The Baby Lock Solaris is one of the higher-end sewing machines available at Plano Sewing Center.
TURNING TO TECHNOLOGY The decision to buy higher-end machines sold at Plano Sewing Center can be likened to that of purchasing a Kia, owner Rickey Whitaker said. This is especially true for the Baby Lock Solaris. Includes: • Attached tablet with software • Projection screen to show stitch placement on fabric COST: $15,000
Rickey Whitaker became the owner of the business in 2009. (Photos by Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Plano Sewing Center Customer service remains key as sewing industry booms I n his sixth year of working for his mother at the Plano Sewing Center, Rickey Whitaker said he would hear the same thing every day. “‘The only thing that can separate us is cus- tomer service,’” Whitaker recalled his mother saying in 2008. “I heard it every day. ... Then, at Christmas dinner, she told me she was turning BY LIESBETH POWERS
more advanced machines, he said. Because of this, he oers customer trade-ins to put toward new machines as they move to the next level of artistry, he said. Plano Sewing Center often uses its back room for classes and club meetings. Among those who meet there are local embroidery and kimberbell clubs as well as the Teach Another Generation class, which helps children learn to sew. These oerings have been put on pause or have strict capacity limitations due to the coronavirus pandemic, Whitaker said. Club activity has slowed, but the rest of Plano Sewing Center’s work has grown exponentially over the past six months. Sewing machines are on a 60-person back order. Where there used to be 12 to 15 machines waiting for repair, the store now has 80. Machines are often sold the day they are put on the shelves, Whitaker said. “It’s unbelievable,” he said. “Everybody wanted to make masks, and then, they couldn’t nd new machines. So they were going to garage sales, buying old ones [and] bringing them in for us to repair. That’s how this happened.”
• 16-inch sewing hoop • Ability to scan designs
• Self-sewing for uploaded designs • Sews at 1,000 stitches per minute • Shows countdown for total sewing time
Plano Sewing Center 2070 W. Spring Creek Pkwy., Ste. 326, Plano 214-527-7400 www.planosewing.com Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., closed Sun.
[the business] over [to me] in January 2009.” Now, as owner, Whitaker said he hears the same thing from his clients. Nearly all of his new customers who walk through the doors say they choose Plano Sewing Center because of its great reviews online, he said. The store sells embroidery, sewing and quilt- ing machines made exclusively by Baby Lock, a machine manufacturer in Japan. The Sewing Center’s front window displays machines of various types, sizes and skill levels for local sewers, quilters and embroiders. Customers can practice stitching on the machines before making any purchases. Whitaker also has customers who graduate to
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