Portraits of George Washington adorn the walls of B&S Quality Printing.
Owner Sandra Dickinson said they tell a story about the beginning stages of her business, when relationships grew out of promises, handshakes and deals to trade printing for paintings.
“I got those from a local gallery owner,” Dickinson said. “I did some printing for him, some advertising, and he gave me these portraits. They're beautiful. And he was the nicest man. He's since passed.”
Dickinson, 52, has said a lot of goodbyes.
Since the business opened in 1984 on 1000 Cornell Parkway, she has lost her husband, Bruce Henager, her father and her sister-in-law, all to cancer.
Henager died in 1996. That same year, Dickinson gave birth to the couple's only child, Dean.
Her husband was able to cherish 17 days with his son before he died.
“He was so happy; it was the greatest time of his life,” Dickinson said. “He told me he wanted me to remarry and bring our son up in a Christian home. I kept on saying no, no, no but he just said yes.”
Dickinson took refuge in the shop.
“I came here,” she said. “The work kept me busy and sane.”
At a crossroads
Dickinson saw her business at a crossroads after her husband's death. She knew that to keep the shop growing she'd have to learn about the business quickly.
She hired a salesman, Bobby Todd, and they went door to door to gain clients.
Dickinson worked long hours, creating business cards, presentation folders, restaurant menus, newsletters, posters, catalogs and more.