The bell rings as I open the door. Candles for sale decorate the entrance, and the smell of popcorn cooking wafts out of the room.
I thought I was going to Mersortarfik, the famous anorak house in Ilulissat. But what greets me is a curious place full of knickknacks, selling rows of gourmet chocolate, locally produced jams, and imported fresh flowers too.
A woman fiddling with the popcorn machine looks up, nods hello and gestures to the other room.
As I take a moment to figure out the place, the sound of ‘rrrr’ draws me to the opposite side of the boutique.
It is the rattle of a sewing machine at work. One lady working away, surrounded by at least nine different sewing machines. All with different purposes, I find out later, as there are only two who work at this place.
Her hands fly over the machine deftly, adjusting minute details with the flair of a craftswoman at work.
A WORKING PAIR
The seamstress’ name is Janni. She is one of two who make up Mersortarfik, one of the sewing houses that produces sealskin and anorak products for all of Greenland.
It turns out the popcorn machine woman is Benedikte, who owns the business. Janni and Benedikte are a team, and together they run the gift shop and the sewing business. Drifting wherever there is need of service.
The pair have worked together for fourteen years. Their close relationship is evident when they say the same thing in unison.