The VDTA•SDTA happily announces that our Dealer of the Month for November is Alma Sewing Center, located at 301 E. Superior Street; Alma, MI. Alma Sewing Center originally opened as a Singer store in 1951, and in 1988 Ken Solomon purchased the business to become its new owner. Today, Alma Sewing Center carries mostly Viking brand sewing machines as well as vacuum cleaners from the Fuller Brush Company.
At Alma Sewing Center, two part-time and two full-time employees including Ken serve the community and their sewing, quilting, and embroidery-related needs. In fact, Alma Sewing Center serves customers beyond the borders of their city, as it is the only National Service Center for Husqvarna Viking Sewing Machines in the state of Michigan. The employees at Alma take great pride in being hand-picked as one of only 7 such stores across the nation to provide that type of service. The staff work their repair magic for Viking machines that outfit more than 25 gallery stores.
In addition, Alma offers a variety of classes that teach customers how to use and enhance their sewing and embroidery skills. Some popular classes are "Molly Quilt: 3 Times the Charm," "Open Sew: You Pick Project," and "PREMIER+ Embroidery Software Class"..and that was just in the month of October!
Nestled in the Historic district of their town, Ken believes in contributing to the preservation and betterment of small business. As the Chairman of the Local Downtown Development Authority, Ken and 12 other board members meet regularly and make recommendations to the city about boosting the economical and cultural needs of the area. Ken has also served on countless other community-oriented committees (13 committees simultaneously a few years back!), and spearheaded Alma Sewing Center's mitten-drive, which they hope to do again in the future.
When asked to give advice to other independent retailers in the industry, Ken states, "Focus a lot on service after the sale. It has worked for us. That's something Big Box stores CAN'T do."
Congratulations to Alma Sewing Center!
Reprinted from SQE Professional, November 2016