Sew Memphis, a fabric boutique and quilting haven owned by Susan Schwartz and Mary Allison Cates, opened in Midtown last week.
Schwartz owns the old three-bedroom, two-bath house just north of Central Avenue at 688 Cox St. along with her son, Daurie. It’s been zoned commercial for awhile, and includes a 2,000-square-foot space (the part that houses Sew Memphis) as well as a 3,000-square-foot warehouse in the back (where photographers Laura Zumwalt and Lisa McAdoo are subleasing).
The space has held several occupants over the years, but there’s one tenant in particular with whom Cates has nostalgic ties.
“I remember it from when I was little in the early 80s,” Cates said. “The guy who owned all of the rides at the Zoo was in that house. His name was J.C. Levy. He also ran this little telephone answering service called Dial ‘N’ Smile. I remember calling the number, it was 278-something. It was a number that I called regularly as a child and there would be a little story and then a little inspirational message – it wasn’t religious or anything, it was just kind of feel good. He would always say, keep dialing and smiling!”