Today on our blog, we’d like to introduce you to Sue Stringer, owner of Simply Elegant Wreaths by Sue. Sue makes some of the most beautiful wreaths we have ever seen, and with Christmas being right around the corner, we thought we’d share so you can get a little inspiration from a wonderful wreath designer. We met Sue as she became a frequent shopper of ours, buying supplies to use in her artistic designs, and we wanted to know and share her story with you.
Sue started her business on a whim, just over two years ago. “My sister-in-law, Sandra Rowell, visited me in Texas and indicated that she would like to make a wreath after seeing the one I had on my front door,” Sue said. She told Sandra they could, and they quickly went to the store for supplies. Sandra enjoyed the experience so much that Sue helped her make not just one wreath but two!
Sandra also planted a little seed with Sue about starting a business. “She kept telling me that I should make and sell them and that I would do well in Mississippi,” she said. With that, Sue started playing around with ribbon she kept on hand for wrapping presents. She posted some of her creations online, and the rest is history.
A God-Given Talent
Sue is a creative at heart. She taught herself to sew when her children were young, and she has made costumes, prom and formal dresses (which is no easy feat). She has painted and embellished t-shirts and assisted her husband with woodworking projects. She even quilted for a time, and she credits the art of quilting with helping her select ribbons and items for her wreaths, as both of these crafts require good color coordination.
Making a Move
In March of 2018, Sue and her husband, Toby (her high school sweetheart), returned to Stringer, where she grew up, after living in Texas for over 42 years. She said, “One of my brothers mentioned he was selling his place in Stringer, so my husband and I jumped at the opportunity to return home for semi-retirement.” Even though the couple were moving away from a bigger city, she knew she would be able to find just what she needed to continue her business in her hometown.
Sue had already been introduced to Rubies Home Furnishings by her sister-in-law during her visits to Mississippi. Sandra brought her to the store each time she would visit, even when it was City Home Center. Remember, Rubies and City Home Center were once the same store.
She appreciates that Rubies offers high-quality embellishments along with other unique items, all at affordable prices. Being able to purchase these types of supplies helps her keep her designs unique and different, while also passing along affordability to her customers. She also loves the four inch ribbons offered at Rubies, which she said allows her to be set apart from other wreath makers in design and style.
Given the fact that Sue is so talented at all things creative, we had to ask…why wreaths? Her response was simple, “I’ve always loved and admired people who had the talent to make wreaths, garlands and centerpieces.” She admits that she never thought she would make them herself, and it truly humbles her to know that people have her one-of-a-kind creations on display in their homes.
One of Sue’s most unique and popular designs is her wreaths made using wagon wheels, like the one shown above. When Sue found out her sister-in-law, Reba, was redecorating her own house with a western theme, the “wheels” in Sue’s brain began to turn. While out on a family retreat, Sue stumbled upon some wagon wheels, and she envisioned them as a wreath base. They have been popular ever since she designed her first one.
Regardless of whether she is designing a custom wreath or one of her beautiful wheels, one of Sue’s favorite things about her business is that it seems to have a way of turning her customers into friends, as she talks with them about their likes and dislikes when it comes to design and decorating. During those conversations, many times she will learn stories about why the customer has asked for a particular design, or she hears stories about the person to whom that customer will gift the finished creation. “I’ve made military wreaths, cancer awareness wreaths, grapevines and deco mesh,” Sue said. “The uniqueness of them all is so wonderful!”
We are so thankful to have met Sue, and we love keeping an eye out for her newest creations. We appreciate that she chooses Rubies for her design needs, as that means we get to be a part of her personalized work displayed in so many homes. If you want to check out some of Sue’s work, you can find her on Facebook at Simply Elegant Wreaths by Sue.