Bedford, PA – Taylor Wahl, a senior at Saint Vincent College studying International Business and Operational Excellence/Supply Chain Management, is now the owner of one of Downtown Bedford’s beautiful and historic buildings, the Hofius House. The location is the future home of Twila’s, Taylor’s new sewing and quilting business. She plans to carry on the legacy of Mary Koval, owner of Mary’s Quilt Shop, while exposing new generations to the art of sewing.
Wahl worked with Bedford County Development Association and Bedford County Startup Alleghenies Coach Jen Marsh who provided entrepreneurial support to help turn her dream into a reality.
“It’s been an exciting process working with a young and talented entrepreneur like Taylor. Twila’s will be a fabulous addition to downtown Bedford, and Taylor’s engagement with the community and plans to support other small businesses will make a big impact,” Marsh said.
According to Marsh, the building has space to accommodate several small businesses, like the new Juice Shack, which Wahl recruited. Wahl will open her sewing and quilting business Twila’s in Mary’s Quilt Shop space when she graduates in June 2024. Additional retail space is available.
“Jen has been my biggest supporter from day one. After talking to her about my project, she worked tirelessly to help get me there. I counted on her through all of the ups and downs. There are a lot of different emotions when you take on a project like this, and Jen was with me through all of them. I don’t think that I can ever say enough about how great she is,” Wahl said.
“If it weren’t for Jen and Startup Alleghenies, I don’t know where I would be. They helped me network, and they got me in contact with the right banks, lawyers, graphic designers, etc. They have everything you could need to get started as a small business. It is an invaluable resource to have, and I am so happy they have helped me through this process,” she continued.
Jim Gonsman, Vice President of Hometown Bank also believed in Wahl and her project. He worked to secure financing for the young entrepreneur by getting creative and tapping into traditional bank financing as well as a federal funding program designed to help entrepreneurs get started.
“For as long as I can remember, I have been creating. I have been a self-proclaimed “artist” since childhood. I was eventually taught how to sew, which developed into a passion for garment making and quilting,” Wahl said. “I want to continue arts like quilting and garment making to avoid them becoming lost. I am inspired to use my skills to educate others, and I believe I can make a positive change to the people around me.”
“Opening a shop in Bedford just seemed natural to me,” she continued. “Mary Koval is looking to retire after a very successful career in the textile industry. She approached me about opening my own sewing store. She wanted to ensure the art would be carried on. I eventually decided to purchase the entire building from Mary and her husband Joe to have adequate space to bring even more art to the community.”
Wahl said her vision is “to create a welcoming environment that fosters creativity and community among sewers, artists, crafters, etc. of all ages and skill levels.”
An Open House is scheduled for August 19 from 3 PM to 6 PM at the location at 113 W. Pitt Street in Downtown Bedford.