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Solution becomes small business for Avon resident

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After moving into a new home for her and her family, Crista Partridge, 38, had one issue. There was no easy way to block the light coming out of her door’s window.

Having a steel door, her options were pretty limited. Most of the solutions were floppy and didn’t look nice, or required that she put holes in her brand new door.

“I was kind of looking for something that didn’t require me to drill into my door at all,” she said. “I didn’t want to ruin my new door with something.”

After scrolling through options online, she was able to revamp an idea she found, and used her sewing skills, some creativity and magnets to solve her issue. After making the shades for a few of her neighbors, she decided to start her own small business, Little Birdie Magnetic Shades.

“In January I decided to take the leap and kind of see where it took me,” she said.

Since then Little Birdie Magnetic Shades has grown, and Partridge has sold more than 130 of her new shades. Since January she’s “taken the leap” into her new business, starting a Facebook page for the product and selling them on Etsy. She said she’s been surprised at how well the shades are selling.

“It’s definitely turned into much more of a need than I’ve ever imagined,” she said.

The shades come in a range of sizes and can be unfolded to cover the whole door, or folding into a venetian style blind. She can also make the shades in odd sizes for different doors, and use almost any fabric.

“I can custom make them, which you’re not going to find at Home Depot or Lowe’s,” she said.

The shades retail for $79 and up, and can be made out of regular fabric or blackout fabric. Partridge said she’s working on a patent for the shades, as well as making something for sliding glass doors.

She said she couldn’t have imagined turning her home-made solution into what it’s become.

“Sewing has just always been a hobby of mine,” she said. “I never expected to make a business out of that.”

More about Partridge's business can be found at facebook.com/magneticshades.

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