Maggie Jackson was brought up on a small dairy farm in the rolling countryside close to the Linen Town of Lisburn in County Antrim, Northern Ireland. As a young child she would sit entranced, watching her mother's nimble fingers click needles through the long winter nights, knitting warm wool sweaters for her family. Maggie, at six years old, took up her own miniature set of needles and began her journey from quiet farmer's daughter to an International Award Winning Irish Knitwear Designer! Quickly becoming accomplished with her needles, Maggie began creating her own patterns and designs at the age of 12. Later, Maggie studied Fashion at the College of Art and Design, and in her post-graduate year in Fashion Knitwear was awarded the highest marks in the history of the college.
In a cottage style business, she was the first Fashion Designer to set up in a then troubled Northern Ireland in 1977. Overcoming a few hurdles, Maggie's natural determination and fortitude saw her through. A string of design awards followed, and Maggie's entrepreneurial skills won her the coveted title of Northern Ireland "Young Business and Professional Woman of the Year" in 1989 and runner up in the United Kingdom. Followed by the "Guinness Special Award for Design Excellence" and second in the International Mohair Association Competition for the most innovative ladies garment. Her achievements have won her a place in the "Who's Who in Textiles" in the UK along with several other awards.
This is only naming a few of her achievements, and with innovation being the key to Maggie Jackson's continuing success story she endeavored to extend Internationally her signature style that is uniquely Maggiknits. Whilst her business of mainly Ready-to-Wear was having International success she still found time to become the President of the Northern Ireland Fashion Designers Association, lecture at the main University to motivate Fashion students and pass on her experiences and knowledge as well as consulting in forecasting, color coordinating, and designing freelance. Becoming a recognized personality she was often written about in the papers, appeared on many television shows and was interviewed on several radio programs.
For five years she was chosen to design and make the evening dress for Miss Northern Ireland for the Miss World Competition, winning 2nd place for her design in the second year. At the same time she was short-listed for Hong Kong Fashion week, judged by Vogue, Mary Quant and Jeff Banks. Due to the demand from the knitting industry overshadowing her ready to wear collection sales, especially in the USA, she closed her Belfast and New York offices in order to dedicate her time to authoring Maggie's Ireland, in conjunction with 16 other knitting design books and an eBook. She developed her own Maggiknits yarn line produced in Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK. For five years she worked with one of the main US yarn distributors in New York selling to many yarn stores across the USA.
In 2008, she was given the opportunity to become an independent company again - so Maggiknits, Inc. was established. The state of the art showroom opened for special events, including Irish Tea Parties, and Knitting Murder Mysteries in MI.
Maggie supported the Maggiknits Collection, doing fashion shows, workshops, book-signings, International and National retreats, all with the aim of sharing her knowledge and encouraging knitters to think outside the box! She also showed at large Knitting Exhibitions like Stitches and VK Live across the USA.
2017 was Maggie's BIG Ruby Year celebrating 40yrs working as Maggiknits and saw big changes for Maggie as she moved the business to Savannah, GA. There she worked on more specialized long weekend Retreats at 'Maggie's House' while still continuing Exhibitions cross the USA. The Maggie's Ireland touring Retreats and the Irish Castle Knitting Retreats proved very successful with several returning to the Retreats for a 2nd or 3rd time!!!
From Covid outbreak Maggie has stayed in her Irish homeland near to her whole family while continuing designing and selling through her website www.maggiknitsretailgalleria.com. Missing her American customers/friends she supported these with Zoom design focused classes with all enjoying the personal link chin-wag!!
2023, Maggie's 46th yr in business she due to demand has successful SPECIALIZED Retreats again in Ireland after cancellations for 2 yrs with Covid. Maggie is staying in Ireland now after downsizing her Savannah business due to semi retirement. She will continue in Ireland with her very popular Irish Castle Retreats and mini Retreats at her Irish Cottage. She finished after 15yrs her Maggie's Ireland Retreat in May but due to demand for a different Irish Retreat she is adding the NEW Emerald Isle Retreat in May 2023. It SOLD OUT in 24hrs leading to another one in Sept. Although supposed to be semi retired it looks like Maggie will still be bringing knitting design and Retreats to us for a wee bit longer..........
The styles are pure Maggie Jackson...
The choice is all yours.