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50-year-old Redlands Sewing Center has grand re-opening

REDLANDS >> Redlands Sewing Center is open again, new and improved.

Sisters Trenna Anderson and Christine Noriega have owned and operated the shop, a 50-year-old Redlands business, for the past 10 years.

The location of the 2,400-square foot store has remained the same the entire half a century it has been in business — on the south side of East State Street in downtown Redlands.

“We love having a business here,” said Anderson, a grandmother to 25 grandchildren and 43 great-grandchildren. “Downtown Redlands is as charming today as it was 30 years ago.”

The self-proclaimed sewing lovers were looking for something different to do together during Noriega’s retirement from a long-term career when they decided to purchase the business. Their passion for sewing was inherited from their mother, Virginia Vaughn, who taught them both to sew via incentives.

“When one of us wanted a new dress, she would tell us that she would buy the material for two dresses if we would make them,” said Anderson. “That way we could have two dresses for the price of one.”

Redlands Sewing Center employs more than a dozen sewing experts and prides itself on very little turnover in staff.

“Most of our employees have been with us for over 10 years. Yet, even with that experience, all of our employees receive ongoing training each year from throughout the United States,” said Anderson.

A series of changes to the business have been made under Noriega and Anderson’s ownership, including acquiring office space a few storefronts down from the sewing center. Anderson, who runs the operational end of the store said they use the office as a business hub and overflow storage area for the massive inventory of sewing machines they sell.

Another change was a remodel in September.

The store closed for a week to undergo an overhaul in an effort to provide even more products and services to customers.

Anderson said their grand opening celebration was a big success.

“We introduced new machines with ongoing demonstrations throughout the day, special one-day sales and fun for all.”

Anderson and Noriega pride themselves on personal customer service, old-town friendliness in all their staff, and an on-site technician with expertise in all of their brands.

Sewing machine repairs compose the majority of the store’s business, Noriega said.

Redlands Sewing Center also offers clubs and classes that will resume in January after a holiday hiatus.

“Our classes are for anyone age 8 years and up,” said Noriega. “Each new sewing machine owner receives a one-on-one stitch-out so they can go home and start sewing on their own,” said Anderson. “Depending on the type of machine they purchased, they also have two to four free lessons to learn the more intricate uses their machine.”

“We have classes for the inexperienced sewist to the most expert sewist. Seeing customers’ excitement about learning new things and meeting new friends in their classes is one of the best parts of our jobs.”