By ANNE C. HEYMEN
CEDAR KEY – Less than 10 years ago visitors to this quaint Gulf Coast community might spot an ambulance parked in front of the Cedar Key Canvas Shop. Locals weren’t concerned. It just meant that Sharon Ingram instead of checking to see if stitches might be required for a medical emergency was using her talents to stitch a canvas masterpiece – be it a tiny change purse, a roomy canvas duffle bag or anything size-wise in between.
“I’d park the ambulance in front,” Sharon explains of the business located on State Road 24. “I’d sew. If I had a call I’d take off,” answer the call and then return to the sewing machine.
When not stitching, Sharon could be found driving a Levy County school bus. Meanwhile, her cohort Julie Gore was busy with the scissors cutting the material to its correct sizes.
If she didn’t cut a straight line, Sharon couldn’t stitch a straight line, says Sharon. Since 2009 the two women have co-owned the cozy shop which is filled with products which are proudly Made-in-America. Several years ago the women and their shop were featured on NBC’s Made in the USA segment. Cedar Key Canvas creations are shipped around the U.S. and to “a little store in Hong King,” with the American flag proudly displayed on each finished product.
Price range for the colorful creations range from $4 to $153, with patrons advised to set enough time aside to explore the large array.
Cedar Key Canvas was originally begun by a couple of Realtors. Sharon and Julie are the third owners of the business. “We like what we do. We bought it,” the two explain, because otherwise they would have been “laid off and we couldn’t stand that.”
The canvas shop is open seven days a week: 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.