It's Personal Boutique Ronda Manning

Ronda Manning stands in front of the different types of craft vinyl sold in her boutique. (The Herald / Briana Wilson

A downtown Wetumpka boutique will soon begin hosting classes teaching the basics of how to use Cricut and Silhouette machines.

Ronda Manning, who co-owns It’s Personal Boutique with her husband Patrick Manning, said the machines can be used for monogramming, printing T-shirt designs, making decals, labels and much more.

“There are a wide variety of things you can do with these machines,” Manning said. “A lot of people buy them with good intentions but they get frustrated because they can’t figure out how to use them, and they eventually give up.”

The first class will be next Thursday evening. Manning said she’s already received great feedback from the public and will likely begin offering two classes per week because of high demand.

To help ensure safety, Manning said each class is limited to five people. The provided workstations will be spaced 6 feet apart. Participants should bring their own machines.

The cost of the class is $25 and includes refreshments and monogramming supplies. Participants will keep whatever they create.

In the future, Manning said she also has plans to offer classes on embroidery and how to create decorative pieces using deer antlers and colorful glass.

When Manning started the business in 2017, she worked from home offering quilting, monogramming, applique and embroidery services. She named the business Pretty is as Pretty Does in honor of her grandmother Mary Varner who would often use that phrase.

“My grandmother would say that to me when she thought I could act better or have a better attitude,” Manning said. “As I have grown older, I still carry those words of wisdom with me.”

Manning said it was also her grandmother who taught her embroidery and how to sew, which made the name of the business even more fitting.

About a year later, she began renting space in Market Shoppes, but soon she needed to expand even more.

Last year, she and her husband opened It’s Personal Boutique at 212 Hill St. as an expansion of Pretty is as Pretty Does. In addition to embroidery, craft vinyl, the boutique offers home décor, gifts, clothing and jewelry. Three weeks ago the business expanded into a second space in the building and can now also be accessed from Company Street.

She’s also made it a point to help other small business owners the same way the owner of Market Shoppes helped her. Heather Terrell, owner of Southern Twist women’s clothing store, is now leasing a room inside of Manning’s boutique. Southern Twist offers clothes in regular and plus sizes.

She makes an effort to offer products that are made in the United States. The boutique carries lightweight jewelry made out of recycled aluminum by North Carolina-based creator, The Artist Jay. The candles sold in the boutique come from Wetumpka’s own, Jim’s Hill WaxWorks, and American-made Soulmate Socks are especially popular at Christmastime.

Those interested in signing up for a class can do so at the store during normal business hours or by calling 207-0246. Manning can also be reached on her Facebook page, Pretty is as Pretty Does.

It’s Personal Boutique is open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The store is closed on Sundays.