Ridgeway-based Martha Heise started making her BAGS by Martha three years ago and has sold over 150 at craft shows and open houses.
Describing her product range, Martha says: "I create three sizes of tote BAGS, two sizes of hobo BAGS, and children's BAGS, which are great for taking in the car. My one-of-a-kind BAGS are fully lined, have interior pockets and look just as nice inside as they do outside.
"All creating and sewing is done in my pet-free, smoke-free home. My sewing studio is filled with a large assortment of fabrics, from upholstery fabrics to quilting cottons, bright and bold prints to more subdued prints and solids, and smooth to textured fabrics."
Martha grew up as one of five daughters in a family of seven children, so her mother spent a lot of time making dresses. Martha's interest in sewing started early, and by Grade 8 she had sewn several dresses for herself. Home economics classes in high school further stimulated her interest in dressmaking and fabrics.
"At age 19, when I was engaged to be married, there was no question about my wedding dress," says Martha. "I was making it and that was that. This prompted me to take the little savings I had and purchase my own sewing machine. When our two children were small I sewed many little overalls and dresses."
Martha's passion for sewing was rekindled three years ago when she saw a piece of fabric that intrigued her. Thinking it would make a great BAG, she went back to the store, but the fabric was gone.
"This put me on a search for interesting fabrics. I started creating a few BAGS for my daughter, daughter-in-law, a few friends and myself. These wonderful ladies encouraged me by saying, 'You could sell these BAGS!'
"They were right! A BAG makes a lovely and unique gift for your mother, daughter, sister or friend, for her birthday, Mother’s Day, Christmas or just because."
More recently, Martha has added APRONS to her store. Be among the first to see these lovely additions at our event this Thursday, April 29. Click the button at right to buy your ticket.