What's in a name — Sign of the Arrow

In this case, the name does not say it all. In fact, you may not know that Sign of the Arrow in St. Louis, Missouri, is a needlework store. Check out the main photo on their web site, however, and there is no doubt (visit www.signofthearrow.com). We just had to ask the shop how they got their name. Read on to discover the people and mission behind this fabulous store that not only donates all shop proceeds to charity, but also has "belted" some people you've seen on TV.

Shop Name: Sign of the Arrow
Owner: St. Louis Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi Fraternity
Address: 9740 Clayton Road, St. Louis, MO 63124 USA
Phone: 877-869-7356 or 314-994-0606
Web Site: www.signofthearrow.com
Email: contact@signofthearrow.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/Sign.of.the.Arrow

Q: What is the story behind your store's name?
A: Established in 1966 by the St. Louis Alumnae Club of Pi Beta Phi, Sign of the Arrow is a philanthropic retail needlepoint and gift shop that donates ALL shop proceeds to area charitable organizations. “Sign of the Arrow” refers to the fraternity’s symbol, the arrow. Since its inception, Sign of the Arrow has donated more than $3.3 million to 150+ local charities. Shoppers truly impact the lives of St. Louisans by shopping at Sign of the Arrow.

Q: Wow, the shop has been around a long time!
A: 45 years

Q: Do you have a shop specialty? (like cross stitch only, or cross stitch/needlepoint, etc)
A: Sign of the Arrow, is a premier destination for needlepoint shoppers. We are widely known for an extensive selection of designer needlepoint, including hand-painted canvases, custom designs, custom finishing, furniture, fibers, trunk shows, and classes for all ages. Knowledgeable staff and volunteers assist both novice and experienced needlepointers. In addition, Sign of the Arrow offers unique gifts, including decorative accessories, holiday decorations, sorority gifts, baby gifts, picture frames, stationary, and more.

Q: Tell us about some of your staff. Who would we meet when we visit the shop?
A: Julie Filean, General Manager; Randi Hanpeter, Assistant Manager – Needlepoint; and Beth Hendzlik, Needlepoint Specialist, make up Sign of the Arrow’s management team. In addition to the management team, the shop is staffed by 90+ community volunteers who give 18,000+ hours annually to help run Sign of the Arrow.

Q: Which Kreinik threads do you carry?
A: Sign of the Arrow carries Hot-Wire, New Japan Thread Colors, and Metallic Threads.

Q: Can people buy from your store online or through mail order?
A: Shoppers can visit www.signofthearrow.com to shop online, or contact the shop directly to place an order. Sign of the Arrow provides an extensive and thorough mail order business to individuals and needlepoint shops country-wide. Services include finishing, stitching, choosing fibers and fabric for canvases, monogramming, blocking, and custom painting.

Q: Do you have in-store classes, special events, online classes, or offer one-on-one teaching?
A: We have a variety of classes for stitchers of all ages and abilities, including specialty stitching classes, such as turkey work and other decorative stitches, as well as children’s classes, specialty fiber classes, and one-on-one classes. Classes are offered in person at Sign of the Arrow. In addition, expert stitchers are available to help with a specific question.

Q: Has anyone famous ever visited your store?
A: As the “needlepoint belt capital of the world,” Sign of the Arrow’s custom artists paint a variety of belts for customers all of the country, including a variety of sports-themed belts. As a result, a number of St. Louis Cardinals trainers frequent the shop and sport a variety of these custom-painted Cardinals belts at every game. In addition, a variety of St. Louis news media have frequented the shop and wear their belts and other needlepoint items on set. Sign of the Arrow has also designed a number of pieces for important people, including the Prie Dieu (prayer kneeler) for the Pope’s visit to St. Louis; a variety of custom needlepoint items for celebrities, including Beverly Sills, Barry Manilow, and a prominent Hollywood producer; and some items for politicos, including eight belts for Karl Rove; many items for the Bush family; and for Ohio’s Governor Harry Ott.

Q: Here at Kreinik we love to talk about food. What's the name of a good place to eat near your store?
A: Directly across Clayton Road is locally-owned and award-winning Red L pizza, with the famous meatloaf pizza; and Companion Bakery for breakfast or lunch. Lester’s is also right down the street.

Q: What is your favorite part about being in this business?
A: Sign of the Arrow is a fun, relaxing, and creative place to work at and visit. At the same time, all proceeds benefit deserving charitable organizations, with more than $3.3 million donated to 150+ agencies. Sign of the Arrow truly impacts the lives of St. Louisans by providing high quality specialty needlepoint and supplies, as well as gifts. Who could ask for more?

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