I may have told the story about lining the Halloween coffins about a dozen times (or more) now. But for those that haven’t heard the story a summary might be in order.

When looking back at the history of our business and the influencing events in the early days – the opportunity to line 10 “gently used” ex-mortuary caskets for a Halloween event back in the early 90’s was indeed a turning point.

No – I did not know how to sew – but figured that since I was a girl I ought to be able to figure it out.

NO – I did not have a sewing machine or any craft supplies

YES – I was determined to do it and cash in on the “horror” of it all. $100 per coffin was offered – I needed to pay for all materials and supplies myself however – so I had to do it smart.

And here is where my reminiscing actually starts for this post – because a brand new sewing machine to purchase was going to be several hundred dollars…. and I wasn’t up for investing so much of the potential return into a machine and so I got out the yellow pages (yes – this is pre internet in my world) and I found the closest sewing machine store…….. A locals store by the name of AAA Sewing and Vacuum. Back then they were on Sepulveda Blvd near Warehouse Records (anyone remember them???)

In I went – and a gentleman assisted me with selecting a rental machine. Just a little table top unit in a plastic case. It would rent for $45.00 per month – and I would need to know how to use it. They offered a free lesson with the rental – and so I took them up on it. During a friendly 30 minute one-on-one I learned how to thread the machine, to correct the tension and to change the needle. Stepping out of the store with my tool of choice I had exactly 30 days to get the job done.

And indeed I did get the job done – and the machine served me very well.

But it isn’t about the machine – it is about the store; the people there and their passion for not only what they did and loved but that I might too succeed and become a crafter, like them, too. Now as I drive up and down my local strip malls, I have watched businesses come and go. It seems lucky these days if someone that was about 10 years ago can still be found. The internet has changed everything, and the way we buy has become so disconnected that we don’t feel the need to meet and greet and connect personally any more when we are buying (or even selling at times).

So firstly this is a shout out – to their success. To congratulate them on being a part of what inspired me to start my business, and also that they have done such a bang-up job of it that they are indeed still in business. Recently they moved into a nice new location, in Lomita, and when I drove by the other afternoon I snapped a photo out my car window. How cool to see them move into a nice bright and shiny location – and very sentimental for me. Onward and upward for each of us you might say.

So – what might have happened if I had walked in the store that day and the salesman had blown me off (for pulling up in a rattling and sputtering 71′ black beetle that needed a coat of paint) or if he had rented me a machine and then pushed me out the door with no instruction. In hindsight I can’t thank him enough for not just “making the sale” but for actually proactively helping me find my way.

So – here is my shout out to a local business!

AAA Sewing & Vacuum Center

2365 Pacific Coast Hwy, Lomita, CA

(310) 791-1190