SHIRLEY – Sue McCarron has certainly made a name for herself in the greater community with her namesake business, Creations by Sue, which is celebrating 20 years of providing custom embroidered apparel and other products.
“I've always been creative and made crafts since I was a child,” Mc of the inspiration behind starting the business after purchasing a commercial embroidery machine. “I also always loved teaching friends and family how to make projects.”
McCarron, who moved to Shirley in 2006, is a retired U.S. Secret Service agent who later worked for the Department of Defense at Fort Devens, which brought her to the area. She said she has added other equipment for custom apparel since launching Creations by Sue and that the majority of her orders are for sports uniforms and custom t-shirts.
“I love coming up with unique designs for my customers and seeing them wear the shirts around town,” she said. “Almost every customer for t-shirts have come back multiple times, so I'm glad to see they are happy with my work and my prices.”
She was one of the t-shirt vendors for the Ayer Shirley Youth Football and Cheer Fun Comp cheerleading event this past fall and has received grants from the Shirley Cultural Council, which enables her to provide free knit, crochet, and beading classes to the community at the Hazen Library.
Besides her core products, McCarron also and offers other custom items including memory quilts, memorial lanterns, jewelry, and many other craft items.
“My business is unique because it is diverse,” she said, adding that she enjoys being a vendor at craft fairs during the Christmas and holiday season and that she also has a booth at the Hobart Village Antique Mall in Townsend.
While the COVID-19 pandemic affected her in-person workshops and classes, including ones she has held at Wild at Heart art studio in Ayer, McCarron said she is “fortunate that sales did not suffer that much.” Like so many other small business owners, she got creative with how she reached customers, and at the end of 2020 she decided to do an online Facebook “flash sale” with items she normally would have brought to a craft fair.
“It was received very well, and all my customers had a great night waiting to see each item pop up for the purchase,” she said.
Overall, McCarron said the local and greater community “has been very supportive” of her business endeavor and that she appreciates those who continue to support Creations by Sue two decades later, including longtime, repeat customers like the Ayer Shirley Panthers Cheerleaders and “all my hockey teams.”
“I will always strive to give you the best quality products at the best prices.”