Setting up shop

Kathy Deaton goes to work in “Pop up Quilt Shop,” her temporary quilting shop on Central Ave. -- Jason Kerr/Daily Herald

Kathy Deaton is happy to be back in familiar territory.

For the next two weeks, the former Prince Albert resident has set up shop on Central Avenue, selling an assortment of quilting material and supplies, just like she regularly does at her store in Prince George.

It might be unusual for someone to go to work during a vacation—Deaton is back in town to visit her 93-year-old mother—but for the great-granddaughter of Samuel McLeod, business is never far away.

“Every time I come (to Prince Albert) I wander up and down the street thinking, ‘wouldn’t this be a great place to open a little (shop),” Deaton says. “When I visit my mom for two weeks, it’s a long two weeks for her to sit with me day in and day out. I thought I could do this and visit her in the evenings.”

Like her great-grandfather, who enjoyed success in the real estate and financial business and served a term as mayor, Deaton has strong feelings about her hometown of Prince Albert.

She says she misses the city, and worries residents don’t realize what a gem they have in the downtown district.

Opening a quilt shop, even just temporarily, is her way of helping show that businesses can be successful in the area.

“If somebody comes for a short time, then it gives them some hope,” Deaton explains. “Maybe somebody else might think, ‘well, if it works out for this person, maybe I could open one.’”

Of course, times have changed. Deaton remembers when Prince Albert’s downtown thrived, and stores like Eaton’s and The Bay were community landmarks.

Although that era is gone, she remains convinced the downtown is an important part of Prince Albert, provided it’s kept clean and accessible.

“There are some really neat shops, but I think people maybe don’t realize that they should come down and support these nice coffee shops, nice clothing shops or the good flower shop next door,” she says.

Deaton has worked in the quilting business since 1995, when she left her office job to open her dream shop, a fabric store. She’s happy to be back in the place that’s had such a large impact on her life.

“I miss Prince Albert,” she says. “You always miss your home town.”

@kerr_jas •