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Clara Ida Frances, Inc, Winnsboro

#267 of 342 in Shopping in Texas
Gift & Specialty Shop · Hidden Gem · Shopping
East Texas Lifestyle in Real Time

Janice Schma, the owner of Clara Ida Frances, a lifestyle mercantile in East Texas, likes to tell the story of her childhood dream. For years she dreamt of creating a store filled with an array of goods that embodied a sense of graceful living. Growing up on a farm with lots of horses, Janice lived in a world where hard working families worked together to build strong communities. Decades later, Janice and her husband Peter purchased a ranch in Winnsboro, Texas and began a new journey to bring the dream to life.

The store is named in honor of Janice's dear mother, Clara Ida Frances, who passed on several years ago. Clara Ida Frances, a kind and generous woman, often reminded her daughter, "Always be who you are meant to be, and never stray from God's divine purpose in you." Janice never forgot the values and lessons learned at her mother's kitchen table. With her mother's words in her heart, Janice eventually moved to Dallas, worked hard raising a family, and introduced her special brand of beauty and good taste into people's lives.

After 30 years as one of Dallas' finest floral designers, Janice opened Clara Ida Frances in a small antique mall boutique located in Winnsboro, Texas. In two short years, with Peter's help, they purchased a dilapidated historic building on Main Street. Transforming the 120 year old decayed relic into a historic jewel was no small feat. Peter, one of Texas' best commercial contractors, accomplished it in record time. In 5 short months, his crew demolished the interior, built a new facade, and returned the building to its former glory and then some.

The restoration transformed the old retail district, the former home of saloons and gunfights, into a thriving destination place for local ranchers and Dallas visitors, alike. Sitting at the crossroads of East Texas' Lake Country, Clara Ida Frances was named Texas Best Historical Renovation in 2014 by the Texas Downtown Association. The long hours and hard work paid off. Clara Ida Frances, the dream, was now a reality.

Janice is an active participant and vocal promoter of Winnsboro, a mom, a sister, a grandmother, and a spouse. She and her husband live on their lake ranch nestled amongst the forested rolling landscape of the area's piney woods. In this tranquil setting, weekends are set aside for family and friends. Winding down the road, visitors are greeted by a tranquil scene of rolling meadows, horses, and the family's Great Danes. Several times a month, Peter and Janice's adult sons, there are four, their spouses and children, visit the homestead. The ranch comes alive and this is what Janice lives for. Clara Ida Frances is her dream, but her family's visits is always real time.

We hope to see you soon.
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Clara Ida Frances reviews

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TripAdvisor traveler rating 5.0
16 reviews
  • The building restoration is top notch and so is the selections of products in the store. Great addition to Winnsboro when shopping for a unique gift for yourself or someone else.  more »
  • I love this shop! The Vintage windows are so attractive to the eye, trendy items and upscale clothing and accessories. The shop has something for ladies no matter your style. Has wonderful lotions.....  more »
  • Friendly staff, good place to get a good cigar in Winsboro
  • Pricey, but unique and fun finds every few visits or so. Not so much their clothes, but that’s just my opinion. Plain, maternity like clothing for a stupid amount of paper. Wall decorations are the best. Just gotta be there at the right time!

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