Ada's Clothes Repair, originally called Nera's Clothes Repair, was started in 1979 by Stephen Schaeffer and Karen Wagner in their home across the street from the O'Connell Center at the University of Florida. Karen was quite artistic so Stephen suggested that she draw cartoons of people experiencing 'compromised clothing situations' which highlighted the services Ada's offered. They then invited their student neighbors over to help them literally color their posters, which Stephen later stapled on every poster board on campus.
The day after the first posters were stapled up, customers began arriving and it quickly became clear that there was a real need for the clothing alteration and repair services they offered. Advertising expanded to include cute rhymes placed in the personals of the University newspaper the Alligator, and then small one inch display ads, followed eventually by as many as five daily one inch ads in both the school newspaper and the Gainesville Sun. Karen moved elsewhere in 1983, however Stephen continued to expand Ada's advertising to include periodic radio and television campaigns, eventually growing the business to five locations in Gainesville and Ocala, Florida.
In 2008 Mr. Schaeffer sold or closed all of the locations, except for the store located at 1518 NW 13th Street, in order to pursue the development of a web site at which women could design their own bridesmaid dresses.