into her store with friends who were shopping there and say, “I love this stuff, but I don’t sew.”

“It only took me 30 years to figure out I should be selling them something, too,” Wolfe says. “I’m a slow learner.”

That’s the idea behind her new Eau Lily Boutique at 712 N. Main St. in Newton, which is connected to her Sew Natural shop via a new hole in the wall between them.

Wolfe says the new store is the brainchild of herself and her real child, Lily Schneider.

“She and I put our heads together and decided to open a boutique,” she says. “We carry … gift items for all types of people.”

Initially, Wolfe says they decided to concentrate on handmade items but then worried it might look like a craft fair.

Instead, she says the store will be “a different kind of mix” of merchandise that includes some locally made items, such as jewelry from a teacher in Wichita, children’s books from a local author and wall art from a local photographer.

There also will be trunk shows, some of which will feature items that the store won’t necessarily always carry, such as shoes.

Items that Wolfe says she’ll regularly carry include soaps, baby gifts, jewelry, pillows, succulents, greeting cards and art.

Wolfe also still owns Charlotte’s Bargain Fabric & Stitchery at Chisholm Trail Center-Outlet & Retail Shops in Newton.

In addition to her three storefronts, Wolfe also sells online at www.SewNatural.net and www.EauLily.com.

Wolfe is having a grand opening for Eau Lily on Friday and Saturday and plans prizes, discounts and food.

Reach Carrie Rengers at 316-268-6340 or crengers@wichitaeagle.com. Follow her on Twitter: @CarrieRengers.

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