A passion for sewing and crafting led Cathy Forsyth and Lori Gordon-Cooper to open their Pinheads Quilting store in Airdrie earlier this year.
“We supply notions, fabric and sewing machines for quilting. Notions are scissors, rulers, cutting blades, pins, zippers, thread, buttons, quilting templates,” says Forsyth, who took her first quilting class about 30 years ago.
“I have loved sewing all my life, since I was a teenager. A young teenager. Lori and I decided that should the occasion ever arrive that she and I were laid off at the same time, or unemployed at the same time, that we would consider opening a quilting store.”
Gordon-Cooper was an accountant with a former printing company that went into receivership in 2016 and Forsyth worked for an oil and gas company that went into bankruptcy in 2016.
Says Forsyth: “Lori said ‘are we going to do it or are we not?”
The store opened in February this year at 6124 Creekside Village, 403 MacKenzie Way S.W., in Airdrie. The store is about 1,264 square feet.
“Lori has an excellent talent for putting together colours and so with her talent for colours and my skills at sewing, we seem to make a very good team,” says Forsyth.
She adds the typical customer is more than 40 years old with some disposable income, and established in their career and lifestyle.
“Although, I am very surprised and very delighted that we have a lot of young, newbie sewers and we have a lot of males coming in the store.”
The homebased Design’r Flames business began about 26 years ago and today has made a name for itself in the marketplace by manufacturing high-end quality candles.
“We’re a wholesale company mostly. So we sell to other customers who re-sell the product to mostly gift stores,” says Jodie Lucy, owner of the Airdrie business.
The business began with candles being made for craft fairs, and within six months Design’r Flames was at wholesale trade shows and selling to Canada Safeway, including exporting to seven states in the United States.
“They’re like inner-burning candles that burn through the centre, and they give a beautiful glow and have product on the outside,” says Lucy. “Very designer and high end.
Prices for the candles range from $2 to $150. The average price point is in the $10-20 range.
Lucy loves to see the smiles on people’s faces when they receive a candle.
“We have a long-term customer we [have sold] to for over 20 years in Banff: Original Gifts on Banff Avenue. They have almost an entire store filled with our product. They have every product that we do sell in their store,” says Lucy.