Business Booms at Alexandria Sewing Machine Repair Shop

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After being a thriving sewing machine repair shop in Alexandria, Virginia, for more than 45 years, Sun Sew Vac was faced with an uncertain future when the pandemic hit. 

When demand for sewing homemade face masks grew, so did the need for sewing machine repairs. Now, the business is booming once again.

“It’s been crazy, probably the easiest word to describe how things have been,” said Sun Sew Vac owner Robert Hines, who was set to retire this year.

Hines has been supporting people at home who are making their own face masks. One customer was committed to sewing more than 200 masks to donate to a hospital.

The store currently has a two-week backlog on repairs, and new sewing machines are going out of stock rapidly.

“I used to say that my grey hair was because of my daughters, but no, it’s because of this business,” he said.

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