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We're Open: Thomas Sewing Center seeing spike in business during pandemic

Posted at 9:24 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-21 21:26:04-04

LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — Stay at home orders have caused many of us to pick up a new hobby, or maybe brush up on an old one. One hobby, sewing, is playing a major role in the battle against coronavirus.

A sewing machine shop in Lexington, Thomas Sewing Center, is seeing business spike. Thomas Sewing Center is family owned and started 41 years ago in Ashland, Kentucky.

“We’re on the third generation of owners now, and we were able to open up our second location here in Lexington last July," says store manager Alysson Riffe.

Riffe says the Lexington location took off after opening.

“We have had a really fantastic reception in Lexington. People have been so welcoming. The quilting, embroidery, and sewing community have really embraced us," Riffe says.

Due to concerns surrounding COVID-19, they decided to close their doors in March.

“When the governor shut everything down, we thought this would be a good time to take a back seat and just see what happens," says Riffe.

But, it wasn't long before they realized they were actually in the front seat, and they needed to be driving.

"The sewing community, and really everybody else who hasn’t been sewing in a long time, have been coming out of the woodwork and making PPE, masks, and gowns, and they’ve needed a lot of support with their sewing machines," says Riffe.

Thomas Sewing Center opened back up to repair and service sewing machines. And Riffe says they have been swamped.

“We’ve been very busy. We get repairs in every day. We have people calling for fabric, for supplies," Riffe says.

It's allowing people to scratch that creative itch, but even more importantly, it's allowing people to help mend and protect.

“Everybody wants to help the front line workers, and everyone wants to help their neighbors," says Riffe.

Thomas Sewing Center is adding more products online and adding online classes. For more information, visit: ThomasSewingCenter.com