News & Views
Photo of Sandwich Village by Joe Janis
What is your name and the name of your business?
Nancy Jones Hansen, my business name is Sewing. It leaves no question as to what I do!
How did you get to Sandwich, NH?
I met a guy....! I came to Sandwich in 1980, married a local. We lived here for several years and then moved to Bethel, Maine for 15 years, returning in 1999. On our first date, my husband, Carl, looked at the Brick Store and announced he was going to live there some day. So here we are in the Brick Store, running our businesses from one of the most iconic buildings in town.
What got you started in this line of work?
My mother was a sewer, and taught me to sew over Easter vacation when I was 12, on my grandmother's treadle sewing machine. (Sounds like I'm really old, but it was a really old machine at the time.) I've been sewing ever since.
Once out of college I realized I could make money sewing. I applied for a job with a small wallpaper/fabric store. I had a basic book on how to sew everything. The owner would ask me if I know how to do... whatever. As long as it was in the book I said yes and got the job. I've been sewing for people in Sandwich for 30 years.
Tell us about your business. What do you make, do, or offer as a service?
There is no Home Economics any more in schools, so people are not learning sewing as a craft or vocation. I think it's a dying art. I am fortunate that I have sewed for over 50 years and have done just about everything in the field, from simple alterations to designer drapes and swags. I've done prototypes for people with new ideas, and repaired antique quilts.
When/how did you begin your business?
In the 80s Carl worked as a contractor and I became a division of that, Hansen Homes & Interiors/Sewing. Carl has retired from building, mostly, so now he works for me.
What is the most fun/satisfying aspect of your job?
I like to see people happy with something they thought was ruined and now it's good. Weird is fun, repetition is repetitive, but it pays the bills. Quite often I get clothes or ties from someone who has lost a loved one and want a quilt made from them. T-shirt quilts are fun because usually all of the shirts have meaning to those who receive it. If I know the person, even better, then I can add to what I know of their personality. My business is my hobby, so I get to do it everyday.
What is the hardest?
The hardest is being sure people are happy. Even after all of these years making things for people, a little voice always wonders, "will they like this?" So far so good.
What has happened to your business in this last Covid year?
I had the best job during Covid. People still needed things fixed. I just did a lot of business out on the porch. Of course I made many, many masks. Both donated and some for sale. It was a good way to use up small pieces of fabric.
What are your goals and hopes for the future?
My goal for the future is to retire! This seems impossible as the phone keeps ringing. Two or three seamstresses have closed in the last year for different reasons so there are not as many people sewing. For the near future, I'm still working. I have a new shop space at our house and I hate to give it up.
What else can you tell us about yourself and your life in Sandwich?
In 1980 I married into Sandwich. Coming from Detroit, it was a big change, but a good one. Friends from 1980 are still here and still friends, and now their grandchildren play with mine. All three of our children live in town, which made our Covid bubble very nice. We travel more now, but it's always nice to come home. We live in the most beautiful place.
News & Views
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Meet Our Members
Please enjoy the Sandwich Business Group's 2021 project called Meet Our Members. Read interviews with fascinating people who live here and run businesses, organizations, and engage in other creative pursuits.
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