At the age of 7, I was taught to embroider my first stamped pillowcase. Although that is a vague memory now, I still remember my mothers words, 'If you don't get it right the first time, you will have to take it out and do it over.' Now, many years later, her words echo in my mind every time I pick up a stitchery to work on. Thanks mom, for caring enough to teach me and to make me do it right!
Attic Heirlooms began in the late 1980's when I started designing and creating primitive embroidery patterns to make and sell at craft shows along with ornaments, dolls and other country items. Over the years I was encouraged to turn them into patterns. I realized quickly that people loved to stitch as much as I did and we soon had a following. It was around 2004 that my local quilt shop began encouraging me to sell the patterns wholesale, which turned our focus to producing patterns for all of our items and we started vending at quilt shows instead of craft shows.
This took us to shows across the country. We added wool applique patterns to the line and of course that meant we had to carry the wool as well. Hand dyeing became a huge part of the business. At one point we had as many as 20 pots of wool dyeing at once and produced as much as 100 yards a day.
In 2011 we decided to open a brick and mortar shop in Nobleboro, Maine and our first location was under 400 square feet. We rented the small space from a friend. Marge, owner of Mainely Quilting knew we were considering opening a shop and offered us a space in her classroom building. We packed it full, staffed it and continued to vend at shows.
In the fall of 2013 we relocated to our present space in Damariscotta, Maine with 1000 square feet of retail space. By the summer of 2014 it was evident to me that I had to be at the shop more and made the hard decision to stop vending. Although we miss our friends we made along the way, it was the best move.
This summer we were excited to add another 900 square feet of retail/classroom space in the same building giving us the space to open a cross stitch, needlepoint, thread area as well as having space to finally have a classroom.
I am amazed, thankful, and humbled to see how Attic Heirlooms has grown. We stress customer service above anything else and are grateful to all that have contributed to where we are today.
Damariscotta is a wonderful New England village that offers a variety of events, shops and restaurants. Stop by for a visit, its worth the trip!
Trish Harriman, Attic Heirlooms
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