Fenton Sew & Vac

Homemade face masks a boon for Fenton Sew & Vac

Fenton Sew & Vac has been in business 47 years and co-owner Ray York plans to be in business for many more.

“We’ve been fortunate enough to be in a business that has been an essential business,” he said of the closure of some businesses this spring.

The store is at 25 Gravois Bluffs Plaza Drive in the Gravois Bluffs Shopping Center.

Around March, York said the demand for sewing machines and quality fabric spiked.

“That first week of April, I’d say 80 percent or 90 percent of machines that we sold were to people who were buying the machines to make masks,” he said. “We sell high-quality high-thread-count, 100 percent cotton quilting fabric. That is the preferred fabric if you’re going to make face masks.”

Fenton Sew & Vac mainly sells sewing machines and vacuum cleaners, but it also repairs them and sells parts. York, who owns the business with his wife, Dorothy, said the business also sells quilting fabric and janitorial supplies.

He said it’s been tough keeping sewing machines in stock. “There’s a whole lot of demand and there’s just not a lot of supply,” he said.

York said he also saw the demand for janitorial supplies increase due to health concerns over COVID-19. “No sooner did we get it in the door, it was out the door,” he said.

York said he currently has janitorial products available.

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