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Heaven Sent Designs, Crafts & Gifts will close Dec. 31 when owners Debbie and Thomas Slack retire.   Photo by Larry Penkava / Randolph Hub

Heaven Sent store closing

ASHEBORO — After a highly successful five and a half years, Heaven Sent Designs, Crafts & Gifts will close at the end of 2022.


The consignment store specializing in arts and crafts is located at 120 N. Church St. Owners Debbie and Thomas Slack have decided to retire after their sixth Christmas season is over.


“We’re just so blessed with the talent of our crafters,” Debbie Slack said. “God has something else planned for us, we just don’t know what it is. I plan to sell all my supplies and retire from crafts for now.”


Heaven Sent opened on June 1, 2017, after both Debbie and Thomas were laid off from their banking jobs. The two were department heads at CommunityOne Bank when it was taken over by another institution, which chose to downsize the staff.


“This was our golden parachute,” Debbie Slack said of Heaven Sent. “We put it in God’s hands and He laid it on our hearts to fulfill a dream we’d had for 35 years. We had wanted to open a craft store but couldn’t with our jobs. Once we made the decision, God put everything together.” 


Debbie had been making jewelry for 10 or 15 years. “When people asked me where the designs came from, I would say, ‘They were heaven sent.’”


Hence the name of their craft store.


The Slacks had displayed their works at craft shows about 40 years ago then quit, she said. She started doing jewelry in 2008. During that time, the Slacks met a number of crafters who needed a regular outlet to sell their goods.


Heaven Sent has more than 25 crafters who keep the store loaded with items that make perfect gifts for all occasions. Goods come from as far away as Southaven, Mississippi, and Reedsville, Ohio, as well as around the state of North Carolina. Debbie said all of them have some sort of tie to Randolph County.


She is adamant in saying that Heaven Sent isn’t “going out of business,” which carries the connotation that things weren’t going well. “We’re retiring. It’s a retirement sale, not a going-out-of-business sale. We need time for us. We’ve had no day off for over five and a half years — no vacation.


“We decided that God provided the opportunity (to retire) and it’s time to take it. But it’s going to be very hard when we leave.”


Debbie said they plan to have a garden in the spring and do some fixing up around their home that had been placed on the back burner. They also hope to do volunteer work, especially with JOY-FM radio, which holds semi-annual fund–raisers such as gospel concerts.


They also will be able to spend more time with their 10-year-old chihuahua/terrier-mix dogs, Mork and Mindy.


Debbie said she “was in banking for 40 years and loved it. But I’ve never done anything I loved so much” as Heaven Sent.


The Slacks will put everything into this Christmas season. “We’re extra full for Christmas,” Debbie said. “We all want to make a big Christmas season. Our crafters have agreed to keep us full, with more coming in.


“We’ll close on Dec. 31. We have a lot on sale, with more as time goes by. Anything left goes back to the crafters.”


Heaven Sent is open Tuesday-Friday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. The store is closed on Sundays and Mondays.