Business at Plano Sewing Center booms as customers spend more time at home

Rickey Whitaker worked at the Plano Sewing Center for seven years under his mother before becoming the owner in 2009. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
Rickey Whitaker worked at the Plano Sewing Center for seven years under his mother before becoming the owner in 2009. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

Rickey Whitaker worked at the Plano Sewing Center for seven years under his mother before becoming the owner in 2009. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)

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Baby Lock Solaris is one of the higher-end machines sold at the center. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The business sells machines of various types, sizes and skill levels for local sewers, quilters and embroiders. (Liesbeth Powers/Community Impact Newspaper)
In his sixth year of working for his mother at the Plano Sewing Center, Rickey Whitaker said he would hear the same thing every day.

“'The only thing that can separate us is customer service,’ ” Whitaker recalled his mother saying in 2008. “I heard it every day. ... Then, at Christmas dinner, she told me she was turning [the business] over [to me] in January 2009.”

Now, as owner, Whitaker said he hears the same thing from his clients. Nearly all of his new customers who walk through the doors says they choose Plano Sewing Center because of the great reviews online, he said.

The store sells embroidery, sewing and quilting machines made exclusively by Baby Lock, a machine manufacturer in Japan. The Sewing Center’s front window displays machines of various types, sizes and skill levels for local sewers, quilters and embroiders. Customers can practice stitching on the machines before making any purchases.

Whitaker also has customers who graduate to more advanced machines, he said. Because of this, he offers trade-ins to put toward the new machine as they move to the next level of artistry, he said.


Plano Sewing Center often uses its back room for classes and club meetings. Among those who meet there are local embroidery and kimberbell clubs as well as the Teach Another Generation class, which helps children learn to sew. These offerings have been put on pause or have strict capacity limitations, Whitaker said.

Club activity has slowed, but the rest of Plano Sewing Center’s work has grown exponentially over the past six months. Sewing machines are on a 60-person back order. Where there used to be 12 to 15 machines waiting for repair, the store now has 80. Machines are often sold the day they are put on the shelves, Whitaker said.

“It’s unbelievable,” he said. “Everybody wanted to make masks, and then, they couldn’t find new machines. So they were going to garage sales, buying old ones [and] bringing them in for us to repair. That’s how this happened.”

Plano Sewing Center

2070 W. Spring Creek Pkwy., Ste. 326, Plano

972-527-7400

www.planosewing.com

Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m., Sat. 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m., closed Sun.

Editor's note: This article has been amended to include the correct phone number.
By Liesbeth Powers
Liesbeth graduated from Baylor University with a degree in new media journalism in December 2018. She gained her newspaper experience as a staff writer and multimedia editor at her campus paper, The Baylor Lariat. Liesbeth joined the Community Impact team in August 2019, where she reports on all things Plano and Richardson, including Plano City Council and Dallas Area Rapid Transit.


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