- Hangin’ in the Padded Hanger
- By ALICE PAK
- The 61st Missouri Photo Workshop / Festus & Crystal City, Mo.
Sherry Handshy has always dreamt of owning a woman’s clothing store. “Maybe it’s because I’ve always had to wear uniforms most of my life,” Sherry says, as she goes on to explain the history of her career. She was a psychiatric nurse right out of college, then a Kirkwood police officer, and eventually retired after 24 years as the first female private security officer for Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis. It was a perfect time to start Padded Hanger, Inc. on Main Street in Festus, where Sherry has been President since 2001.
As a three-year survivor of lung cancer, Sherry was left with one lung after undergoing surgery. Despite that, she is strong enough to work the majority of the week, and plans occasional fashion shows in order to raise money for female heart survivors at Jefferson Regional Medical Center, Community Treatment, Inc., and local churches. In addition, she donates clothes to local schools and COMTREA for battered women about every three months.
Somehow, she even manages the time to create a warm atmosphere fit for play through conversation and with her colorful collection of rare finds. Together with her seamstress, Diana Voss, trips are taken twice a year to Los Angeles to make purchases for the upcoming season. When time permits, they even plan more adventurous trips together such as the 127 Sale, a 648-mile yard sale that runs along RT 127 crossing through Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Ohio.
Sherry Handshy, 67, stops for a moment to chat with her daughter, Lisa Campfield, 46. Lisa comes to the store a couple times a week to help her mom at work. A high school senior portrait of Sherry hangs on the wall above her.
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