By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Sewing machine needles started zipping into action when Melburnians were ordered onto Covid-protective masks.
The hot trend hasn’t escaped 74-year-old Kevin Appleton and wife Janiab Appleton, whose Noble Park business Maxisew Data EZY is doing a roaring trade in sewing-machine repairs.
Both have adapted to the times. She is making her line of handmade masks, and he making keenly-sought elastics.
Mr Appleton’s elastic-making machine didn’t stop as he spoke with Star Journal.
“They’re all coming out of the woodwork now,” he said of the parade of new customers who’ve turned to mask-making.
“They all want their machines fixed to make masks – and I get them for elastics on the way out.”
Mr Appleton has been selling sewing machines for 55 years.
He last appeared in the Journal 25 years ago when he ran a sewing-machine outlet at the corner of Warrigal and Centre roads.
These days, his main activity is repairs for all brands of machines.
“It’s because I’ve got the parts and I can source them,” he said – referring to his unique and self-built database of about 32,000 parts.
“I usually know what’s going on with the machines before they come in the door.”