June-Marie Essner’s sewing story started with the challenge of a zipper for her high school prom dress. She nailed it on the first try, and the home economics major’s love of sewing blossomed into the dream of opening a fabric store.
Fast forward past college, marriage and a family, and in 2014 Essner finally opened Juneberry Cottage, a specialty quilt shop in Evart. According to Essner, quilting is a “traveling clientele,” meaning her customers come from near and far to seek out just the right fabrics and notions for their stitched creations.
When the store faced challenges with its lease, Essner reached out to Michigan SBDC business consultant Marie Elliott for help with financial analysis, market research resulting in an increased social media presence, and securing a loan for relocating and purchasing a new building.
“We’ve been in business for eight years – through COVID – and really wanted to move into our own building with a loan, without having to cash in personal funds. I’m not a financial whiz, so Marie’s help has been instrumental,” said Essner. She continued, “Dealing with Marie has helped me feel not intimidated to ask questions and made me feel more comfortable.”
In addition to fabrics and notions, Juneberry Cottage offers classes and events, while Essner’s husband Fred manages sewing machine repair.
Learn more about Juneberry Cottage here.