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CELEBRATING 40: It wasn’t supposed to last even one!

Gratitude is #1.

Looking back is important for each of us in helping to understand who we’ve become and how we’ve grown.  Without intentionally reviewing our lives, we can get trapped in living in the present as if that is all that there ever has been or ever will be for us.  For me, one who does this exercise far too little, looking back most often results in a sense of awe and thankfulness.  The financial guru, Dave Ramsey, answers the greeting “How are you?” on his radio talk show with “Better than I deserve!”  With a little reflection, I think most of us would agree.  I certainly do.  God has been good.

The Sew-Creative journey began for Karen and I forty years ago this spring. Preceding the inception of Sew-Creative, we had run a tiny micro-business out of our home on Chapel Street in Cashmere (The Creative Sewing Center) for perhaps 15 months. She was expanding her creative horizons by learning free-motion machine embroidery while I tackled sewing machine repair. (Howard Wolf was my awesome mentor!) During those months we participated as vendors in the Chelan County Fair in Cashmere and the Christian Arts Fair in Monitor.

In 1977 the U.S. distributor for the Pfaff sewing machine line at that time (A.C. Weber) was looking for a dealership in Wenatchee, and we opened our first location as Sew-Creative at 107 Yakima Street to meet that need. Pfaff was added to the line of Riccar sewing machines that we had represented in Cashmere. Our little shop shared a restroom with the restaurant right next door to us on the corner. Our oldest, Amy, was almost four, and little brother Andrew was about to turn two.

Although this isn’t intended to be a blog about business (and it isn’t), the question begs to be answered:  How does a business that had virtually nothing going for it graduate to the level of 40 years?  It wasn’t supposed to last a year!  How do you raise 5 wonderful kids while building a tiny, undercapitalized family sewing machine enterprise?  And how does a small retailer outlast the vicious cycles of the economy and the retail roller coaster?  This year is an opportunity for me to look back and celebrate Sew-Creative’s heritage, culture, vision and values, all of which, by God’s grace, have contributed to a small, hole-in-the-wall sewing machine store becoming part of the regular fabric of life in North Central Washington.

I invite you to take this journey with me, and I’ll sweeten the pot a little by closing each post with an interesting fact (and question), a money-saving special, and a link to a new video.  There will also be the occasional valuable tip as well.    🙂

FACT:  National statistics say that 93% of all vacuum cleaners are purchased from Big Box stores or online.  Does that mean that only 7% of the folks in North Central Washington want to know how a vacuum sounds, compare it’s advantages and disadvantages in meeting their specific cleaning needs, and feel how it pushes and picks up under real life conditions?

SPECIAL:  Mothers Day is right on the heels of Apple Blossom.  If your mother enjoys being creative with thread, just come in and say “Blog” and receive a 25% discount on all thread purchased between now and Mothers Day!

VIDEO LINK:  See how easily the new Vintage Chic look can become part of your creative embroidery projects (35 minute tutorial).  Vintage Chic is coming to Wenatchee on June 16 & 17!  Click HERE for more information.

Hope you enjoyed, and your feedback would be awesome.  Thanks!