Mary has sewn her entire life. Some of her earliest memories include sitting on her mother’s lap and helping her sew her family’s clothes on a straight stitch Necchi.
As a child, Mary spent many hours in her father’s garage helping him restore vintage Chevrolets. She accompanied her father across the country to participate in national car shows. The restoration of these cars helped Mary understand the mechanics of how a sewing machine works.
Mary has been collecting vintage sewing machines for many years and has over 400 machines of all kinds, including a first edition Singer Featherweight from 1933, an Opel hand crank machine, and several rare toy sewing machines dating pre-1900.
She is passionate about preserving the history of the sewing revolution and loves to share her knowledge. She enjoys reading about early inventors and marvels at their mechanical ability.
In August, 2003, she bought A & J Sewing Center. She learned how to repair all makes and ages of sewing machines, crediting her mentors Art and Janet Goudin. She is forever grateful to them for their guidance.
She is the owner of Sew Smart, Central Wisconsin’s largest creative sewing center with two locations in Wausau and Rhinelander. Sew Smart offers several brands of sewing, quilting, and embroidery machines, with a large service department and five service technicians having multiple certifications. Sew Smart is also a full-line quilt shop.
Both Sew Smart locations have large classrooms that always have activity. From children’s beginning sewing to advanced software for machine embroidery. Everyone, from any skill level, is welcome to join the Sew Smart family.