As Marti & Co. celebrates its 5 year anniversary tomorrow, we decided to it would be fun to look back at our history. Sewing was always something my mom grew up with, and some of her earliest inspiration came from watching her mother pick out and order trims from Wrights. Growing up, she designed and made all of her own clothes, teaching her valuable skills for the years to come.
For her first career, my mom chose to become a Nurse Practitioner, focusing on children with special needs. Throughout this time, her love of sewing was never forgotten. I remember getting dragged to countless fabric stores and Quilter’s Guild with her, always hoping I brought a book with me to read since it was not going to be a quick visit. She also insisted she make my First Communion Dress and veil when everyone else was buying theirs. At the time, I was a bit upset by this but looking back, the dress was beautiful and one made with more care and detail than anything that could be bought in a store.
When she decided to get remarried, she (true to form) decided to sew her own wedding dress out of silk. This lead her in to a previously unexplored world of fine fabrics and wedding accessories, while also figuring out the mystery of silk needles. Luckily for me and my brother, a Barnes and Noble was nearby to amuse ourselves.
After this, she made her first veil for my sister in law Lindsay after seeing the prices local wedding stores were charging for low quality veils. This then lead to her creating a veil for my cousin’s wedding as well, and then designing and creating garters for me and my friends for senior prom.
As retirement neared, she realized that maybe what has always been a hobby could now become a business right as online handmade markets like Etsy started to gain popularity. While I was living in Chicago, my mom started Marti & Co., and I created the Etsy shop from 6 hours away. Originally, the idea was just an online platform to allow my mom time to focus on nursing things plus traveling to see us but as things grew, the need for a physical space became apparent so the in-house studio and shop. The studio and shop went through a makeover in 2013, and a always an evolving space.
This started to shift the focus of the business more to custom designs vs premade items, with my mom traveling to see me in Chicago, Boston and Paris to source materials for designs and inspiration. The shop has also grown to carry other brands such as Baggu, Rifle Paper Co., and Mariell jewelry. Marti & Co. has also started participating in at least 3 wedding shows a year, and has a growing social media presence.
A custom veil Marti made for her friend Edith’s wedding. Edith is also wearing a comb from Mariell, a jewelry line that we carry at the Shop in Cresco.
All in all, we’ve grown quite a bit from being just a retirement ‘hobby.’
Thank you for all the support of these past 5 years, and for the years to come.
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