SIX NATIONS – Having just celebrated 21 years of business on Six Nations, owner of G & M Sports and Workwear Marilyn Frank is keeping her mother’s dream of operating a business on Six Nations alive and strong.
“My mom Grace and I opened up the business back in 1995,” said Marilyn. “That’s why it’s called G & M — for Grace and Marilyn.” Grace passed away four short months after the business opened.
Marilyn said that her mother and her were sewing and creating outfits and clothing long before they started a business together. The pair worked in and around the community fulfilling custom orders for hooded sweatshirts, jogging outfits, shirts, hosting parties and more.
“Sewing was definitely our main thing,” said Marilyn, sitting beside a beautiful, multi-coloured zip-up hoodie she keeps on display — the last article of clothing her mom made.
After her mother’s passing, Marilyn found sewing and creating to be a healthy escape from the loss, and really put her nose to work in building up the business to what she felt her mother would have wanted it to become. Now years later, G & M offers a wide variety of products and services for the community and surrounding areas.
“It’s just me that works here, well, my daughter helps me out with the tech side of things, and my husband helps me move things around, but it’s just me doing all the sewing and designing,” said Marilyn. “There’s so much we offer now, it can be overwhelming when it gets busy, but I love it.” Marilyn’s husband’s aunt, Shirley, covers for Marilyn when she needs a break or a vacation.
G & M still offers services like making custom clothing and small repair work like fixing broken zippers and such, but Marilyn has recently branched out into the promotional and marketing design world.
“Now I’m taking orders for all kinds of promotional things,” said Marilyn. “Like putting logos and designs on flashlights, golf balls, lanyards, USB flash drives — I can get a logo put on almost anything you can think of.”
Like all other locally owned business on the territory, G & M charges no tax on it’s already fair-priced products — a great opportunity for new on-reserve and off-reserve customers to make the trip to visit G & M on 583 Mohawk Road for all their workwear, safety boots, shoes, gear and more.
“We carry Tough Duck workwear, safety work boots and shoes, safety gear, coveralls, casual wear, custom embroidery, athletic wear — all kinds of things that people in the area would want,” said Marilyn. “For great prices too.”
Marilyn also offers; winter and fall coats, toques, caps, gloves, socks, pyjamas, t-shirts, sweaters, blue-jeans, long-johns, high visibility work pants and coats, all ranging in size from child to 5-XL for adults.
“The t-shirts, long-johns, hooded-sweatshirts, pyjamas and that kind of stuff are all handmade,” she said.
Marilyn gets up every morning and begins her work because she genuinely loves what she does and loves seeing the community wear and appreciate her work.
Having just celebrated her 21st year of business, she still has one of the very first housewarming presents she received from two of her loyal customers, Fred and Blanche Hill, now both passed, on her shelf.
“My customers mean a lot to me and I have so many loyal customers to thank for their support,” said Marilyn.