Sewing is in Maria Maltese's blood.
Maria, a native of Palermo, Sicily and owner of Maria’s Alterations in Dunedin, learned to sew at the age of 11 by watching the women in her family work as seamstresses.
She’s been practicing the trade all her life. Maria "knows everything inside out and upside down about alterations," husband Tony Maltese said.
“It’s simple. She knows what she is doing without question,” said Tony Maltese, also known as the mayor of the shopping center where they've been for nearly two decades.
When she came to the United States more than 30 years ago, Maria began working as a seamstress out of her home. Prior to opening her own shop, she was employed by Moss Brothers in Clearwater.
“It was my dream to have my own shop. I’ve done this all my life,” Maria Maltese said.
The 20-year mom-and-pop alterations shop is located off of State Road 580 in Coastal Plaza alongside several other small businesses. It provides custom tailoring for men, women and children. Maria's also specializes in alterations for bridal gowns.
“We’ve been here a long time and we will never leave this place,” Tony Maltese said.
Many of Maria’s customers came to her through word of mouth and have remained loyal through 17 years of business in that location.
“We have great people that come in here. [Maria] is always here working and I entertain and tell jokes. It works together,” Tony said.