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My customers ask me how much longer will I be around to service their sewing machines. Since I’ve been doing this for about 46 years, and I have thousands of customers, that's a question I hear quite often.

They wonder what happens to their sewing machines, and as a result, their business or sewing projects, if they can’t keep their sewing machines serviced and repaired.

Good question.

I plan on doing this for another ten years at least. As the old saying goes, “We make plans, and God smiles.”

I’ve seen countless other sewing machine techs and sewing business owners leave us either on their terms or unexpectedly over the last many years. I have been called upon to “make an offer” on all their sewing machines, parts, and related items that they had accumulated over their many years in the business.

Although it was pretty straight forward to purchase the equipment and etc. from the proprietor’s heirs, that persons accumulated knowledge and experience was unfortunately gone forever. Some of them were my mentors and good friends. Some of them taught me quite a lot. As the old saying goes, “They taught me everything I know, not necessarily everything they knew“.

Having a plan for transferring the business and knowledge to a successor is not a simple task. Since I’ve been trying now for about the last 5 years, I can assure you that it’s true.

I’ve run ads and interviewed some real nice folks, but the right person hasn’t emerged yet.

Having the startup money hasn’t been the issue. Everyone I spoke with had the proper funding in hand and was eager to get started. For me, it’s not about the money the person has, it’s about the person who has the money. Money is actually easier to come by than a qualified individual who is not afraid to be his or her own boss. We’re only talking about the amount of money it would take to buy a low mileage, three year old used car.

Some people are excited to be able to fix machines, but are apprehensive at the prospects of dealing with the public. Other folks are very comfortable with dealing with the public, but don’t know how to change a light bulb. I can teach you the mechanical part, but I can only guide you in respect to the people part.

So, it occurred to me that maybe I’m looking for two people instead of one. Maybe there’s two folks who are interested in being in a partnership that involves owning their own business.

My wife and I have been in our partnership for over 40 years. I had been running my business alone for a couple of years until she arrived like a heavenly gift. Her skills complemented mine, and vice-versa. Now we both know automatically what needs to to be done and who gets to do it.

So grab a friend in your sewing group, or maybe your wife or hubby and give me a call.

Being self-employed is truly scary. It’s not for the feint of heart. When I started out I didn’t have a road map or a customer base. You will. That’s a tremendous advantage. Even though I tried not to make every mistake that a novice could make, I’m sure I came close to doing just that. Now I can help you avoid those errors.

Now I’ve built a business that keeps me busy 10 hours a day, six days a week. I’m currently working four different business models at the same time.

I’ve managed to help my wife raise four amazing daughters and see them all get college degrees and go on to solid careers and have beautiful families. OSU, Texas Tech, and TCU. Scary? You bet.

Now I would like to spend a little more quality time with my NINE grandchildren.
(Which are all perfect in every possible way, unlike everyone else’s who are merely
just perfect.)

There’s maybe a half dozen skilled sewing machine technicians in the north Texas market area right now. When I started out, there were hundreds. Most of them now are actually sales people who have some repair and service knowledge. That’s why most folks are urged to “just buy a new one” at the slightest hint of a sewing machine malfunction.

I’ve become the “GO TO GUY” when someone needs a machine repaired when other techs are unable or unwilling to help. Word of mouth is a powerful marketing phenomenon and it only works to your benefit when people are being helped by your efforts then share their experience with others.

In other words, my business is booming but I can only be in one place at one time.
I’m going to need to shift some business in someone else’s direction. I have a solid
plan for doing that and I will gladly tell you all about it.

It’s curious to me that someone would spend upwards of $100,000 of borrowed money to try to compete in the job market by getting a college degree that doesn’t guarantee them anything. It works for some. Not for all. Maybe they end up as a barista or an Uber driver until that “ good job” comes along. Noble indeed. Also kind of scary as well. I drove a taxi cab in Fort Worth in the late Seventies almost every evening after working a full day. I certainly had to keep my bills paid while I built my business.

Are you willing to expend some money, time, and effort to meet nice people who give you money as they thank you?

Are you brave enough and forward thinking enough to seize a real opportunity to own
your own business and have a profitable and enjoyable career and life?  (It certainly worked out for me, although I’ve only been successful for 46 years. Could be a fluke. Your mileage may vary).

So there it is.

Last call.

I’ll give this one more year. After that I’ll start tapering the hours per day from 10 to
maybe 8 or 6.  I’ll stop driving 250 miles a day and maybe only drive 100. Or none.
I’m quite sure the drivers in the metroplex won’t miss me. I certainly won’t miss them. No offense, but that is easily the least favorite thing that I do these days, driving in traffic.

When people call for service I’ll have to tell them that I’m not taking any new customers at this time.  Wow. That would be a strange thing to say.  Especially after having busted my derrière all this years to build my business up to where it is now.

Of course I would still help out all my regular customers that I’ve had for three generations now. Since most of them are great friends and many are like family, I will have to keep on helping them.

Just about every quality sewing machine that was ever made is out there somewhere waiting for someone to service it and keep it running. Pre Walmart and pre plastic. Those number in the millions.

The classic and vintage machines from the pre 70’s era can still be made as good as new, as long as someone didn’t make a poor decision and “set them on the curb”.

Who will fix the machines when I’m gone?

YouTube? Good luck with that.

Sometimes I’ll watch a video or two to see what’s out there and try to get an indication of “who knows what”. Almost always I’m stunned at the lack of knowledge by the people who purport themselves to be knowledgeable. It would be funny except that people call me for a solution after having acted on the YouTube persons advice and things didn’t work out well.

I’m sure Walmart will appreciate the uptick in sewing machine sales when folks start disposing of their plastic sewing machines every couple of months when there’s no one to fix the real ones.

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“Remember this one word Benjamin.” 
Yes sir?
“Plastics.”

“The Graduate”. 1967

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