Old Port Wool & Textile Co. was born from a passion of wrapping people in warm, high-quality woolens, and our business philosophy of employing local crafters and buying materials 100% made in America. It was founded by Dory Waxman in 2013, and was sold in December of 2022.
After years of working for others, I was looking to do something creative and for myself. I have always loved fashion being that I came from a family where all of the women sewed. When the opportunity to purchase Old Port Wool & Textile emerged, it felt cosmic.
My grandmother was a seamstress in Spain who had started sewing at the young age of 12. Later when her husband passed at 24, she raised her 3 small children with the help of her mother while working at a boutique as a seamstress and model. Later, she remarried and eventually brought her children to the United States for a better life.
I grew up with my mother always making curtains or matching dresses for my sister and me. By the time I reached High School, sewing came naturally. I used to make my own pants out of vintage fabric and curtains. I would take apart my favorites, re-create them, and alter them adding flares or turn them into bell bottoms. My sister, who also loved to sew, was in the process of creating her own swimsuit line before she passed in 2017.
I met Dory when I lived across the street from her shop. She was always so sweet, and we would chat about the sewing school that she was starting, in addition to the business that she was helping her son build. I had wanted to take the class but wasn’t able to as I was working full time and my sister was ill.
Fast forward to the summer of 2022 while at a local coffee shop with my best friend, I ran into Dory. She told me that she was thinking about selling her business and asked if I knew anyone that would be interested - at the moment I couldn’t think of anyone. As we were leaving, all of the sudden it hit me that I wanted to buy the business. My friend told me to go back inside and talk to her, and that’s just what I did. I walked inside, found Dory and told her that I think I should buy it. She smiled and said, " I thought you should, too!"
I worked the rest of the summer but kept this dream in the back of my mind. I found the courage to put in notice at my job. Being a single mother, it felt like a giant leap of faith. I called my brother to tell him what I was about to do, and he told me that he would help me buy the business. We acquired Old Port Wool and Textile in December of 2022.
We intend to keep this a family owned and run business for generations to come. As the brand grows, we will continue to be mindful of the impact of fashion on the environment, using natural fibers and dyes, sourced locally as much as possible, and of course, hand crafted here in Maine.
We also plan to continue Dory’s legacy of always giving back to the community, paying livable wages, and infusing everything that we create with Love. We are honored to be a part of all that she created with Old Port Wool & Textile, including the sewing school Common Threads, that helps to train and find jobs for immigrants and others in the textile industry by teaching them how to sew. www.commonthreadsmaine.org
History of Old Port Wool & Textile