Máquina is the word for a machine in Spanish. I learned how to sew on a 1937 Singer sewing machine. So, I thought it was fitting to name my shop after it: Máquina 37.
My mom has sewn and been around fabric for most of her life. When she was a little girl, her mother made extra money by washing and ironing laundry in her home. My mom delivered freshly pressed clothes to her mother's customers. When she was old enough to get a job, she worked at a fabric store.
When my mom moved from the Dominican Republic to the United States and began a long career as a seamstress and machine operator. She made curtains at the first factory she worked at. When she became pregnant with me she left that factory to be a stay at home mom for me.
Then when I was old enough to go to school, she went back to work at a tie factory. I love visiting her there. I was completely mesmerized by the enormity of the place. It seemed magical how all of these machines and people come together as if they were one.
I finished college and went to work in Human Resources. But I wasn't happy. I asked my mom if she could teach me to sew. At that time, I just wanted to try it. I saw it as something old, but valuable, a part of being self-sufficient.
And so, I did. I learned to sew on the 1937 Singer Sewing Machine and I have never looked back. It has been my refuge, and source of calm. When I'm at the machine or even sitting with a needle and thread, I feel connected to something bigger than myself.