After starting a family, Mary established a home sewing business. At first, she offered simple repairs and alterations, but her undeniable talents advanced her repute, and soon she was designing wedding gowns and bridal apparel. Still, Mary found time to teach sewing at neighborhood park districts, continuing education venues, and for the American Sewing Guild.
In 1984 when her children required less attention at home, Mary began working in a small vacuum and sewing repair store. The store sold a respectable selection of sewing machines, and Mary found she had a knack for learning basic repair skills and for convincing people to buy new machines.
As computerized sewing machines were introduced, Mary embarked on the next phase of her odyssey, becoming a New Home dealer and opening her own sewing machine and fabric store. The store, Sewing Expressions, afforded her much success and a means by which she could develop classes and instructions on sewing techniques. The store operated seven years from the late 80s to early mid 90's, and as a dealer she had the good fortune of travelling to both Alaska and Hawaii for business.
In the 90s, Mary also represented New Home and Janome on various television programs, particularly on the PBS network, which included: Aleene's Creative Living with Crafts, Crafting for the 90s, and Sew Creative. Mary has additionally presented many classes at VDTA•SDTA conventions, beginning in 1993 when Dick Beall asked her to teach a class, just "something about sewing" to help bring more sewing machine dealers to the convention! His vision was to expand the vacuum focus to included sewing machine dealers, and it has worked with the help Mary and others.
Today, Mary continues to work for Janome. Many of her projects have been featured in various sewing publications including Designs in Machine Embroidery, Janome Digest, and VDTA News: SQE Professional. The industry thanks Mary for her enthusiasm, both for the business and craft of sewing.
2016 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee