National Account Spotlight: Meet NorCal Sewing and Vacuum

On today’s blog, we got to sit down and interview owner Richard Montrouil from JUKI National Account shop NorCal Sewing and Vacuum in California! Learn about how NorCal came to be, and what customers like you can expect when shopping at one of their two locations.

Follow along below for the transcript version of our interview with Richard Montrouil, owner of NorCal Sewing and Vacuum Centers.

Hi, my name is Richard Montrouil and I’m the owner of NorCal sewing and vacuum Centers located in Elk Grove California and we also have a store in Visalia California

What Is The History of NorCal?

Yeah, so I grew up in the industry; my family started in the 60s about 1965 and started as Kirby salesman, went into Singer sewing machines, I came into the business in 1990 when my brother owned a few stores in Elk Grove and Sacramento, and basically I was working through college and I kind of fell in love with the family business and went off to do other things but then came back and this location here my wife and I took over in 2011, and then we got into quilting machines about 2014. So we’ve been doing it for that long.

What Can Customers Expect When Shopping At NorCal?

So when you come into our store, number one the we we treat customers grea,t we treat them like family; you come in we make you feel welcome, we take care of you, we support our customers. If you have any questions we’re always there to help. We always guarantee and warranty all our repairs so if you bring repairs in we we fix them on a timely manner and we take care of you, and then we always give free lessons, free training after purchase. So when you purchase a JUKI from us we’re gonna sit down make sure you know how to use it correctly and we’re always there for you.

Why Did NorCal Choose To Start Carrying The JUKI Brand?

We saw a lot of JUKI sewing machines started coming into our store for repair, and we had a demand; well we were new to quilting in general so we had a lot of people asking about the quilting machines, the sewing machines, and then as soon as I was at VDTA one year and I could get a hold of a JUKI representative I wanted to carry JUKI; just so we could support our local customers because there was no one in the area that took care of JUKI. So we then we were able to get parts and fix long arms and sell long arms and that’s how we did it!

What Classes Can Customers Attend At NorCal?

So we do free one-on-one classes, and then a few times during the year we have these events where you can come. If you purchase from us, it’s free classes; we do hands-on events in our store about three to four times a year teaching you ruler work, different things and then of course you always have free one-on-one support; you just have to call and set up a time and then we’ll we’ll be here for you and do a one-on-one lesson.

What Makes NorCal unique?

You know what, we’re probably the only dealer in probably all of California, at least Northern California, that will actually go to the customer’s house and fix their machines there. So that’s really unique, I don’t think too many other dealers do tha,t they don’t have the staffing. I have seven technicians and we travel all around California and Nevada and fix long arms. We also, when you purchase machines from us, we do free setup and delivery; so that’s unique too. A lot a lot of guys will charge you twelve hundred dollars to deliver a long arm we do it for free.

What Do You See For The Future Of NorCal?

You know, I have three young daughters, well not young; I have a 15 year old, a 21 year old, and a 27 year old daughter. The future of NorCal is we’re a family business and I dream and pray that someday my girls take over but we’re going to be around for a very long time and you know we’re here for you guys.

How Can Customers Contact NorCal?

We have two locations to serve California; we have our main store is Elk Grove California, it is 8705 Elk Grove Boulevard, Elk Grove, California 95624 and our telephone number there is 916-714-0904.

We also have a store in Visalia California, the address is 3340 South Mooney Boulevard, Visalia, California 93277 phone number is 559-372-7200

Our website if you want to go and look at products or email us through there is

How Can Customers Find NorCal?

Whoever wants to come, if you can’t make it to the stores in Elk Grove and Visalia to try out the JUKI quilt machines, commercial quilter here or the SAI 8 needles multi-needle, you can come and see us a few times during the year at quilt shows.Ssome of the big ones are Cal Expo in Sacramento in March, we’ll be in Roseville in August, and then in October we do the Pacific International quilt festival and you can come and try out JUKI longarms, come and meet us. So come and see us at quilt shows, come and try JUKI’s we’re ready for you!

To learn more about NorCal Sewing and Vacuum Centers, visit their website here! Thank you for joining us today in getting to know Richard Montrouil, owner of NorCal Sewing and Vacuum Centers. We hope you get a chance to visit the next time you’re in the area!

National Account Spotlight: Visit The Village Sewing Center!

On today’s blog, we flew to California and went to visit our National Account Dealer, The Village Sewing Center in Santa Rosa, and got to meet their team and learn about their shop! Follow along as we meet up with Bernadette, a team member from the Village Sewing Center.

Opened in 1969, The Village Sewing Center is a well-known community sewing and quilting shop offering creators like you the tools, fabric, machines, and support you need to start bringing your ideas to life. Located in Santa Rosa, California, you can visit their shop filled with a variety of machines, ranging from your favorite home sewing machine, like our DX series, to our JUKI long-arm quilting J-350QVP Miyabi!

Follow along below for the transcript version of our interview with Bernadette from The Village Sewing Center.

Hi, I’m Bernadette, I work at Village Sewing Center, and we are located in Santa Rosa, California at 506 Lewis Rd. We are a sewing machine store, and we also sell fabrics and notions for sewing and quilting.

What Inspired You To Join The Village Sewing Center Team?

What inspired me to start working at Village Sewing Center? Village sewing center is a very community-based shop. John, the owner, is a friend of mine, and I just love the way he is so knowledgeable about sewing machines and just this industry. It’s a great place to get together with friends, and there’s a lot of comraderies and just support from all of our customers, and a great place to collaborate and be creative.

In knowing that, it’s really fun to work here and be a part of contributing to that.

What can customers look forward to at Village Sewing Center?

When you come to Village Sewing Center, we try to welcome you when you come through the door. It can be a very busy place, so we try to acknowledge all of our customers, and if a customer has a special need, we will do our best to try to fulfill that need, and find what the customer needs.

if we can’t, we also try to offer resources that can help them out so they can have what they need.

What can customers expect when shopping at Village Sewing Center?

You can find great service! Our service department is here on site, and we got really good service people that are trained by John and very knowledgeable about all the different sewing machines. We actually sell six or seven different brands here, but we service all brands. So that is one of the things you can find.

We also try really hard to educate our customers. If they are doing anything to the machine that is putting a little extra ware and tear on it that is something that we try and educate. Also, when you buy a machine from us, we give you classes. We offer classes, we offer phone support, and also if you come in and you’re having issues threading the machine or something like that, we will take the time to go on the floor and spend a few moments with you and show you how to do that.

Because what we really want you to do, is love the machine that you have and have the machine that is the right machine for you. That’s really important to us. Also, just the support that goes along with knowing how to use your machine so that you can get the most out of it, and so you can be a part of that sewing community and love it.

What are the benefits of being a Village Sewing Venter customer?

Okay, so the benefits that we offer; not only do we take care of your machine here at the store, but we also offer classes when you buy the machine with us. You’ll get a free class with the owner John; he also provides online classes in case it’s harder for you to come in. Basically, those classes are exactly the same as what you would get in the store, just in a video format.

Great classes, very informative!

We also offer trade-up! So if you buy a machine from us, and we have a couple things that you get that are a bit unusual in that first year when you buy a machine from us. Your first cleaning will be for free, and that helps us to get a chance to kinda look at what’s going on with the machine and inform you of how you can help it last longer. The other thing we offer is if you buy a machine from us and within that first year you decide it’s not the machine for you or you want to upgrade, within that first year, you can get a trade-up.

It doesn’t have to be the same brand, you can get a different brand if you like, but we support that so that you can end up with the machine, that’s the best machine for you.

What is your favorite JUKI machine?

The JUKI machine, my favorite machine, that’s a really hard thing to do because I like JUKI machines a lot. One of my very favorites is the JUKI TL-18QVP, I love it because its kind of an in-between between a home sewing machine and a professional machine, and it comes with all kinds of extra parts, so it’s just like a great machine to have that makes your sewing a whole lot easier.

I also love the longarm machine that we have. We have a smaller one, it’s like a 5-foot, and that one is such a great one if you’re getting into longarming. It’s super easy to use and just would make; I mean, I’m not even a free-motion quilter, but it makes me want to have one!

How can a customer find Village Sewing Center?

we hope to see you soon at Village Sewing Center! If you need to get a hold of us, you can call us at (707)-544-7529. You can also find us at our website where you can also find our videos! And we are on Instagram, @VillageSewing also, and Facebook.

Thank you!

To learn more about The Village Sewing Center, visit their website here or socials down below! Thank you for joining us today in getting to know Bernadette and our National Account, The Village Sewing Center. We hope you get a chance to visit the next time you’re in the Santa Rosa area.




Industrial Account Spotlight: Meet The Fox Company

On today’s blog, we flew to North Carolina and got the chance to visit our Industrial Dealer, Fox Company in Charlotte, a shop that offers users like you industrial machine options, repairs from a certified JUKI team, and a hidden gem; their Sewing Machine Museum! Follow along as we meet up with Kevin Berzack, President of the Fox Company, and go behind the scenes.

Since its founding in 1932, The Fox Company has been specializing in machinery for the sewn-products industry and allied industries. They’re known to distribute leading international brands like JUKI and manufacture their own products! On our visit, we also discover their hidden gem, the Sewing Museum you’ll see we’re filming in today! This museum was started by Mr. Henry Berzack, father to the current president, who was a sewing machine collector that found machines from all over the world, excited to showcase designs that have long been changed.

Stay until the end to get a close-up look at some of the vintage sewing machines we saw while visiting, and watch as history changed the sewing machine we know today!

Follow along below for the transcript version of our interview with Kevin Berzack, President of the Fox Company.

My name is Kevin Berzak, I’m the president of the Fox Company. I’ve been president for about two years since the passing of my father and the company is as a family-owned entity and I’m assisted by my sister Nicole who’s the vice president.

What is the history behind the Fox Company?

Fox company traces its roots back to the 1930s where Johnny Fox was a distributor for the Eastman machine company mainly focusing in the cutting rooms. My family bought the company from him in the mid 70s, so my family started in South Africa my grandfather was the first basically importer of industrial sewing machines to South Africa and way back in the 50s I believe started a relationship with JUKI and was the first company to bring JUKI machines into South Africa and southern Africa.

That relationship we carried forward to when we emigrated to this country when we started in the 70s. We approached JUKI and asked if we could please; because we had the experience, and the comfort with JUKI, that we could be able to distribute the equipment here, and luckily we were able to and we’ve had a great relationship since then.

What can a customer find at Fox Company?

Fox company obviously sells to some products industry. Our main selling item is obviously industrial sewing machinery equipment; of which JUKI and the other Japanese brands are the vast majority of our sales, JUKI being the number one product by far. And on the spreading and cutting side we get into cutting rooms across the country, as well as carry a huge amount of spare parts.

With Fox company you’re not just getting a machine in a box, you’re getting the complete package. As I started to say, we’re going to be there in the factory with you, we’re going to see what you needs are, we’re going to present a machine, when you get the machine it’s going to be sewn off to your specifications and more than likely one of our Representatives is going to follow the installation back to the factory and make sure that the machine is working to your satisfaction.

Fox company is going to continue to be a customer focused entity. We’re putting customer service number one. We will go where the customer is and where our customers are, and try to continue to gain experience from JUKI and other manufacturers and try to represent the equipment in the best light possible.

What is the history of The Sewing Museum we’re in today?

This happens to be my father’s passion, Harry Berzak, it’s his Museum and considered probably one of the top five to ten museums of antique sewing machines in the world today, encompassing many of the early American and European brands.

Where can customers locate The Fox Company?

We are located here in headquarters in North Carolina in Charlotte. We’re also available on the web. We have an office that basically handles our cutting products; including pool cut machinery and measuring machinery and other specialized equipment in Auburn, Georgia which is just North of Atlanta, and we have our offices in San Pedro Soule and Honduras

To learn more about the Fox Company, visit their website here! Thank you for joining us today in getting to know Kevin Berzack and our Industrial Dealer, the Fox Company.

JUKI Star Spotlight: Meet Bill from BILLIAM

BILLIAM, a custom jean company based out in Greenville, South Carolina, was founded by Bill Mitchell in 2009 right out of his family’s basement. Over the years since opening, Bill’s business has flourished and has continued to thrive as fashion lovers all over the world find him. Today we’re going to take you behind the scenes of BILLIAM and their two-man show where they showcase the process of ordering your own custom jeans and the work that goes into the designs we love.

Follow along below for the transcript version of our interview with Bill Mitchell from BILLIAM

Hey guys, my name is Bill Mitchell, from BILLIAM Jeans, we are a custom jean company based in Greenville, South Carolina, and we’ve been making jeans since 2009 for people, and essentially what we do is we take your measurements, we show you different fabrics you can choose, and then we build you anything you want from scratch.

Now the process of buying a pair of jeans from us is you schedule an appointment to come into our store; you come in, and we will take your measurements, and then we’ll show you different fabrics that you can choose, and then we’ll sit down, and we’ll talk about the different style you want.

So if you wanted something that would be skinny, slim, straight, layered, baggy, whatever that is, we can kind of make those creative decisions after we get your measurements. Then it takes about a month to have us produce that pants for you. then we ship it to you, or you can come into the store and pick it up.

If you don’t live in Greenville and you can’t make it into our shop, then we can do all of this over Facetime. So you can set up a time to Facetime with us with a measuring tape, and I will walk you through the entire process as if you’re here in the store but from the comfort of your own home.

What inspired you to start sewing?

So in the seventh grade, I took a home ec class, and that was the first time I learned I could use fabric and a sewing machine to build things from scratch, and it was a really fun, powerful moment where I had built something that I was proud of.

In college, I started tailoring clothes for myself, and I realized I could start tailoring things for other people that they could be proud of. So I needed a product that I could make that I could do that with and scale, so I chose blue jeans, and the service of tailoring clothes to people or making things bespoke to solve people’s problems was a great joy for me. I’ve spent the last 15 years doing that, and it’s a very rewarding process to get to not only make things from scratch but make things that benefit other people’s lives.

What was it like opening your first shop?

So opening my first shop was a really strange experience because I had been jeans at this point in my parent’s basement for a year and a half, and it got to the point where it was strange to have people that I didn’t know coming to my parent’s house, down to their basement fitting them for jeans, and so I knew I needed to find a place that was my own.

It kind of got to the point where I knew I needed to open up a shop. I opened up that first store and it was just a really fun experience to have something that was my own and to create an atmosphere that I could custom-tailor to the experience that I wanted to give people. Now I’ve had three or four different shops over the course of 15 years, but I’ll never forget that first shop and how fun of a time it was to do that.

How has life changed as a small business owner?

Okay, so life as a small business owner is a very strange life because, in so many ways, every day looks different. So you know, for me as an artist and as a business person, I have to stay focused and really choose what I’m going to do each day. To me, really having a concrete process of how I’m going to make things, and the different machines that I’m going to use, allows me to take an order and have a good time making that order so I can actually have a successful day.

To have JUKIs in my room that are all working, and the technology is allowing me to produce this product in a way that’s very easy is a really nice process.

What is in store for BILLIAM Jeans?

So BILLIAM has always been, essentially, a service that we offer to people, and that service through making custom jeans is a very challenging thing to scale, but there’s a different technology that I’m very curious about and am investing in currently that would allow us to make it easier to make custom jeans for people without them having to come to the store.

The future of BILLIAM is adding as much technology as we can to the fitting process so that you could essentially download an app, scan yourself from home, and do everything online. You never need to come in, and it’d be a very easy thing to just have your jeans made without having too much of a stressful experience.

In a world of evolving trends, what is your most and least favorite jeans style?

Okay, so in the world of evolving trends, specifically in jeans, you’ve seen so many things. From low-rise jeans, skinny jeans, really baggy jeans, kind of like the JNCO million pockets kind of thing. For me, I’ve always really enjoyed the people of the ’70s. I really love the flair of it, I love the colors, the style, that you know you just give this sense of freedom to fashion back in the day. So, for me, I think the most fun trend to be a part of is making a flare jean. Right now, doing it custom, you can kind of put the knee at the right place to get the flare to open up at the right proportion for somebody, and that is a lot of fun to do.

I say the least fun thing for me to make would be something that is very low-rise skinny jeans, probably. That would probably be like the very Britney Spears ’90s thing, I don’t know if that’s my thing right now. But ill probably regret saying that in 5 years.

How can a customer find BILLIAM?

So the easiest way to find us and to stay updated with all the different things we love to talk about and share with you would be Instagram. BILLIAMJeans at Instagram is the best place. if you want to see photos of the work we’ve done, you can go to our website, which is, but to me, the single primary place that I like to communicate with people is through Instagram at BILLIAMJeans.

To learn more about BILLIAM visit their website or Instagram! Thank you for joining us today in getting to know Bill Mitchell and his shop BILLIAM Jeans. We hope you get a chance to visit the next time you’re in the Greenville area of South Carolina.

A Look Behind Center Street Quilts!

From her beautiful quilt projects to pattern creations that we love to try our hand at, today we’re spotlighting Kristina Brinkerhoff, owner of Center Street Quilts! If you’re a quilter who loves finding new inspiration for your future projects or a creator looking for new patterns to try your hand at, you’ll love Center Street Quilts’ shop and blog! Follow along as we cover Kristina’s journey in quilting and design patterns creating, what inspired her to become a pattern designer and how her platform grew to where it is today.

FFP Blocks

Like many of us quilters and sewists, Kristina’s journey starts right home. Surrounded by women who loved being creative, she watched them at work as they designed sewing projects and spent hours crocheting and knitting. Memories of Kristina’s childhood include playing under those big quilt frames, surrounded by tying and hand quilting around her. These little moments led to her interest in the hobby, starting with her first quilt at 13.

During a slow-moving summer, Kristina, at 13, asked her mother to help her make her first quilt. The research wasn’t as easy back then as it is today, so they went to their local quilt shops with a plan in hand! It was here she chose her first quilt fabric, a 30s reproduction fabric and a simple pinwheel block. By the end of summer, she had undergone quilting training. From learning quilt planning to cutting and sewing, she even began creating her own designs. Sewing on and off the years, Kristina was able to focus her time on the hobby regularly after getting married.

Inspired by day-to-day life, she found ideas in nature, art, books, and even tattoos! Kristina loved keeping a sketchbook on hand because of this, ready to draw down a design when the idea made its way into her mind. But, beyond the inspiration she found in life, her other hobbies encouraged her to keep designing and sewing. Crocheting, knitting, paper crafts, and drawing; were all projects that brought out the creativeness in her.

“It can be extremely liberating and ignite ideas by changing things up and working on projects that are different than normal.”

When she does sew, Kristina uses her TL-2000Qi. Purchased back in 2016, she chose this machine, not for its fancy features but because it offered power and reliability in her creative process, becoming her go-to sewing machine! With its accuracy for piecing quilt blocks and the motor strength’s ability to sew through thick seams, this machine has helped create pieces from quilts to her beautiful bags.

Center Street Quilts sewing space

When asked what recommendations she has for quilters purchasing a new machine, Kristina recommends not focusing on the features and whistles but instead on a machine with power and reliability. Below are three other features Kristina recommends for quilters and creators alike.

  • An ample throat space. (Good for quilting quilts and maneuvering bags.)
  • The ability to lower the feed dogs. (Needed for free motion quilting.)
  • The option of stopping the machine with the needle down. (Super valuable for quilting and bag making, so your project doesn’t slip as you adjust your hands.)

Whether you’re choosing your first machine or looking to upgrade, having the space to create and the power to build those quilts can be the ticket to a better sewing experience.

Kristina isn’t always sewing and quilting, though! When she’s not building a new project, you can find her designing her shop’s next pattern. What first was a challenge that involved a whirlwind of decisions, all the different ways to make a quilt block, size options, color variations, and more have now become a game of balance.

“I’ve learned to balance ease of construction with the aesthetic I’m looking for, but it still takes me plenty of samples to decide on the end product.”

Merry Little Trees Quilt

One thing Kristina loves about pattern creation, no matter the challenges the process comes with, is picking her fabric! Enjoying the opportunity to play with color schemes and choose her favorite fabric patterns, Kristina only wishes there was more time to see all the potential fabric options for quilts and bag making. Don’t we all!

With quilting and pattern creation under her belt, it was only a matter of time before Kristina began moving her hobby into a potential business. During this time, the name ‘Center Street Quilts’ was created! Based on an address from Kristina and her husband’s old family home, the Center Street home witnessed countless hours of sewing and creating to get done.

Center Street Quilts is an online pattern shop where quilters like you can find fun new patterns to try your hand at! When we spoke with Kristina about how she decided what patterns to create and sell, she focused on her love for the hobby and process.

“From the day I started Center Street Quilts, I decided if I was going to succeed as a business, I’d have to LOVE what I was doing.”

While this hasn’t always equated to the best financial decisions, she says, like a request to add products for paper crafting to her shop, the idea of loving what she’s doing has helped her be creative and stay true to herself.

One of the ways so many customers have learned about her shop is through her work on social media platforms. With over 100k followers, Kristina mentions it’s been astonishing and supportive to see how many fellow creators and quilt lovers are interested in her creations. With the quilting and sewing community growing each day, she focuses on how enjoyable it’s been having a small corner of the world where she can share her work with her followers and creators.

If you’re looking to make your own corner online, Kristina reminds us to not underestimate the power of a beautiful photo! Focusing on clear, bright photos that showcase your product well will get you farther than 10 mediocre ones, allowing your work to look its best! She also advises interacting with your community! Reach out to fellow creators, uplift, comment on others’ projects, and get involved in the community and online events. Above showcasing your work, these interactions will help you make lifelong friends in a hobby you love!

Kristina also reminds us to love what we’re doing. With the flows of social media constantly changing, it’s important to find fulfillment and joy in what you’re creating!

“If you find fulfillment and joy in what you’re creating, and that joy is the primary reason you create, then opening an online shop or starting social media pages will be a much more peaceful process.”

Fleetwood Tote Moon Garden

As for Kristina’s online shop and quilting journey, many hopes and dreams are still to be brought to life! From several bag patterns in the works to a dream of providing online courses for beginner quilters to share her knowledge, we can’t wait to see where ‘Center Street Quilts goes. From her journey in quilting to her advice for content creators, we had a great time getting to know Kristina and her shop Center Street Quilts! 

If you’ve enjoyed learning about Kristina and her journey in quilting, follow along and check out her blog, socials, and e-shop below!

Etsy shop: Shop patterns here!

Center Street Quilt’s blog with free tutorials and patterns: find here!

Instagram: follow along here!