Customers get ‘holiday miracle’ from Stoughton business
STOUGHTON, Wis. — After a year or more of waiting, two customers of a downtown Stoughton frame shop were given back property that they originally dropped off there last year.
Donna Kern brought a cross-stitch piece to the Quill and Brush Gallery that took her daughter more than a year to complete. Since she brought it to the store in September 2013, she’s been diagnosed with a terminal illness and doctors have given her from one to three years to live. The piece holds obvious sentimental value.
On Monday morning, after News 3 ran promotional commercials all weekend advertising her story, the Quill and Brush owner, Gary Stout, called her and brought the cross-stitch to her home. Kern said she had stopped by Quill and Brush at least once a month and called Stout, more than 20 times without ever receiving a call back until Monday morning. She also filed a complaint with Stoughton police.
“I just keep wanting to touch it because it’s back,” she said. “Touching it makes it real. It’s been a year and a lot of heartache. I’m just grateful to have it returned.”
Stout apologized to Kern for not returning her material sooner and offered to pay for it to be framed somewhere else. He blamed what had happened on his getting a second job to make enough money for his family.
“I’m just trying to make a living,” he told News 3 by phone on Monday. “I haven’t been able to put a lot of time into (Quill and Brush). I’m not trying to do anything wrong. I’ve just been busy doing other things.”
Stout also stopped by the house of Steve Lyons on Monday morning. Lyons’ twin 9-year-old sons had brought newspaper articles that mentioned their dad to the store in the fall of 2013 for a frame they hoped to give him on Christmas. Lyons had also called Stout dozens of times without any response over the last year.
“My boys are thrilled to get their things back,” he said. “I tell my kids all the time there’s always hope. Be positive. The glass is half full. So, this has a nice ending.”
Stoughton police said at least one other Quill and Brush customer complained about Stout not returning their property. A detective there said the investigation into Stout’s business would remain open, at least temporarily, to see if any other customers have the same problems.
“I think the moral of this story is sooner or later, hopefully people do the right thing,” Lyons said.