MANSFIELD -- One of the strange incidents of life is that a trait which is very decided during one's childhood will lie dormant for years until called upon by some particular need, and in manhood or womanhood will develop into something of economic value.
So it has happened in the life of Mrs. Grace A. Chambers, who is such an efficient head of the Needlecraft Shop on East Third street.
Necessity often forces us to use latent talent, and it was this that caused Mrs. Chambers to remember vivid incidents of her childhood, recalling an intense love of assembling colors and a love of beauty which she had unconsciously fostered all during later years, and which influenced her choice of business.
In telling of this characteristic, Mrs. Chambers says: "Before kindergarten days there were devices in the school of different colored balls strung on wire. They were, of course, to teach children to count, but they appealed to me simply because of the change they gave of assembling different colors together. Often instead of going outdoors and playing during recess, I would stay inside and amuse myself with that frame."
That trait unconsciously developed throughout the later years until she came to the decision of starting in some business. Nothing could have given her more of a chance to indulge in the love of assembling colors than the work she has chosen. Her shop is surely a place where one can feast the eyes on displays of gorgeous colorings or delicate pastel tints, and all very artistically arranged.
Such an undertaking as Mrs. Chambers began is, of course, very discouraging at first.
"My husband was always of the greatest help to me. He never got discouraged and he supplied the business acumen which I entirely lacked. I am really more of a homebody. His advice and help was always of great benefit to me," Chambers said. "He helped me particularly in buying. I was rather inclined to at first to buy the things that I personally liked, but he taught me that the things that I liked were not always the things that would sell and that I must buy with my customers in mind. I have had to learn to do that.
"When I buy I, many times, have particular customers in mind who might like that especial thing. I still have many of the customers who came to me when I first started in business 12 years ago. Many of them are now out of town, but they tell me they always read my newspaper ads and can rely absolutely on what they say."
"What of your policy in your business dealing, Mrs. Chambers?" I asked.
"Well, I don't know whether you would call it egotistical or not, but I pride myself on always treating all my customers alike. I try to show as much courtesy to a foreign woman as to the woman with the fur coat. I have found this out, that foreign women always know just what they want, and if they take a substitute I must back that up. They always say 'Good-bye' to me when they leave the store. Another thing, I like to remember to do is to have just as much patience as possible, and to give as good advice as I possibly can.”
"I don't think that is egotism, Mrs. Chambers, I think that is a very fine business policy and good common sense. I suppose you are intensely interested in your work?"
"Very much," she answered. "Every year when I plan my vacation I decide to get away from all work and shop talk and to just rest. I can do that for several days then I get restless and begin unconsciously to plan, particularly if I am in a city, on visiting art departments or needlecraft shops. In fact, even while I am planning on where to go, I subconsciously plan to go some place where I know I will find something connected with my work."