My name is Marilyn McGurran, I started sewing at a very young age. As a mom, I made all my kids clothes and did the usual drapes and pillows. I didn’t start quilting until I moved to Yellowknife in 2013. So started my journey.
I started my first business, North of 60 Quilting as a partnership with Anita in 2016.
The very first quilt I made I finished on a longarm sewing machine and knew at that point I was going to have one of my own. It is a very expensive machine so I knew it had to be a business venture. The goal was to keep the dollars spent on quilting in the NWT and give people the opportunity to finish their own projects if they wanted. The company started in my home with the first machine and then a year later we bought a second machine and it is now at Anita’s place. As the business has grown so has my vision for what was needed in Yellowknife. We have access to beautiful fabric and sewing tools for piecing our tops but not the specialty items for finishing our projects.
So began Longarm of the North. I started with thread. Then came rulers and backing fabric and…….I quickly ran out of room in my house and knew I now needed a storefront. The great city that I live in has run a contest 2 years in a row called Win Your Space YK. Entrepreneurs compete for a storefront rent-free for a year. We attend workshops on starting and maintaining a business, have to write a viable business plan and then do a presentation in front of a panel of judges who then decide the winner. I didn’t come in first but did place 3rd. Not the perfect position but it did give me the push and confidence I needed to move forward. (And I did get the People’s Choice award!)
I recall my mother buying her first electric sewing machine and spending hours sitting on the floor beside her as she began taking in alterations and sewing. She bought me an old Singer with those long spindle bobbins when I was 10 so I could learn to sew my own clothes. For years I made my own and my daughters’ clothes.
We found the perfect space in the 50/50 Mall in downtown Yellowknife. Come on in and check it out!!