Wendy Rieves, left, and owner Brad Kleman stand
next to a display of vintage sewing machines at
Frank’s Sewing Center.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
- Words of amazement spilled from Bonnie Camp’s mouth
as she entered Frank’s Sewing Center’s new location
for the first time Friday.
She described the larger space in the Fox Run Shopping
Center on the western side of the city as
“I know they’ve worked very hard to put it
together,” Camp, of the Town of Waukesha, said. She
had shopped for many years at Frank’s Sewing
Center’s location in downtown Waukesha.
The 42-year-old business opened in its 5,000-square-foot
strip mall space Monday and so far things are going
really well, according to owner Brad Kleman.
It was previously in a 4,300-square-foot store on Main
Street. Frank’s Sewing Center was started by
Kleman’s grandfather, Frank Kruchowski. Kleman took
over in 1994.
A lot of thought and time were put into finding a new
location for Frank’s Sewing Center, Kleman said. What
he found in the Fox Run Shopping Center was adequate
parking and strong foot traffic.
“The right location is key,” Kleman said. “This
side of town is really taking off.”
Racks of thread in a rainbow of colors.
Charles Auer/Freeman Staff
Frank’s Sewing Center is now open seven days per week
and has extended hours, which has required the hiring of
three more staff members for a total of six.
“This store is really customer built,” Kleman said,
explaining that he listened to what customers wanted and
stocked the store with it.
New items include iron quilt hangers, notions, pre-cut
fabric more thread — so much thread that Frank’s
Sewing Center refers to itself as the “Thread Capital
of Wisconsin” on its Facebook page. Sewing machines
are nicely displayed in the center of the store and the
business’s collection of
antique sewing machines also remains
Store manager Wendy Rieves said staff wants to work with
customers to help them find what they need.
“When they come in to look at machines, we ask a lot
of questions and then present them with various machine
options that would meet their needs. When they purchase
a machine, we include lessons on that machine for as
long as they own the machine,” Rieves said.
Frank’s Sewing Center has a classroom and strives to
offer daily events in the fall, although fewer are held
in the summer.
One upcoming class on July 22 and Aug. 5 instructs
people on how to make a quilt out of T-shirts. Another
class is about beginning machine embroidery.
“We also feel strongly about offering classes at our
store,” Rieves said. “We built a beautiful, bright
classroom. The classes are open to anyone with any brand
She said people learn better from working with others in
a classroom setting than by watching a video.
Frank’s Sewing Center still services old and newer
sewing machine models.
So far Kleman said he has gotten a lot of feedback from
customers, including regulars like Camp.
“A lot of them are glad that we are going to be open
more hours that are accessible to them and that the
location is accessible,” he said.
A grand opening celebration will be held the weekend of
July 25 and 26.
Frank's Sewing Center
Where: 2140 W. St. Paul Ave., Suite L, Waukesha
Hours: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday;
9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday; 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and
10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday
www.frankssewingcenter.com, on Facebook or