Maggie Walz – A First Sewing Machine Leads to a Business

Four years ago, Maggie Walz received her first sewing machine for Christmas. One of the first things she made was a drawstring bag for herself. After receiving compliments from family and friends, she began making them for others. Soon her classmates were using them to carry their books and valuables and Maggie had launched a business, Mags Bags, selling dozens of her creations.

A full time middle school student, she took a break. But not for long. When the pandemic hit and she was doing school work at home, she found time to get back to sewing. A hat lover, she designed and produced a bucket hat, a fashion accessory that her website describes as “classic, adorable, and versatile!” That online presence – not only the Mags Bags website but also a page on Instagram – has allowed Maggie to reach beyond her home base in upstate New York to tap a larger audience. She’s filled orders from as far away as Minnesota.

The hats, made from soft cotton, are washable, reversible, colorful, and can be easily packed away for travel. They combine patterns and solids and can be worn with jeans as well as summer dresses. And what could be a better pick me up during this pandemic than an eye-catching hat that can also provide protection from the sun on those get-me-out-of-the-house walks?

Buyers can select from the many styles on the website. Want something special? Maggie takes custom orders for those who want to support their school or their favorite sports team.

Did Maggie every expect that one sewing machine would help her launch a business? “Definitely not at first, but once people started asking if I could make them bags I knew that I could turn it into something great,” she says. Any plans to bring back the bags or add other items? “Eventually I want to make tote bags as an ode to the original drawstring bags,” she explains. “But as of right now I’m working on adding scrunchies and face coverings to my shop. My long term goal is to make high quality custom fitted clothes, but I don’t see that happening in the near future as I need more experience with larger garments.”

Although Maggie spends hours on her sewing, her schoolwork and other activities haven’t suffered. She is the student government treasurer and a stage manager for her high school’s theater program and maintains a 4.0 GPA. And while she’s thinking about a career in the biomedical field, she hasn’t ruled out one in fashion. “I’ve known for a while that sewing and creating would be a large part of my life,” she says. “I hope that one day I will be able to incorporate that into my livelihood.”

For more information eand to purchase a hat, go to the website for Mags Bags.

Photos courtesy of Maggie Walz