HAVRE BOUCHER: A local woman has turned her passion for quilting into a new business.
Mom’s Quiltique held its grand opening celebration on November 4. The new shop offers long arm quilting services, as well as finished quilts, fabric, supplies, and classes.
“I had no business experience but I’d been a quilter for 40 years and I knew that the area needed this,” said Vera Lynn Melong, who transformed her basement in Havre Boucher into a shop and quilting studio.
Originally, Melong planned to purchase a long-arm quilting machine and start a business finishing quilting projects for other people. Based on feedback from other quilters, she decided she would also carry fabric and supplies. Melong says that currently, Mom’s Quiltique is the only quilt shop between Sydney and Avonport.
“Quilters have to travel such a long way to find fabrics and quilting materials,” said Melong. “It’s just inconvenient.”
Although she found the idea of opening her own business intimidating at first, encouragement from her husband Shawn Restoule and their two children finally convinced her to begin the process. The family worked together to renovate her basement to accommodate the shop.
“I was totally blown away when it all came together. My husband and my children were so supportive,” said Melong.
She received help from Northern Opportunities for Business Limited (NOBL) in Antigonish as she designed her business plan.
“I was told by NOBL that I had to have 100 names to support me,” said Melong. “I reached out to all the quilting guilds and they all sent me these awesome, amazing e-mails, and they all supported me.”
Roughly 75 people attended her grand opening celebration earlier this month. Melong says the shop has been busy so far, and she has customers from all over Cape Breton, as well as from eastern mainland Nova Scotia.
Melong says many of the customers have expressed interest in the classes she offers from her shop. She currently teaches a group of four beginners who are completing a Christmas-themed table runner. In the New Year, she wants to host another class teaching hand applique. She says the classes have been rewarding for her, as well as for her students.
“It’s so much fun and they’re coming along great,” said Melong. “I love teaching other people.”
Currently, Melong is reordering some of her inventory that is already getting low, and says she may be carrying some new items as well. She is still working to master her new long arm quilting machine, and donates all of her practice projects to local shelters and nursing homes.
Melong considers Mom’s Quiltique to be a family business. Her husband and children helped her set up the space, and all of the quilts sold in the shop were made by Melong and her sister. She named the business after her mother, who was also a quilter.
After thinking of starting a quilting business for 20 years, Melong said she is pleased the shop has become finally become a reality.
“Over the last year, I thought, if I don’t do this, I may never do it,” said Melong. “The response has been amazing.”
Information on the shop and upcoming classes can be found at: momsquiltique.com or by visiting their Facebook page.