In The News

 The Fabric Garden Celebrates 30 years as a Janome Dealer!

1 May, 2014

This May marks the 30th year that The Fabric Garden in Madison, Maine, has been an authorized Janome Dealer. To celebrate this great accomplishment we asked Michaela (Kala) Murphy and Celia Murphy to share some of their thoughts over the past 30 years.

JA – When did you open The Fabric Garden?
KM – I started the business in 1978 with my (late) aunt, Marie Priebe. We began as a fabric store with almost all of our customers making apparel. In 1984 we began offering sewing machines, and later that decade we noticed that more of our customers were interested in quilting and people were sewing as a recreational activity instead of out of necessity. To meet the changing needs of our customers, we added more fabric options, now totaling over 11,000 bolts of fabric, and Janome sewing machines.

JA – When did you open The Fabric Garden?
KM – I started the business in 1978 with my (late) aunt, Marie Priebe. We began as a fabric store with almost all of our customers making apparel. In 1984 we began offering sewing machines, and later that decade we noticed that more of our customers were interested in quilting and people were sewing as a recreational activity instead of out of necessity. To meet the changing needs of our customers, we added more fabric options, now totaling over 11,000 bolts of fabric, and Janome sewing machines.

JA – Why did you choose to sell Janome machines?
KM – It was really the quality of the machines. It was important to us to sell a product that held up to our high standards. When I sell a Janome, I know that the customer will go home and be happy with their purchase for a many years.

JA – Do your customers come in to show off their work?
CM – All the time! We have created an environment that serves as a retreat for sewists in Maine. Customers frequently come in to discuss project ideas, for sewing tips, and to look at new machines and accessories. Every day we come in and help people with their passion and creativity and knowledge. It is delightful to see a customer come back to the store weeks or months after discussing their idea with the final project. We helped them buy the machine and fabric and then people come back in so proud of what they were able to create.
KM – It is really the wonderful group of ladies that work here that have created this community atmosphere. The combination of what everyone at the Fabric Garden brings to the cutting board has made the store a success.

JA – How many machines have you sold over the past 30 years?
CM – We couldn’t tell you an exact figure. Easily in the thousands.
KM – I can’t say for certain how many Janome’s we’ve sold, but I can tell you that we’ve sold to three generations of families here in Maine. It is wonderful to see three generations of a family sewing together.

JA – Do you have any tips for someone looking to buy new sewing machine?
KM - Buying a sewing machine requires the customer to see, touch and try it out. Until customers come in and experience the features of the machines, it is hard to know which machine will suit you best. It also helps to have a good idea of what you are interested in making with the machine. I always remind people that it is important to get a machine with additional features that will help them grow as a sewist.
CM - Be open to the new technologies that sewing machines offer. The innovations that Janome has come out with are amazing. The new machines not only make sewing easier, but the end results are often much better.

JA – Kala, you’ve made a career out of fabric and sewing and you talk so passionately about both, who instilled that passion for you?
KM - My mother and my aunt instilled the love of both sewing and fabric. Nurturing that love led me to a career in this business where we try to instill both of those into each and every customer. This is a business that has been a love of mine for a long time.

The Fabric Garden located at 167 Lakewood Road (Route 201) in Madison, Maine. They have been a loyal Janome dealer for 30 years and has attained numerous awards in the Janome America Steps to Success Program. The Fabric Garden is open 7 days a week to provide support to their Janome customers, and a staff with over 250 years combined sewing and quilting experience to offer advice on projects of all skill levels.

Visit The Fabric Garden on Saturday, May 17th for Janome Appreciation Day for Big Sales and Free Gifts
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