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 award-winning international 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.
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, developing her own Maggiknits yarn line produced in Ireland, Italy, Spain and the UK, and working toward the release of an eBook. 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 is open for special events, including Irish Tea Parties, and Knitting Murder Mysteries as well as new 2014 spring and summer hours.
Today, Maggie also supports the Maggiknits Collection, doing fashion shows, workshops, book-signings, and International and National retreats, all with the aim of sharing her knowledge and encouraging knitters to think outside the box!
The styles are pure Maggie Jackson...
The choice is all yours.