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Sewing machine repair shop celebrates fourth year

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  • Sewing machine repair shop celebrates fourth year
    Medina residents Simon and Toni Guerrero work together to make The Sewing Machine Guy TX a thriving Hill Country business. BULLETIN PHOTO/Tracy Thayer

Toni and Simon Guerrero have built a thriving business, The Sewing Machine Guy TX, in rural Medina by making sure the customer comes first.

When Simon retired after 35 years of service in the Marines, he came to his new home in Medina. After two years of retirement, seamstress Toni encouraged Guerrero to take up sewing machine repair.

Quite the tinkerer, Simon said he would start the business, but only after being professionally trained at hands-on, in-person training. After attending these training sessions and getting official certifications, Simon opened his business.

This May, he is celebrating his fourth year in business. Google has awarded him a challenge coin for being a veteran-led busi ness.

Guerrero’s work is his passion. He not only works on new sewing machines, but he is also an expert repair person for antique treadle machines and vintage sewing machines.

He works on long arm machines, sergers, embroidery machines, and leather machines as well.

Referring to this as his “side hustle,” Guerrero has more work than he imagined when first starting out.

“The Hill Country has lots of quilters. There are two large quilt guilds in the area,” he commented.

Guerrero is quick to state that he repairs and refurbishes sewing machines but does not fully “restore” them. When returned to owners, the machines will run smoothly and sew as if they were new, although still showing their age from wear patterns on the body. Guerrero does not work on the wood cases in which the machines are sometimes housed.

“It’s fun, I enjoy it, and it keeps me busy,” said Guerrero.

He particularly enjoys working on vintage machines and treadle ma chines, some built in the late 1800’s.

“The vintage machines are very well built, and they are highly sought after,” Guerrero remarked. Toni brought out a “feather weight” machine that was small and could easily be mistaken for a child’s replica toy. It is an actual adult sewing machine and is one of the most sought-after vintage machines.

“The Feather Weight machines have a big following. People hunt for those machines,” Guerrero said.

The Covid pandemic had a dramatic impact on his business. As people were stuck at home, they began to get out their sewing machines and finish old projects. Guerrero found a dramatic upsurge in his business, taking in nearly 50 machines a week up from his usual 24.

To help customers out since businesses were not open, wife Toni began picking up machines at three drop off points in the area. She picks up machines at Gone Quiltin’ in Bandera, Little Cottage Quilt Shop in Medina and at the Dietert Center in Kerrville.

Guerrero said that the prices charged for sewing machine cleaning or repair in San Antonio far outstrip his costs in Medina, even with the pickup and delivery to the local drop off points.

If a customer is elderly with a heavy machine or has an industrial sized machine, Guerrero will even make a house call for a small travel fee.

Guerrero puts in at least three to four hours of work on a machine even if it is just a simple cleaning. He takes it completely apart and strips the machine down to the bare bones.

Using the dedication and value-added service he learned in the Marine Corps, Guerrero thoroughly does whatever the machine needs to make it purr.

For more information, email sewingmachineguytx@gmail.com or call at 830-589-2525.