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Karen Martel
Karen (Hankla) Martel

It all began in Bath, Maine

In 1986 I decided to make a pincushion with a blueberry design in counted cross stitch, which I had recently taken up. I couldn’t find a pattern, so I decided to design one on graph paper. After a couple of attempts, I came up with one that I liked. Feeling inspired, I then designed a pattern with a sailboat on it. I added instructions to the patterns with a typewriter, had a few copies printed, and packaged them in sandwich bags with folded hanging tops with a logo that I designed.

Samples in hand, I visited a few nearby needlework shops; one on Foster’s Point Road in West Bath, one in downtown Brunswick, and one around the corner from me in the manse at the Corliss St. Baptist Church (thank you Evelyn Baxter!) in Bath. I wasn’t much of a salesperson, and remember apologetically saying to a shop owner that this was a ‘fly by night’ business! Despite my awkward sales presentation, each shop bought some, and thus launched a business that has endured for over 35 years! Maine has a lot (about 67) of lighthouses, so I decided to start designing them, as well as other Maine motifs, for today's total of 81 patterns.

The personal computer was a boon to my business. My first computer was a Macintosh LC with 2MB of RAM and a 40 MB hard drive with Microsoft Works for bookkeeping. Eventually I discovered a program called Stitch Crafts developed by a gentleman in Lincoln, Massachusetts.  This was great for designing and publishing the patterns. Initially I used my own name for the business, but when I moved to the former Seguin Post in Georgetown, Maine, I adopted the business name ‘Seguin Designs.’

With the advent of the internet in the 1990s, a new dimension was added, and I was able to expand to retail sales online. Since starting in 1986, I calculate that I’ve sold over 40,000 patterns and kits.

I'm grateful to everyone who has purchased my products over the years.

Happy Stitching!

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     All images and designs © 1986- 2024 by Karen M. Hankla Martel DBA Seguin Designs

Happy sails to you!

Page updated 04April, 2024