Her eyes twinkle.
A smile begins to crack at the corners of her mouth; she breaks into a grin.
Mary Lou Bennett recalls her mother’s voice.
“New remnants came in to Sears!” her mom would exclaim when Mary Lou arrived home from school.
The excitement was contagious.
Mary Lou, her sister Bunny, and mother Verna Sweet would rush over to the Simpson-Sears outlet store in Hantsport, searching for just the right pieces of fabric.
“We didn’t have a lot of money, so we always had patterns and we always made our own clothing,” recalls Mary Lou.
Armed with a “couple of bucks,” Mary Lou would browse through the pile of fabric until something caught her eye. It wouldn’t be long until she had a new dress for school.
That passion to create has followed Mary Lou throughout her life.
She now designs and sells jewellery — everything from budget-friendly pieces to custom, one-of-a-kind adornments using semi-precious gemstones.
“Sometimes I feel like I’m a big kid because I just like all the bits and pieces and all the colour. I love the colour, I really do,” says Mary Lou, looking down at her workspace, smiling.
It seems the Windsor resident and owner of Damselfly Gifts has nearly every shade imaginable of starfish-shaped charms.
“It just lets me create, and some days when I’m not feeling all that great... if I make something, it makes me feel better,” she says.
“It’s sort of peaceful time for me. It just seems to settle my brain sometimes.”
Her large necklaces are the pièce de résistance. She’s won awards for them. And, like her outfits of yesteryear, they get the most compliments.
“It’s just kind of nice to have a bespoke piece.”