About Mary Maxim
Mary Maxim is the largest mail order merchandiser of exclusive needlework and craft kits in North America. Mary Maxim began with hand knit designs in the early 1950's. Influenced by the beautiful wildlife in North America, Mary Maxim designed bulky outdoor zippered jackets to knit using the first easy-to-follow graph-style charts created. Designing has grown to include fashion in all weights of yarn, beautiful afghans to knit and crochet and decorative latch hook rugs. We also carry exclusive kits in needlepoint and beading and offer specially chosend kits from other craft companies. Our website offers much more than we could print in one catalog including paint-by-number kits, jigsaw puzzles and fabric.
The McPhedrain family has an interesting family history with Mary Maxim dating back to 1952. In a tiny town called Sifton in Manitoba, Canada, Willard and Olive McPhedrain (grandparents of the current company president, Rusty McPhedrain) began manufacturing and selling spinning wheels. The woolen mill primarily created blankets and work socks.
The mill was so successful, Olive soon began running a fast-growing mail order company called Sifton Products from their home, while Willard continued working as a railroad station agent.
As the business grew, Willard being the marketing maestro that he was, wanted to personalize the business and took his cue from the Betty Crocker idea and re-named the business Mary Maxim, after a family employee at the time, Mary Maximchuck. With its new name, the company moved to Paris, Ontario in 1954.
Rusty and Jane McPhedrain
President and his wife
Willard soon persuaded his son Larry, a railroad telegraph operator in Manitoba, to join the family business. Larry recognized the tremendous customer draw from the United States and sought to create an office near the Canadian border. In 1956 he moved his family to Port Huron, Michigan and opened Mary Maxim’s American headquarters with three employees. After several office moves around the city of Port Huron, Mary Maxim settled at the current location of 2001 Holland Ave.
In 1971, at the young age of 10, Larry's son Rusty began working in the business summers and weekends. Having grown up with and worked at many different jobs throughout the business, Rusty worked his way to the top and is now the president of the company. The fourth generation of McPhedrains, Chad and Mitch, currently work summers as their father did. They are learning the business from the ground floor.
Our sweaters have had quite a history on their own. They have been sported by names like Bob Hope, Princess Ann and in recent years the Canadian singing group, Barenaked Ladies for their 2004 album cover. With all this history one thing has not changed over the years and that is the commitment of the McPhedrain family and the Mary Maxim Staff to bring you the best products and service. We pride ourselves on being a reputable mail order company for over 50 years!!! Enjoy our website!
Wearing a Classic Mary Maxim Sweater