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Alterations business closes due to illness

Michelle Davis hasn't forgotten who taught her her craft.

And now she's trying to get the word out about her mentor, Carol Kemp.

Kemp opened one of Gresham's first clothing alteration shops more than 22 years ago. But Hems While-U-Wait, on Powell Boulevard in downtown Gresham has shut its doors, the result of a stroke Kemp suffered during surgery in December.

The stroke left the longtime business owner paralyzed on her right side, Davis said. While Kemp's health continues to improve, she was forced to close her shop on East Powell Boulevard, a move that has left her depressed, Davis said.

'Everyone is absorbing her customers,' said Davis, who worked for Kemp for 14 years and who now runs her own business, Custom Fit Alterations.

Many customers are wondering about Kemp, Davis said. She passes on the word about her mentor and also has greeting cards at her store, 638 N. Main St., so people can send Kemp their sentiments.

'She had a really loyal following,' Davis said. Her business and other alteration outlets have been busy assisting Kemp's customers.

Kemp's recovery may allow her to run her business out of her Sandy home.

Efforts to reach Kemp were unsuccessful.

'She never had recognition,' Davis said. 'She does matter.'