Route 29 opens in heart of Chillicothe

Justin Miller TimesNewspapers
Route 29 sits open at 1207 N. 4th St. in Chillicothe.

People looking to get a deal on apparel in the Chillicothe area have a new place to try.

“(I) felt like it was the perfect opportunity to bring a clothing store to the area,” Route 29 owner Jamie Balfanz said. “There hasn’t been one in a while since Stage closed where Alco now is. 

“The best part of the store is that people can special order larger sizes, all the way up to 5XL with a day or two delivery. You can also send a design to our email address and we can alter it to work on an article of clothing or accessory.”

Balfanz said the store grew from a home business into the now open store.

“This business has been in the making for years as we have been doing prints out of our house through word of mouth for a while,” Balfanz said. “After four strenuous months of remodeling, we opened doors to the public.”

Throughout the process of preparing the store, Balfanz said the community has kept a watchful eye.

“We had people watching the remodel for a while and quite a few people have been extremely impressed with the turnout,” Balfanz said. “ I think a lot of people are curious to know what we have so they stop in quick and end up buying something, 

taking a few business cards and end up spreading the word about our store, the website and the options we offer.

“We just hope the community supports the store and the services we offer.”

The store’s motto “The store is small, but the inventory is endless,” is something Balfanz said she hopes customers will see when they peruse the merchandise.

“Right now, what we have inside is summer clothing for ladies and men, hats, unisex shirts, sunglasses, jewelry and sandals,” Balfanz said. “We have 1,500 more items online. We also carry athletic clothing like yoga pants and golf shirts, clothing for outdoorsy people, dress clothes, uniforms and more.”

While the store’s main clothing right now may be set around the summer weather, Balfanz said that the inventory will evolve with the year.

“As the seasons change, we will carry different items that pertain to that season,” Balfanz said. “For example, Carharts in the winter, costumes near Halloween and tuxedos and prom dresses at the end of the school year.”

Along with the seemingly endless supply of clothes, the store also features a variety of printed and customized merchandise.

“We can also make window decals and put vinyl prints on apparel and accessories and offer mirror and glass etching,” Balfanz said. “Right now we are in the process of learning how to do stick-on nail designs, stick-on tattoos, rhinestone designs and more.”

When compared to the big box stores, Balfanz said her local business has distinct advantages.

“The advantage is (that) the items here are priced considerably low, including the vinyls we use if prints are wanted,” Balfanz said. “We offer lower prices on quantities of clothing too. We offer good products but see no reason why they should be so overpriced like at the bigger stores.”

Location, location, location is another advantage, Balfanz said.

“(The store) is also closer for people from Varna, Lacon and Henry to come here than it is to drive all the way to Peoria or La Salle-Peru for their clothing and accessory needs,” Balfanz said. “The best advantage for residents is they don’t have to drive all over to find their clothing when they can look at our website or our Facebook for items.

“We can set up home delivery from the store or inside pickup and accept all credit/debit cards and personal/business checks.”

Although the business may be somewhat new, Balfanz said that she already has found a favorite part of running the store.

“The best part of running the business is helping the community out with their clothing and printing needs,” Balfanz said. “The store is central in town and easy to get to. I personally walk to work and stay open for as long as I can during the day.

“It is a luxury to be able to walk to work and make my own hours.”

Route 29 Apparel and Print, 1207 N. 4th St., opened its doors June 10.

The store can be reached at 219-3099 or by email at

Route 29 is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.