Who, other than Mr. Singer himself might have imagined the innovations to come in sewing machine technology back in 1850 when he invented the sewing machine? If you’ve not checked out the built-in features in today’s sewing, serging and embroidery machines you’ll be totally amazed at how easy sewing can be.
This past week my husband Rob and I had the opportunity to travel to St. Louis, Missouri to visit the Tacony Achievement Center and the Tacony’s head office and warehouse. That’s where Baby Lock headquarters is located.
Our train trip
We decided, rather than drive or fly, we’d catch the train from nearby Port Huron, Michigan. It’s a full day’s train ride with a layover at Union Station in Chicago. Along the way we passed by small communities and then entered the area around Lake Michigan known as the Rust Belt.
I could see why it got this name as we zoomed past on Amtrak. The approach to Union Station in Chicago gives a view of the river and canals, as well as a view of the Chicago skyline.
We wondered if Union Station itself would be confusing but it’s quite easy to navigate. If you are thinking of a girl’s weekend away I’d suggest this leg of the trip might be a carefree way to go shopping in the windy city.
Union Station is pretty spiffy inside as well. The building was constructed between 1912 and 1925 and cost the equivalent of a billion dollars in today’s currency. That’s a lot of hogs!
On to our destination, St. Louis, Missouri
St Louis, another half day away by train, lies on the mighty Mississippi and is the home of the Cardinals baseball team. Opening day fell while we were there. The stadium is right next to the Amtrak Station.
Tacony Achievement Center
There were about 20 people in both my class and in the class that Rob attended at the Tacony Achievement Center.
As a Baby Lock dealer, these classes are free so you can learn all about the use of Baby Lock’s sewing and quilting machines as well as their sergers and embroidery machines.
Rob, who would like to take on sewing machine repairs in our shop the ABQ Sewing Studio, took classes for sewing machine repair. So, while I was sewing on the top-of-the-line Solaris sewing and embroidery machine, Rob was taking one apart and putting it back together again in the next room! Yikes for him, lucky me!
I also had the opportunity to work with the new 8 thread Triumph Serger. It is an all-in-one serger doing cover stitch and chain stitch as well as all of the usual serger stitches.
We spent our 5 days in class working on various techniques using the three machines making a sampler. Back and front were covered with areas using various techniques from the top-of-the-line Solars sewing machine and the Triumph Serger.
One of my desk-mates, Rian, was sent to us from Tacony Head Office across the road. He’s in marketing but they wanted him to get a taste of what the retailers were learning. He turned out to be a pretty good sewist.
When one of the Valiant machines was malfunctioning I was super relieved to find that Rob had not been working on it. Whew!
It turned out the cover was just not correctly in place so it was a quick fix for the new techs who streamed into the room to fix the problem. What a bunch of keeners!
On our last day, we were given a tour of the 90,000 square foot Tacony offices and warehouse by Craig Meyer.
Inside they have all of their office and support staff as well as the warehouse, print shop, auto carousel area, marketing, design, engineering, repair teams and more. There are several other warehouses in the US as well.
With all this support they have certainly got a competitive edge. Here I am with my support staff, Nancy and Salle. It’s opening day for the Cardinals and a lot of the staff were decked out in red.
Back in Strathroy
Home again and now it’s time to put my new-found knowledge to the test! Do drop by sometime to see a great line of sewing machines and Rob is now qualified for basic cleaning and repairs if your Baby Lock needs a bit of