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Jasper County Tribune

Custom-made: Longtime local opens apparel shop in Baxter

BAXTER — Shop. Love. Give.

The motto and secondary name of SLG Designs perfectly sums up the business ambitions of owner Stephanie Dart, who unveiled the custom apparel store during its in-house, Saturday morning grand opening party near the 100 block of North Main Street in Baxter.

Breaking it down word-by-word, SLG Designs’ slogan recognizes the small town shops and entrepreneurs that want to provide unique shopping services in Baxter. The love comes from the supportive and caring community members who continue to encourage small businesses. Dart said SLG Designs gives back to the community, not only through its sales of custom wears but by creating unique apparel for other entities like the Baxter Community School District.

Now that the shop is open to the public, Dart said she is excited to finally become one of those small businesses to help push the entrepreneurial spirit forward in Baxter.

“People don’t realize even though it’s a small town, there’s a lot of people that just do their own thing,” Dart said. “So, it’s kind of why I did it, so I could make T-shirts for them and support the marketing and try to grow the whole town overall.”

Named after Dart and her two daughters, Lexi and Gianna, SLG Designs offers custom screen printed, heat pressed and embroidered T-shirts and accessories. From design to pickup, Dart said the process currently has about a five-day turnaround. Likewise, graphic tees and other wears likes gloves and hats are available for purchase.

Dart’s new business venture is a bit different from her full-time job as a real estate agent, something she will continue to do alongside her work at SLG Designs. Creating her custom apparel shop, Dart said, was a strangely seamless process. An “epiphany” kick-started the idea. The name was decided upon with no trouble. And there was a vacant space available on North Main Street.

Every piece, every detail seemed to work itself out rather quickly.

“It’s almost scary to say that,” she said. “Opening a business that normally doesn’t happen. But it has so far. I started remodeling probably around October. My parents have been an amazing support and they did all my fixtures. My friends helped, too. Everyone is so excited to get it here.”

Born and raised in Baxter, Dart said she wanted a store that was accessible to locals and offered the kinds of products and services people might expect at out-of-town stores. Keeping the dollars flowing in her hometown is important to Dart.

“The more money people spend here, the more (it goes) to the community and to the school — everything stays,” she said. “For me, who grew up here and have my kids growing up in the same school where my parents went and my brothers and sisters went, it makes me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. To see that tradition continue is what I would want out of it.”

Contact Christopher Braunschweig at 641-792-3121 ext. 6560 or

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