Sew Much More was founded in Austin by Ron and Barbara Goldkorn in 1984. The story begins with Ron’s father, Louis Goldkorn, a sewing machine and bicycle repairman in Latvia in the 1930’s. It was a hard life, and facing the threat of a Nazi take-over, he moved to Johannesburg, South Africa in the mid 1930’s. There he fell in love with Ron’s future mother, Masha.
In the 1940’s Louis founded USA Sewing Machine Co. which stood, at that time, for the Union of South Africa as well as the United States of America. Louis loved all things American and often regretted not having moved to the US instead of South Africa. Masha eventually joined him in the business. As time went by, the store’s success waxed and waned along with Louis’s failing health. He died at an early age in 1966, soon after Ron entered the business.
Ron and Barbara married in 1969, and Barbara joined Ron in the store. The business flourished, eventually expanding to four stores. Then in 1984, due to South Africa’s worsening political situation, Ron, Barbara and their young family immigrated to the US and started a new business from scratch in Austin, Texas. It had been their dream to one day live and work in the USA.
Sew Much More has consistently been one of the most successful sewing machine stores in America, winning many Baby Lock and BERNINA awards. Soon after becoming a BERNINA dealer, Sew Much More was inducted into the BERNINA Century Club which boasts the country's largest and most respected BERNINA dealers. As Sew Much More moves through its 3rd decade in Central Texas, representing the Baby Lock and BERNINA brands continues to be both a privilege and a pleasure.
Ron, Barbara and their family are now proud US citizens. In Ron’s words, “This is the American dream (and my father’s dream) fulfilled—to be able to live, love, work and prosper in a country that, after all is said and done, is still the land of opportunity.”
Laura was born and raised in a small town in Michigan. While visiting friends in Austin in 2000 she fell in love with the city. She knew moving from Michigan would be a difficult, emotional decision to make. The blast of a rough cold winter changed all that! Before leaving Michigan she researched the sewing industry in Austin and wasted no time in contacting Sew Much More when she arrived in 2001. We're so glad that Laura made that life-changing decision—we’re proud to have her here at Sew Much More.
Helen joined Sew Much More as bookkeeper and general assistant in 2003. We often wonder how we ever managed without her. Helen was raised in Brazil, and when her family gets together they speak Portuguese to stay fluent! Helen is married (for over 40 years!) to John, who has helped her and Sew Much More with his vast computer expertise. When not with family or at work, Helen loves to volunteer at church and a community center. She also enjoys walking (and talking!) with a good friend and playing with her skittish cat, Manha (“spoiled” in Portuguese).
Mary Kay and her husband John moved to Austin in 1993, from Georgia, where she owned and managed Calico Quilter, a small shop in Roswell, outside Atlanta. She built a successful quilter’s haven which supplied fabric, notions and classes to novice and experienced quilters. Prior to that, she was a successful marketing consultant to small businesses in the northern New Jersey market. Mary Kay has been busy raising three children here, while her husband John continues his career with IBM. She brought her marketing and sales experience as well as her joyful enthusiasm to Sew Much More in 2008.
Debbie joined Sew Much More in 2009, with the enviable job of Receiving Manager—first to see all the cool stuff coming in the door! While she still helps out there, Debbie is now our "go-to gal" for all things "Operations". Whether it's ordering the myriad of items we sell, vendor and customer relations, or special projects, we count on her to keep things running smoothly. Debbie moved from the northwest to be near her daughter's budding family in Austin, who keep her busy and amused. She enjoys Austin’s eclectic music and dining scene, exploring "trash to treasures" home decorating and gardening.
If your Mom taught you to sew at age 8 and you’re still enthusiastic decades later, you might as well admit it—you’re a sewing junky. That’s what Janis is and why we’re so glad she joined us in 2010. Her love for our machines, fabrics, designs and projects seems to be eclipsed only by her delight in our customers. Her passion is helping people find the best machine, notion, fabric, software, or whatever is needed to get the most from their sewing experience. Other than having to leave her beloved miniature Dachshund Sophie, she loves coming to work—and it shows!
A lovingly made bunny costume can make for a lifetime passion. So it went for Danica who learned sewing basics from her mom. The first thing she sewed was a Pokemon character. Like so many of us, she wanted something unique, so she made it herself. Danica now makes corsets and costumes. She loves to explain tools and processes—what better person to be our one-on-one teacher? Danica brought her talents to Sew Much More in 2011. A self-described patient person, she revels in helping people get the most from their machines, and loves those "aha" moments when understanding dawns, and customers realize their own dreams.
Cynthia, a perfect fit for Sew Much More, came to us from the BERNINA department inside Hancock Fabrics, early in 2012. She added extensive BERNINA experience to our sales force. Sewing since she was 10, she still loves it. When she lived in Maryland, Cynthia was tapped by her daughter's theatre group to make costumes. She went from volunteer to costumer and never looked back. While she loves her BERNINAs, Cynthia knows most of the current machines, and is eager to share. Her love of all things sewing continues, but her true passion is helping people get the most out of their machines.