Mary A. Reiser
Mary Reiser, owner of Fonder Sewing Machine Company in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, has literally grown up in the sewing machine business. She began her industry experience in the 1950’s, as a child sitting at her father Al’s workbench. Throughout her childhood, she worked along side her father, gaining valuable experience and becoming an accomplished sewer.
By the time Mary and her husband Duane bought Fonder Sewing Machine Company in the late 1970’s, she had established a reputation as one of the most knowledgeable people in the sewing machine industry. Sharing this knowledge with the sewing public, as well as other independent dealers, has been a lifelong calling for Mary.
Mary has given hundreds of sewing demonstrations and classes in the local community, given presentations to many organizations and taught many young people to sew. She has traveled throughout South Dakota and the surrounding states giving creative sewing lessons and demonstrations. During her travels, she has also set up numerous satellite sewing machine dealerships under the Fonder name.
By teaching both young people and adults to sew, she has helped to perpetuate the industry. Her recruitment and training of new sewing machine dealers has helped the industry renew itself. Her continuing efforts to promote sewing have gained her the respect and gratitude of many in the sewing machine trade.
She is equally respected in her community. Mary and Duane’s dedication to providing customers with high quality products and service and sound sewing advice has earned Fonder Sewing Machine Company a large and loyal following throughout the upper Midwest. They have been recognized for outstanding sales by industry manufacturers, including many regional sales awards from Elna, Inc.
Mary also supports her local community as a member of many civic and community service organizations. She has served on school committees and the PTA and taken an active role in a number of community events.
1995 Vacuum & Sewing Hall of Fame Inductee