Today we’d like to introduce you to Peggy Anne Klinker.
Peggy, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I opened the shop on Main Street in Concord, NH in 2003 with a prayer and 1,000 bolts of fabric just purchased from Quilt Market.
We had Bernina sewing machines at the time, with a very modern, fun quilting fabric shop. I just could not do boring.
Shying away from calicos and tiny florals, Peggy Anne’s offered designers like Kaffe Fassett, Amy Butler and Heather Ross. As a licensed, certified sewing teacher, I offered classes for quilters, and taught beginner sewing and quilting classes at a local high school (which was an art credit for the students) as well. The website opened in January 2004.
In 2005, I introduced my first line of patterns, New Hampshire Homes, with drawings of some famous, and some not-so-famous homes all around the state.
Encouraged by the success of this quilt, I began to draft my own patterns and create exclusive kits for my shop. Chickens, Snowmen, Cats and the wonderful “Over in the Meadow” series of blocks based on the old folk poem/ song exploded in popularity, especially with the online crowd. We were growing by leaps and bounds online, and by 2010, the online shop had outrun the brick and mortar store in sales and customers!
In 2011, my dad was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, and I made the decision to care for him at home. We shut down the retail brick and mortar store, and my employees (5) made the transition to a country locale so I could continue designing quilts and garments, and be with my father. It was the best decision I ever made. Being here with dad was a turning point in many ways, it gave me time with him, and time to draw.
From 2011 until today, we have grown into a source of exclusive kits and patterns, with curated collections for English paper piecing (addictive) and machine stitching as well. There is no end in sight!
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It has been a road paved with the Grace of God, I can tell you that. I am supremely grateful for my family, who helped me every step of the way, (every one of my kids has worked in the shop one time or another, nieces and nephews, and even grandchildren, too!) My family helped the shop stay afloat, and excel during the recession! That was a hard time made happier by their combined efforts.
We made the decision to give back, even during struggles, and have contributed to many local charities as a result. Dresses and fabrics were sent to Haiti, and the women taught to sew by a lovely lady from the Manchester, NH area – Baby quilts for an orphanage in Africa, a nonprofit group stitches up all my fabric donations! An employee is responsible for starting that group, and we’re very proud of her.
Recently, my husband and I traveled to Little Haiti, in Santiago De Los Caballeros in the Dominican Republic to bring medical supplies and help set up a clinic with GO Ministries. My heart is there, and we will continue to visit with supplies and equipment until the clinic is up and finished.
My favorite group to bless is “Living to L.A.S.T.”, a group of guys in Maine who fix local homes, doing repairs and necessary work for folks who can’t do it themselves, or can’t afford it. They charge nothing, just go in and repair floors, create ramps for wheelchairs, put up fences, you name it. I love contributing to this group, knowing they are doing an excellent work, right where they live.
Please tell us about Peggy Anne’s Quilting & Sewing Co.
I design and package exclusive patterns and kits: you simply cannot find them anywhere else. The thing I love most about my company? We give. A LOT. That’s what’s important to me, that’s what fills me up with joy, that’s why I work.
If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I would never take out a business loan! They were a bear to pay off. Just start tiny, offer something different, people will come.
- Website: peggyannes.com
- Phone: 603.223.2344
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peggyannesquilting/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/peggyannes/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/needsfabric?lang=en
Peggy Anne Klinker