Thoughts from the other side of the counter

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

The White Elephant in the Closet

An entire row of sergers/coverstitch machines!

It was April 2015. I still remember the young lady’s name. She had visited another store, then came to see us. I showed her our row of sergers, explaining the differences between entry-level, mid-line, and high-end models. As a serger newbie, she expressed interest in a couple of entry-level machines which matched her budget. Entry-level sergers are not the easiest machines to thread. However, I assure you, most are not hard. Sergers at this level have precise thread guides and order of threading. It is precisely why I asked this young lady, “Would you like to attend my serger machine education class later this month?” She purchased a nice, entry-level, Janome-made machine and signed up for the class.

Typically, we call our customers a day or two before our machine education classes. I never reached this lady, however, I left a message. And then it happened…

She was a NO-SHOW! 

Maybe a friend taught her how to use her machine. I don’t know if I’ll ever find out. I kept her name and number in my class records and called her again for two subsequent classes to no avail. To this day, I often wonder about her. Is she using her machine? Is she using it for various specialized techniques for specific tasks in which sergers reign supreme? Has she ever threaded her machine? Or… 

Thursday, September 1, 2016

Janome introduces a Top Machine Pick for 2016!

It’s here!  It’s at the store...we have a new Skyline S9 on our showroom floor. 
  As always, we’re ready for new machines, and when I saw this beauty on the floor, checking it out was a must.  It takes a lot for me to be impressed, and the S9 has my seal of impressive approval.  We've even made a video highlighting a few of it's great features!


Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Don't Buy THAT Thread!

     We know you’ve heard it. “That” phrase. You walk into your local sewing dealer, discuss thread brands, and at some point an employee comments, “Don’t use that thread. It’s not good.” We’ve all heard this at least once, maybe twice, maybe much more than we care to admit. And customers ask the question, “Why?” Sometimes to us, to friends, to quilt class or retreat members, online forums and the like.

     Before I answer this, consider this interesting perspective. Ask 10 owners of the same machine about which thread is best and you might get 10 different answers! What’s up with that? How can a sewist, embroiderer, or quilter ever know what thread is a GOOD thread when there is no common answer?  Getting back to the dealer experience, a few thoughts may enter the customer’s head:
  • “Maybe the dealer doesn’t know what they’re talking about because that thread works just fine for me.” OR…
  • This store just wants to sell the thread they carry. They’re only in it for the bucks. After all, I can get 100 spools on Amazon for $40!
  • I’m so confused! There are too many thread companies. Am I ever going to get this right?
     I hear you. Really I do. I’ve been in your shoes, the customer’s shoes, long before wearing my employee hat. Now I’m on the other side of the counter. As employees, we see, hear, and experience things that affect our recommendations for customers. First off, let’s address those 100 spools for $40 at Amazon and why, personally (wearing my user and NOT my employee hat), my choice would be to avoid the $40/100 spools like the plague. Why? I don’t know which company made the thread. You may ask, “Does it really matter?"  Well, we think so at the store. Here are a few stories for you…

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

The Cutting Edge

We have a brief post today on cutters.  Have you tried one yet?  We were really impressed with Janome's Artistic cutter we used in San Antonio a few weeks ago at the Janome Impact Institute, and Brother's cutter is the Scan n Cut.  We've had some successful cutting lately at the store, and we're excited to work with you soon in our Cutter Club which we are developing right now.  It doesn't matter which cutter you own, we will currently be providing instruction and projects that will work on both machines.

A time-saving activity on a cutting machine is cutting out embroidery cut files.  No more stitching, taking off the hoop, cutting off the excess fabric, reinstalling the hoop on the machine again and again.  Using the Janome Artistic Cutter or the Brother Scan n Cut makes embroidered applique easy!

Kathy took short vids of her cutting machine in action today.  After her initial test cut, she proceeded to cut the embroidery applique pieces for her in-the-hoop mug rug project.  These were "first and only" vids, meaning no other vids were made to show only perfect steps or perfect cuts.  What you see is what she got!

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Oh Brother! Part III: A Bundle of Joy and the New Midlines!

We need to talk.  Brother is delivering. Yes, Brother is delivering a Bundle of Joy (aka some really nice goodies)!  Have you read our previous posts on the new Dream machine?  In case you missed Part I and II, here are the links:
As mentioned before, dealers are eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Dream machines in dealerships across the country, and we are no different here at Pocono Sew and Vac. 
We are currently taking orders for this incredible machine, and Brother is going to bundle it with goodies IF...