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Business Spotlight

Historic Craft Moves Into 21st Century

Meagan Hughes, Cottage Quilting and Sewing Machine Centre owner, guides the stitching on the long arm machine for a display quilt to hang in her Kelowna store.
November 06, 2017 - 12:00 AM

 
Most would agree that there’s not much better feeling than nestling under a cozy quilt on a cold winter night; cup of tea in hand, fire crackling.

     But that experience is even better when the quilt or blanket has been made with your own hands; a skill that is steadily growing again thanks to a new youthful and modern spin to make the craft more accessible and appealing.

     “Sewing started back in the day when women were left alone while their husbands went off to war. It was a practical skill, but also a social thing for them. Now, there’s a modern movement,” said Meagan Hughes, owner of Cottage Quilting and Sewing Machine Centre.

     Hughes says that the craft of sewing, mending and quilting is something anyone can get involved with; whether they’re a beginner and need to learn the lingo, or advanced and want to tackle more challenging projects.

     Her store, on Spall Road in Kelowna, which she and her husband Drew bought four years ago when she was only 34, is a place where interested crafters not only come to shop for fabrics, notions and machines, they come for the learning and the camaraderie.

     “We really pride ourselves on helping people. We’ll coach you along and encourage you to come back when you get stuck. We don’t just serve you and let you go. We want you to learn,” said Hughes, who is also a mother to two young, active daughters.

     Hughes and her knowledgeable staff, along with a handful of instructors, offer classes in everything from quilting to garment making, even purses and bras.

     “Our goal is to keep people learning so they keep moving forward with their project. Our classes are number one in the valley. People say they come back because of the atmosphere and feeling here,” said Hughes, who has always been an entrepreneur, so much so that she and Drew have increased sales six times since they took over the store in 2013.

     Hughes’ drive has always gained her success and respect. She was the first female buyer for a major electronic company when she was only 21, and prior to buying Cottage Quilting and Sewing Machine Centre, she was a project manager at an electrical company in Calgary. After her kids were born, she went back to school twice to become a preschool teacher, then a birth doula and childbirth educator.

     This passion for business and success pushes Hughes to continually offer something new to her clients.

     The latest endeavors include an online store and sewing and quilting You Tube classes and instructional videos.

     “I like to think of myself as a leader, rather than a follower. As soon as we started with our online store, three others followed. I take that as a compliment,” said Hughes, a Kelowna native.

     Combining her love for sewing and giving back, Hughes, a Kelowna Chamber of Commerce Rising Star winner and young entrepreneur of the year nominee, has lent a hand to the Hospice House as well as the Orchard Valley Quilters Guild working with high school students to make baby quilts that are donated to the NICU at Kelowna General Hospital.

     Hughes also has a passion for mentoring young business women; inspiring and encouraging them to go into business for themselves. “I’m very women centered.”


     Visit www.cottagequiltingonline.ca to do some online shopping and find out more about their classes and Kelowna store.

Sponsored By   Cottage Quilting and Sewing Machine Centre

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