25 years on Main Street
Downtown Waupaca shop offers sewing classes
By Robert Cloud
Bonita Welsch has owned and operated Sew n’ Sew in Waupaca for 25 years.
The business is currently located at 112 S. Main St., where she moved it on March 1, 2001.
“I started sewing as a young child,” Welsch said.
Before she opened the store, Welsch was teaching sewing and serger classes at various locations and other shops in Waupaca and in Appleton.
Welsch said she applied to be a sewing instructor with Husqvarna Viking, but the position required that she move to Cleveland, Ohio, and she did not want to move away from family.
“When I turned that down, they offered me the Husqvarna Viking dealership in Waupaca.
Husqvarna Viking is a Swedish manufacturer that transitioned from making arms to producing sewing machines in 1872.
Today, the company makes high-end, computerized sewing and embroidering machines that are sold worldwide.
“We’ve been in the top 15 dealers in the U.S. for Husqverna Viking,” Welsch said.
She attributes some of her store’s success to the sewing classes.
“We have unlimited owners classes with the purchase of any of our machines,” Welsch said. “We do classes on all aspects of sewing.
Currently, machine embroidery is among Sew n’ Sew’s most popular classes.
Sew n’ Sew also offers classes on quilting, garment construction and heirloom sewing.
Welsch became a licensed Martha Pullen heirloom instructor in 2003.
The majority of Sew n’ Sew’s clients are women ages 50-80.
However, Welsch said, “We’re starting to get a lot of young people now.”
She noted that as the pandemic kept people home, there was a resurgence in people doing sewing projects.
“I have some really long-term customers who have been with me since the beginning, and I’m meeting new people on a weekly basis,” Weslch said.
While sewing machines constitute the bulk of the shop’s sales, Sew n’ Sew also offers a variety of fabrics, patterns and books.
“We also have a service technician on site,” Welsch said.
In addition to her Waupaca store, Welsch has a Sew n’ Sew shop in Appleton.