Marjo's lacework creations are so detailed, meticulous
and extraordinarily unique one must just marvel at their appearance and
execution. She has been passionate about needlework for as long as she
can recall, involving herself in projects with threads, embroidery, sewing
and lace throughout her childhood. But, like many other needlework designers,
she mostly considered her needlework a pleasant hobby, not a future career
spent an idyllic childhood growing up in the beautiful surroundings of
one of the oldest Dutch towns, Utrecht. After attending college, she taught
in a primary school for several years. In 1969, she married Maarten Timmers,
who owns a certified public accounting firm, and they began a family. This
quickly grew to include three children and as a full-time mother, needlework
was somewhat relegated to the back burner. Marjo did stay involved by sewing
her children's clothes and making curtains and other decorations for the
several homes the family lived in over the years.
1978, Marjo and her family moved into a rustic Finnish log house located
in a pristine rural setting between the two largest rivers in Holland.
As the children grew older Marjo longed to get more in touch with her own
creativity by taking up her needlework in addition to learning some new
skills and techniques. She realized that her greatest passion was for bobbin-lace
and she began to take classes whenever and wherever she could find them.
Lacemaking, Marjo soon realized, might involve a lifetime commitment. There
are so many different varieties and techniques, no one person could possibly
learn them all. Eventually, Marjo narrowed her own focus to colorful bobbin-lace
as her specialty - the one that was most satisfying and best enabled her
to express her artistic aspirations.
nine years in the countryside, the family opted for a complete change,
relocating to Tilburg, a city in the south of Holland near Belgium. In
a total reversal from their prior rustic abode, they now took up residence
in a 125-year-old mansion, situated right smack in the center of the urban
scene. The kids attended high-school there, grew up and then, one by one,
moved out to start their own lives. Marjo was now free to devote her energies
to experimenting and applying the skills she had learned. Her first major
step towards a career in needlework and specifically lace design was to
establish "Bob-In" a lace workshop, in her home, where she taught
basic and advanced courses. Next, a shop was installed on the first floor
of the house to stock the materials required by the students.This combination
of shop and teaching worked very compatibly and met with immediate success.
Marjo soon had almost 100 students and worked in the shop three days a
By this time, Marjo had displayed her own original bobbin-lace designs
at several exhibitions and other people in the field began to take notice.
During the summer of 1996, she displayed her work at the Lacecentre of
Brugge, Belgium, the most important lace town in Europe. One of her designs
was created as an exclusive for this show and Marjo was invited to teach
two classes there. Both were booked almost instantly and a third was added
to accommodate the overwhelming interest.
An eagerly anticipated event takes place each
October feturing lacework designs created specifically with Christmas themes.
The project for 1997 was called "Oriental Ornaments". This year's
seminar, to be held on October 13 and 14, will feature a flower fashioned
entirely out of lace. Marjo considers "From Lace to Roses" to
be her best design to date. Already 150 participants are scheduled to attend
these intensive one-day workshops. Caron Waterlilies threads appear in
most of these ornament patterns. Marjo is fond of juxtaposing them in vibrant
combination with specialty fibers, Candlelight metallics and embellishing
them with Mill Hill beads, adding further dramatic and dimensional effect.
When Marjo's designs appeared in print in the first issue of "Lace-Express"
she gained greater exposure. As a welcome outcome of Marjo's growing popularity
and more intense involvement in the wider needlework market, she and Maarten
have had the opportunity to travel to other countries, including the US,
in conjunction with her work. A new opportunity presented itself when Marjo
was sought out to be the exclusive distributor for various compatible product
lines in the Benelux region. (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxembourg)
Lois Caron and Marjo became acquainted at the HIA-EURO trade show in Maastricht,
Netherlands in 1995. Each recognized a unique talent in the other. Marjo
instinctively gravitated toward Lois' threads and Lois could readily envision
their application in Marjo's exquisite, singularly expressive designs.
When Marjo and Maarten agreed to take on the challenge of becoming distributors,
they formed a new company called "The Stitch Company" and the
Caron Collection was the first product line that they committed to. To
better illustrate the potential for integrating the Caron Collection threads
with other materials, Marjo has come up with some original Hardanger designs
that are available as kits from the Caron Collection for US customers.
Two other designs: "Romantic Pockets" and "Dream Pillows",
featuring her favorite Caron threads of Waterlilies and Candlelight, are
August of 1998, Marjo published her first full-color pattern booklet of
Bargello designs which are loaded with more of her favorite fibers. These
Bargello designs are specifically adapted to accent and decorate various
accessories such as hand-mirrors, satin boxes, coasters, rulers, pill cases
and presentation cards, resulting in one-of-a-kind items when completed.
of the phenomenal success of "The Stitch Company" combined with
Marjo's prolific design output, she has had to forego her teaching avocation.
A new building was constructed in Veen to house "The Stitch Company"
which takes up the entire first floor. Directly above it is the lace shop,
"Bob-In". The retail portion is open to the public every first
Tuesday and third Saturday of each month, except for July and August.
"The Stitch Company" wholesales creative needlework materials
and exhibits at the yearly Dutch trade show every September. Their youngest
child, Janneke, currently manages "The Stitch Company." Today
this business distributes almost all the major manufacturers of needlework
materials from the US and the UK., including Mill Hill, Stoney Creek, Sewing
Basket and Needlepoise and many others.
Everyone who visits should be prepared to be "blown away" by
the incredible array of needlework displayed in the showroom, which is
visible from the stairs leading to the shop. By the time you reach the
top, inspiration should have your creative juices flowing just in time
to pick out the ingredients for your next project.
"Bob-In" Lacematerials (Retail
Shop) is located at Nieuwstraat 6, 4264 RE Veen (N. Br.), Netherlands
"The Stitch Company" (wholesale only) is located at the same
address as above