As an educator for Janome Canada, I have the privilege of traveling and meeting dealers and their customers. Some stores are very small and some are large in size. Depending on the dealership, they may or may not have space for a formal classroom.
I recently was teaching at Toews Sewing in Abbotsford, British Columbia. The first thing I noticed was the amount of machines the owner had available for his customers. The walls were lined with boxes and boxes of Janome machines. Although there was not a formal classroom space, the owner had set up a nice area for our new Janome Products launch party. The dedication to the customers and their thirst to expand their knowledge base was unmistakable.
When presenting these events at dealers, I am always inspired by the friendliness of the customers. They participate in the events and ask really good questions. It is easy to see how supported they are by their local dealer. Machine sales, accessory sales, and maintenance packages are all a part of the support from the dealers to the local sewing community.
Sometimes, I come across people who tell me their local stores have closed and they have no support for sewing in their community. This is a reality for a lot of sewing enthusiasts. Often people tell me they shop on the internet rather than seeking out the closest stores. Since the stores have to compete with each other and the wide world of the internet, it is no wonder some stores simply cannot afford to continue operating. It is up to us as consumers of the sewing products to help support our local stores before they cease to exist. It was recently ‘support the small business’ day. Why have just a single day? If we want them there in the future, we need to support them throughout the year!
If you have a local dealer in your area, be sure to ask if they have classes. Many do have them even though their store space is small. Some dealers who don’t have a classroom in their shop, may offer clubs/events in the evening after regular store hours for their customers. As a consumer, it is important that the local store knows we love their support in any way they can offer it. We in turn, need to support them.
Make sure you say a special THANK YOU to your local dealer for supporting you with your sewing endeavors.