About Us

Welcome to Mary Maxim...

...the largest mail order merchandiser of exclusive needlework and craft kits in North America now offers secure internet ordering on the world wide web. Mary Maxim began with hand knit designs in the early 1950s. Influenced by the beautiful wildlife in North America, Mary Maxim designed bulky outdoor zippered jackets to knit using the first easy-to-follow graph-style charts. Designing has grown to include fashions, for all ages, in all weights of  yarn, beautiful afghans, decorative hooked rugs and wall hangings as well as unique designs to needlepoint, embroider, cross stitch, quilt and sew. Other exclusive kits we carry include seasonal crafts, beading, paper crafts just to name a few. We also offer kits specially chosen from other design companies, many exclusive to our catalogue and web site.

The Mary Maxim Story

In the 1950's, no other company had its finger more firmly on the pulse of the Canadian knitter than Mary Maxim! Click here to view a short video on our rich history.

Our founders, Willard S. Mc Phedrain, a railway station agent, and his wife Olive, lived in Sifton Manitoba. Willard had an energetic and entrepreneurial mind that was never satisfied with doing just one job at a time. He and his wife also had a woolen mill business called Sifton Wool Products Ltd., with its' major items being woolen blankets and knitted woolen work socks. During one of his trips to department stores to sell his products, Willard was struck with the idea of the potential in the hand knitting market. With inspiration from the motifs of the Cowichan Indians of the west coast Willard put his designers to work creating unique Canadian sweaters using the famous Mary Maxim 'graph style patterns', another of his successful adventures. The first pattern, #400, is the Reindeer and is still sold by our company today.

As the demand for yarn and patterns grew Willard decided in 1954 to personalize the business and renamed it Mary Maxim, after a family employee, Mary Maximchuck. That same year he moved the company to Paris, Ontario to be closer to the larger Ontario market and his fibre supplier, Spinrite Yarns in Listowel. Mary Maxim's first home was the 'old town hall', from there we had a couple of other homes and finally ended up at our present location, 75 Scott Ave., Paris, Ontario. Willard and Olive resided in Paris for the rest of their lives. They are both missed by the employees and townspeople. Their grandson 'Rusty' is the present owner. Rusty and his family reside in Port Huron, Michigan where our American headquarters/store are located.

Bob Hope



Our sweaters have had quite a history on their own. They have been sported by names like Bob Hope, Princess Ann and in recent years the Canadian singing group, BareNaked Ladies, for their 2004 album cover. It has been rumored, Sara Jessica Parker wore one on an episode of Sex in the City. With all this history one thing has not changed over the years and that is the commitment of the McPhedrain family and the Mary Maxim Staff to bring you the best products and service. We pride ourselves on being a reputable mail order company for over 50 years!!! Today we mail to over 3 million customers homes across Canada. Our web site offers much more than we could print in one catalogue. Enjoy surfing our site!





Our Staff

Introducing our Mary Maxim family. Our merchandising staff of buyers along with research and development bring you a unique selection of exclusive needlework and crafts. Our order entry and customer service departments will give you personalized helpful assistance with all your questions.


Brandie Smith

General Manager

Brandie Smith


 Brandie joined our team in 2018.
Her passion, dedication and tireless
energy helps keep the wheels turning. 




Brad Hines

Plant Manager


  As warehouse manager,
  Brad does everything possible
  to ensure quick and accurate
  handling of your orders.





Renate & Laurie

 Retail Store Managers

Laurie & Renate


  They invite you to visit
  our world famous 10,000 sq. ft.
  store in Paris, Ontario.
  Our friendly and experienced staff
  will be happy to help you
  with your shopping needs.




Office Manager


  Lori oversees the office staff
  so that our customers are
  looked after in a timely
  and professional manner. 




Customer Service



  Notre personnel bilingue
  sera disponibe pour vos
  communication dans la
  langue de votre choix.



Laura, Debbie and Carolyn

Customer Service

Carolyn, Debbie, Laura


  They will give you personalized
  helpful assistance when
  you call with questions
  concerning your phone orders.






  Her cheerful voice
  welcomes many
  customers to
  Mary Maxim.