When Beth Moser Roehrig moved to Hillsdale four years ago, she planned to retire.
She now owns MoseArt, a boutique in downtown Hillsdale. The store, newly opened in 2020, specializes in sewing and alterations, handcrafted pottery, stained glass, and candles.
Roehrig ran Xpress Sewing and Xceptional Art in Defiance, Ohio for 25 years.
“I figured Hillsdale was such a small place, it would be a perfect place to retire,” Roehrig said. “But once I got up here, I missed the customers.”
Roehrig finds artists through Ann Arbor art fairs, as well as using artists from Ohio.
“Everything in the store is handcrafted from the United States,” said Roehrig. “There’s about 35 different artists I use for the store.”
About 30 percent of those artists live in Michigan, but Roehrig also hires artists from across the U.S., including California and West Virginia.
Junior Sean Callaghan visited the store and said he loves the small town atmosphere.
“I loved how everything in the store is handcrafted,” Callaghan said. “This feature contributes to the quality and authenticity of the pieces, and it makes you realize the effort and work that goes into creating them.”
Roehrig also does alterations for the college and the town, and said her favorite alterations are bridal dresses.
“It’s not a big place for how much stuff I do,” said Roehrig. “Just last week I altered six wedding dresses. Not a lot of people like working on them, so it’s definitely a niche for me.”
Alongside hiring artists to showcase and use in her store, Roehrig also creates multiple different forms of art, including stained glass. She said she still considers herself a seamstress primarily, while the other art is her hobby.
“Art has always been my passion, but sewing is my first love,” Roehrig said.
Shelves line the store and hold candles, platters, pie plates, pottery, stained glass, greeting cards, shirts, soaps, jewelry, and paintings.
“The pottery is definitely the most popular,” Roehrig said. “There’s a mixture of artists in the store. I don’t chase them but I let them come to me.”
Stained glass work fills the store windows, which Roehrig and her husband created. They each craft hot glass, a blown glass, and cold glass, a glass not heated to melt.
“Stained glass is a hobby of mine,” Roehrig said. “I remember seeing it at a home show and being so mystified by the color of the glass. Sometimes if I can’t sleep I’ll start thinking about ideas for stained glass work.”
Rebekah Stephenson-Morrison, Roehrig’s assistant, said some of her favorite art is the stained glass that Roehrig and her husband create.
“They are so beautiful and happy to look at when the light shines through them in the store windows,” Stephenson-Morrison said.
Stephenson-Morrison, who was hired in August 2020, said that she loves meeting new people and building connections with the store’s customers, as well as sometimes putting up her own art for sale.
Roehrig said her favorite part about Hillsdale has been meeting the people.
“Hillsdale has been so wonderful, I feel so appreciated,” Roehrig said. “I love meeting the people here, they’ve all been kind, generous, and welcoming. One thing you can say about this store is it’s definitely a work of heart.”