Edwin Pacheco’s new sewing machine repair shop is already filled with dusty old machines and dozens of well used metal shelves and drawers. The Elliot Sewing Machine Company was started by Pacheco’s uncle over 50 years ago, but moved this week from south Boston to its new location in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Pacheco was working as a medical assistant twelve years ago when his uncle, George Candora, asked him to join him in the shop, which specialized in repairing and selling standard and commercial sewing machines. The fact that the business has continued to prosper for more than half a century is a testament to the long standing prevalence of the sewing machine.
Pacheco said he didn’t know anything about sewing machines at the time but his uncle told him, “I’ll teach you, I just want somebody to talk to while I do this.” Bit by bit his uncle taught him the ropes of fixing the machines. Candora suffered a stroke in May and is now unable to work so Pacheco took over the business.
Candora owned the building that housed the business but has been forced to sell the building to pay for medical expenses, however Pacheco refused to see the thriving business close so he has moved to his new, smaller location. Pacheco says the smaller space means he’ll have to reduce the inventory of machines for sale, but since 80 percent of his revenue comes from repairs he doesn’t expect the smaller shop to affect his bottom line.
Pacheco says, “most people, they see this kind of business and they say, ‘Sewing machine? Who’s sewing?’” But Elliot Sewing Machine Company has developed a nice niche business that targets tailors, dry cleaners, clothing stores and universities. He says there are still plenty of machines that need to be fixed, but fewer young people are following their parents or grandparents into the repair business, so that leaves more business for him. In a typical week he repairs 10 to 15 sewing machines.
In the meanwhile, Pacheco has found his own assistant, a 25 year old cousin who helped run the store during the move. Read more about Pacheco’s story in The Patriot Ledger or go to SewMachineRepair.com to learn how to start your own profitable sewing machine repair business.