If you “like” us, you know that Jaime and I have been hanging out in local sewing machine shops, asking a million questions, learning a ton and basically becoming total groupies in awe of these experts!
I found myself in Arlington Sewing Machine Supply because I needed an introduction to the line of Brother Embroidery/Sewing Machines (if that perks up your ears, you are a clever kitty) but I learned so much more. That got me thinking, besides the opportunity to hang out with these insanely fun experts in all things machine sewing/embroidery/quilting, what are the reasons to do your shopping at a small business sewing machine dealer?
Owner Carla and Jacinda (sans Jumpsuit) talking thread.
Expertise and Support. If you visit a shop to purchase a machine, the sales people will know the machines that they offer intimately. They only sell machines that they know to be superior products. They can guide you through which features you will need for the type and level of sewing you do. Their goal isn’t to sell you the most expensive machine but the machine that best suits you. They want to build a relationship. They told me that they can tell whether or not you will use decorative stitches by your personality. Being a person who uses them quite often, I wasn’t sure I wanted to know how exactly they could tell.
Free Labor. If you buy your machine from a dealer, they typically offer free service for a length of time. Now, any new machine, no matter where you buy it, has a guarantee, but a year of free service would go beyond factory defects. It would include instances such as; your needle bending and puncturing your bobbin casing because you sewed through too many paper coloring books with a dull needle, for example. And if they are a REALLY GOOD dealer, they will say that they see this type of thing all the time and you shouldn’t feel stupid. THAT’S good customer service.
Training. Machine shops will also offer free classes on how to operate any purchased machine and supporting notions/supplies, as well as, opportunities to sign up for additional classes, clubs and events to take your skills to the next level.
Current Technology. Sometimes when you buy a sewing machine online or from a bigger store, you will buy an outdated model unknowingly. There is nothing wrong with saving some cash by getting a good deal on an older (or used) machine, I have a 1960’s Kenmore that I adore, but you want to know what you are getting. Machine shops want to have the newest machines on the floor and make room for them by offering great deals on an older models, except you will know exactly what you are getting.
On-Site Repairs. The fact that Arlington does has their own technicians on site is AWESOME! Not only do you know where your machine is but you can be confident that it isn’t being damaged in transport. You also have the opportunity to ask the technician questions. But most importantly, if you stop in with an urgent quick-fix, they can usually take care of it right away!
Eye Candy. It’s so much fun to browse! There are new patterns, notions, tools and gadgets that you might never know to look for. It’s so much fun to be able to pick up a package, check it out and ask an expert a few question before buying.
So what do you think? Are you ready to become a Machine Shop groupie too?
I love my local sewing machine store! I could spend hours there. Oh… and don't get me started on embroidery threads and designs… more hours (don't tell my husband!)
OMG… you're making me drool! I've been keeping my eye out for a new machine but I always HATE re-learning everything. I'll keep your tips in mind when I finally get the cash together to upgrade.
I love looking at sewing machines! It is one of my favorite pastimes. Saving money now for the perfect machine so that I can make my 3 yr old daughter some beautiful things!
I just discovered my local shop–not only do they offer amazing machines, classes and knowledge in general… they also have the BEST fabric in the area. My local sewing shop has Amy Butler and Moda fabrics–and way cooler stuff than you can find at the "big" craft and fabric stores.
My mom and I just went on a Shop Hop to local sewing and quilt shops in our area….I definitely have machine envy now. Time to start saving for a big purchase.
Well ya talked me into it! I found one by my mother-in-law's recently and contemplated going in a few times but I think i'd look like an idiot and start talking about "the thing that goes up and down" and "ya know the wheel spinny thing". It sounds like it's worth the risk.
I bought a sewing machine from a big sewing company online and wouldn't recommend it the least bit. Poor customer service is on the top of the list of why it's a bad idea! I wish so badly I would have known better but I do love my machine!
That's great. My Aunt bought my machine at a sewing shop she's been a customer for years and years. I always want to know why many of them service and sell vacuums too. Is there a connection there?
I bought my Pfaff (my first & only machine) from the local sewing store. One, I wanted a Pfaff, but just as important, she sat me down and made sure I knew how to use it before I left, and told me when I was ready to do scary (to me) things like buttonholes and figuring out the zipper foot, to come back in. I bought the machine right before having a baby & I still haven't managed to sign up for any of her classes, but they're on my list. And every time I stop in she's helpful, and she knows my name, AND my daughter's name, and she's been known to give my daughter a fat quarter or two because she liked it. (I think she's grooming a future customer!!) It's not that the box stores don't have nice employees (if you catch the right ones), but the local store has continuity and community, too.
Our local sewing store is awesome! Besides the day that I had to find it (they are an East street, but they failed to add the east in the address, so I drove to the other side of town and almost knocked on some random person's door!) But they are the only people around who carry needles for my Janome machines.
I feel sad after reading this..our local shop is horrible. I received a very basic sewing machine from a friend as a gift for christmas a couple years ago. I tried to sign up for classes at our local shop and they wouldn't allow me to take a class because the adult classes are more advanced than I am and they don't allow adults in the high school level classes.
I haven't shopped there since because they were so condesending. So I mostly teach myself and get a little bit of advice from my grandma who quit sewing years ago.