Zig-Zag Corner Quilts & Baskets: Finding space for growth and teaching the world to sew
Jennifer Titus always knew she wanted to have her own quilt shop. After learning the art of sewing at age eight, there was no fabric medium she didn’t get her hands on. Once she graduated college and worked around the Midwest, Jennifer started working from an Iowa apartment, before life led her to open Zig-Zag Corner Quilts in Greenfield, Indiana in 1996.
Each piece of fabric can tell a story. Jennifer believes working with your hands to create something is a stress reliever, and can be very therapeutic for many people. Since converting her husband’s grandparent’s silk flower shop into her quilt shop, Jennifer has seen growth and interest in sewing and quilting, and especially, an interest in learning. While she loves sewing, teaching others to sew is her passion.
Jennifer prides herself on being the sole female owner of a shop that offers fabrics, learning tools such as books, patterns, sewing and quilting machines — and of course, classes.
“To me, education is so important. I want people to know anyone can sew, anyone can quilt, anyone can create. Everybody has a story, and fabric is a wonderful way to be able to share that story.”
– Jennifer Titus
Owner of Zig-Zag Corner Quilts
Among the thousand or so bolts of fabric neatly displayed in the shop, Jennifer managed to create classrooms where students of all ages and genders could get hands-on learning. However, the longarm machines took up so much space in the store, many of her classes only accommodated one student at a time. A bigger classroom with more machines to allow class sizes to grow was the answer.
With 27 years as a business owner, Jennifer was not new to loan paperwork — but had often been met with disappointment. Her bank at the time would only extend a line of credit of $35,000, which would not be enough to get started on the expansion she dreamed of.
On the suggestion of her husband, they looked into options for small business owners through BMO at the Noblesville, Indiana branch. Relationship banker Zooia Ahmed met with them, and helped realize a path through BMO Business Xpress that provided a business line of credit of $100,000 — and an approval that took just minutes.
Zooia and her manager, Bryan Mitzelfelt, remember the day they got the approval for Jennifer’s business and the celebration that followed, including high-fives and even some tears of joy.
Now Jennifer has the ability to quadruple her class size, and teach even more students. With BMO as her business banking partner, she says she feels like the sky is the limit — and she can continue pursuing her dreams of teaching the world to sew.