Friendship paves way to business partnership

December 10, 2002|by RICHARD BELISLE

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Ruth Anne Garling and Linda Ann Musser Shumway met each other more than a decade ago in a beauty shop. Shumway worked there and Garling was a customer.

Later, they ended up working together in the cafeteria at Mowrey Elementary School.

In addition to sharing the duties of feeding a few hundred kids each day, they learned that they had other similar interests - decorative arts among them.

Their friendship and interests eventually led to Rags and Lams Paint Studio at 37 E. Main St., which opened in June. The women put their initials together to come up with the shop's name.


Musser, who lives in Mont Alto, Pa., said she started taking painting lessons at the Little Blue Tole House on West Main Street. The business, which specialized in decorative and folk art, closed in December, she said.

She got Garling, a Waynesboro resident, interested in the hobby and both learned together.

Rags and Lams sells all manner of paint arts and craft supplies, from brushes to paints, hand-made wooden objects on which designs are painted, canvas, screens and other painting surfaces, from wood and metal to glass.

The inventory makes up about 10 percent of the shop's business. The other 90 percent comes from painting and craft classes. The students buy their supplies in the shop.

Garling and Musser, plus a staff of about 20 part-time teachers, hold classes in painting, sculpturing, craft making and folk art.

"There's not a lot that we don't do here," Shumway said.

The studio's most recent class ran for nine weeks and ended this month. The next one begins in February. Some classes run for weeks, others just one time. Most of the students are women, but a few men, mostly retirees, show up now and then to learn a particular skill, Musser said.

The back room is a showroom of sorts where, lined up on the wall with price tags, are paintings, folk art objects and crafts made by the teachers and students.

"We have them on consignment," Musser said.

The women's husbands, Pete Shumway and Larie Garling, make the wooden frames, figures, birdhouses, mailboxes, boards and other objects on which students and customers paint designs. They also make wooden frames.

When the Tole House closed, the women knew that the closing would leave a void that they could fill.

"We knew we'd be successful," Musser said.

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