Rowe, Bertha

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                                                    BERTHA & ROGER ROWE

MIRAMICHI – Bertha (MacDonald) Rowe isn’t very good at retiring.

She was raised on Queen St. in the former Chatham, the daughter of the late George and Zora (Hebert) MacDonald. Bertha and her family moved to Quebec in 1959.

During her years in Quebec she married, raised a family, and held various jobs, the last being a bookkeeper for her husband, Roger, who ran a very successful body and paint shop. Bertha and her husband moved to New Orleans, Ont. nine years ago.

After being retired for six years, Bertha, at the age of 57, decided she needed to be doing something, but this time around, she wanted to be her own boss, and according to this article, the rest is history.

In April, Bertha and her husband will be spending a week in Mexico courtesy of Pfaff for having the most sales in her area.

A story about her appeared in the March 21/2000 edition of the Toronto Star. Here are excerpts:

You might say Bertha Rowe and her staff at Orleans Sewing Centre have the east-end sewing supply market covered like a blanket – or more precisely, a quilt. Less than a year and a half after opening her store in St. Joseph Boulevard, Bertha has built up a large, loyal base of customers who get almost as much enjoyment out of stopping by for a chat as they do out of sewing and quilting itself.

“I think we have a really good rapport with our customers. They keep coming back, so that’s a good sign,” manager Michelle Gange, who met Bertha – where else? – at a sewing class, says with a hearty laugh. Indeed, Bertha decided to open Orleans Sewing Centre at 2413 St. Joseph Blvd. after looking around and realizing the east end did not have a store of its own dedicated to sewing and quilting supplies and services.

Besides sewing machines and supplies, Bertha’s friendly, bilingual staff also offers a wide range of other services, including clothing alteration and scissor sharpening. The store has a sewing club that meets monthly in its spacious classroom, with a group of six qualified instructors who teach classes on everything from basic sewing sills to advanced quilting techniques.

It’s been a fast road to success, but Bertha gives the credit to her loyal clients and staff.

“There’s a great community supporting us and I’d like to thank them,” she says with a smile.

Source: Miramichi Leader – April 14, 2000

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