Firecracker Lady

JANE SHEWMAKER HALE

"WHY BE LESS WHEN YOU CAN BE MORE"

 

"Have You Been To The Little Shop Out In The Country?  You Know, Hale's?"  That's How It All Began.

"One Hale of a Deal"

Jane and her late husband, Bob, began Hale Sportswear in the 1980s.  When Bob went on the road selling wholesale fireworks, he began to get orders for caps, jackets and t-shirts to print logos on.  They opened their first store in a vacated fireworks warehouse on their farm.  When they sold a pair of sports shoes, they gave the customer a Hale's T-shirt.  Their shirts ended up being everywhere.  In school, the coach would say, "One team will be skins, the other Hale's shirts."  Joggers would wear them as they ran up and down the highway.  Bob said, "Word of mouth and Hale's T-shirts are the best advertising we can get.  Newspapers may get thrown in the trash can but our shirts just keep getting worn."

The store became popular because they were always home to open the store up for people.  "It got so I hated to get in the tub for fear someone was going to knock on the bathroom door and ask, 'Are you open?'"Jane said.  But this helped the business grow.

When people came out to the store, the kids would usually end up playing basketball with their four sons in the driveway, while the parents shopped.  The family pet dog, Red McStudly would also get involved in the game.  He would guard one of the kids.  When the kid shot and missed, McStudly jumped up and controled the ball, rolling it to the side.  They made up a t-shirt logo featuring McStudly.  He was wearing a Hales t-shirt, tongue hanging out with boom- box and soda can beside him.

Later, they built a building in town so the business could grow.  Jane manages the business but has clerks who run the store.  Jane continues to do all the window dressings though.  No one will do the window dressings because they think Jane does such a terrific job!  She said, "Each time I change them, the parking lot is full of cars looking to see what's new." The sportswear store has now evolved into a small mall with the original business contained in the middle unit with four other businesses.  One of these four businesses is Time Out Cafe, also owned and run by Jane