San Diego Sewing Stores See Spike in Sales During Pandemic

Sewing Machines Plus became an essential business because it produced masks and provided a means so locals can make masks on their own

NBC Universal, Inc.

Many businesses have taken a hit and are continuing to struggle because of the pandemic, but some business owners have actually seen an uptick in demand.

The owner of a few sewing machine stores in San Diego County has been shocked over the last couple of months because business is booming for him in a time where many other establishments are facing adversity.

In March, Blaine Austin, CEO of Sewing Machines Plus, furloughed 18 employees because he thought his business was going to suffer. However, the exact opposite happened.

“We quadrupled our business in April. We’ve pretty much doubled our business since then, every month," he said. "It’s just been a record month for us. It’s been a great thing for our employees working because we’ve got a lot of employees who are on commission, so naturally their income has gotten a little bit of a boost because of that."

When the stay-at-home order went into effect, Sewing Machines Plus became an essential business because employees were making masks and provided supplies for people to make masks at home.

Employees noticed people who were out of work were coming in, buying sewing machines and making masks at home to sell as a way to make some income.

They also saw that when they switched to offer the sewing classes online, they received a lot of interest from all over the world.

And sales have never been better.

Austin told NBC 7 he's brought back all of the 18 furloughed employees and even hired an additional 10 employees.

Sewing Machines Plus has two store locations in San Diego County and people can also order items online.

The business has sewing machines, fabrics and really anything a person needs for sewing projects. It also is still offering sewing classes, as well.

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