COVENTRY TWP.  "Every girl needs to sparkle" is the credo of New Franklin’s latest business, Bling It On Apparel. The spirit-wear clothing shop had its grand opening Saturday May 12 at their 3315 Manchester Road location.

Bling It On specializes in custom-made clothing and accessories designed to help customers express pride for what their customers are passionate about. Though it produces a lot of spirit-wear for local sports teams in the Portage Lakes area, it can make custom apparel for anything that could use a little extra flare.

While the business just had its grand opening, the operation is by no means a new one.

"We did most of our communication online previously, so it is great for them to be able to come in to work with us on a design, see all the different garment options and actually feel the fabrics, see the colors, and try things on so the end product fits their needs perfectly," said Erika Bajcar, co-founder of Bling It On Apparel. "It’s also very exciting to have the opportunity to showcase our custom printed products, especially the PLX accessories and personalized gift items. In addition, it gives our customers a chance to see the passion that we have for what we do and we get to express our gratitude to them in person."

Clothing of all types affixed with rhinestones, custom messages and logos, laser-etched tumblers and wine glasses, full-color custom printing on a variety of accessories from coffee mugs to keychains. These some of the products and services they offer.

Bling It On started as Erika Bajcar and Jill Grizer’s labor of love. Both women are mothers to children that are currently in or have gone through the Manchester Local School District. Both often volunteered with the PTAs at the elementary, middle and high schools. Fundraising was their forte and the two developed a strong relationship. Grizer visited party where custom apparel was being made, and it gave her the idea to start a custom clothing store.

She brought the idea to Bajcar, and there was no looking back.

The two women worked hard at their craft for a long time, organizing many successful events and raising much money with their custom clothing, but after a couple years Bajcar and Grizer made the decision to turn Bling It On in to a fully-fledged business.  

"We went to a convention in Tennessee, bought all of our equipment and a little inventory and opened up shop in Jill's basement. It all happened really fast," Said Bajcar. "Once we made the decision to go for it we were pedal to the metal. We started off just advertising to friends and family on Facebook. We began with a few but very loyal, repeat customers. We're so grateful to these first few people because they really helped spread the word and get us off the ground. Our business grew quickly and it just kept picking up speed."

Now they are out of the basement and in a storefront, ready to craft the perfect apparel for any team, player, parent, school or event. And they’re happy to be doing so in their hometown community.

"The Portage Lakes area is a wonderful and unique community," said Bajcar. "The people who live here as well as those who visit have a great affection for this area.  Local pride apparel is huge right now and the people who love this area have expressed the desire to show it in their clothing. We want to keep giving back to the community and provide the best service possible. We want to be everyone's "go to" when they are needing custom shirts or a gift for that special one.