Willy Moss never went to med school, but he says he’s an expert who has successfully run his “practice” for decades.
He calls himself a “sewing machine doctor.”
Dr. Willy’s Sewing Machine Sales and Service is open for business every Thursday at Mill End Textiles in Crystal. He’ll give you a basic tune-up or patch up busted parts in a matter of hours.
“I do them right here in the store and they get them back in the same day,” says Moss, “unless if parts are needed or extra major work [needs to be done].”
When he’s not at the Crystal location, he’s at one of Mill End Textile’s other metro locations. He’s been working out of Mill End Textiles for 16 years. He’s been repairing sewing machines for nearly forty.
“I started when I was 17 years old when I went to work for Viking Sewing Machine Company in 1975,” says Moss, “and I’ve been in the business ever since.”
He started in Viking’s parts department and worked in the company’s warehouse before joining its service department. He became the Viking's national service manager in the early ‘80s, traveling to other states to train Viking dealers on how to repair their machines. He even relocated to Oregon for Viking before moving back to Minnesota to start Dr. Willy’s Sewing Machine Sales and Service.
Through the years Moss has taught himself how to fix newer machines that he says aren’t built as well as older machines. Older machines are made with steel parts. He says newer machines are more computerized and made of plastic parts.
“Being in the business for so long I can figure out how to get them apart, fix them and get them working,” says Moss.
He says the rising cost of fabric has caused his business to drop in the last decade. However, he still keeps a steady stream of customers. He says on average, at the Crystal location, he works on about 10 machines a day.
“It always felt like after I got home like I had a brand new machine again,” says repeat customer Timmie Andrews. “I mean, they worked so good!”
But Dr. Willy’s expertise goes beyond sewing machines. He’ll sharpen your knives and sewing scissors, too.
“It fits in with the fabric store,” says Moss. “People that sew need to cut their fabric.”
For a basic sewing machine tune-up, Moss charges fifty dollars. Sergers and electronic machines will cost you sixty dollars. Knife sharpening ranges from two to five dollars and scissors sharpening will cost about three or four dollars.
August 23, 2012