A long-established family business is proud to support hospitals throughout the pandemic.
Allan Sheen Sewing Machines repaired sewing machines and supplied thread to volunteers busy making scrubs for NHS heroes.
The Winsford store was also inundated with requests for wool to knit tiny hats and cardigans for premature babies.
“We have sold a lot of yarn for knitting,” said Jonathan Sheen, whose late father Allan founded the company almost 40 years ago.
Jonathan Sheen greets customers time and time again and does his best to help everyone
“A lot of people stuck at home have chosen knitting and crochet as a new hobby. We have clients of all ages, young and old.”
The shop remained closed during the lockdown. Jonathan was working from home to make postal deliveries and customers were able to collect their supplies at a safe social distance.
Demand for sewing machines has also skyrocketed as the pandemic hit production and imports.
“It made us feel good,” said Jonathan, 47, who runs the business with his mechanic brother Darren, 49. “People who didn’t know us before come back time and time again and we do our best to help them.”
Father mechanic Allan, who worked in sewing factories, started the business from the front room of the family home with his wife Pamela in Chester Road.
“It was a big daddy dream,” Jonathan said. “He didn’t have a lot of money when he left the factory, but luckily things started to improve.
“He got bigger and bigger. He had a stall in the market and me and my brother helped him on Saturday.”
After moving to a corner store in Well Street, Allan took over their current premises in High Street.
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Jonathan Sheen says store is quickly running out of space and wants to expand
Allan sadly passed away suddenly at home in 2009 at the age of 65. Pamela, 75, retired three years ago.
“Dad was a well-known figure in the sewing machine world,” said Jonathan, who stocks all kinds of haberdashery and is a registered dealer for Janome. “He was a member of the International Sewing Machine Collectors Society and used to go to conventions with mom. He was forward thinking.
“He took risks. The old man who lived next door gave Dad our store and two other stores and he paid them over 10 years.
“We’re running out of space now. I’m going up on the roof with knitting yarn,” Jonathan said. “The pandemic has been bad for others but good for us.
“We want to expand this store.”