Address: 1602 E Republic Rd
Hours: M-F 10am-5pm; Sat 10am-2pm
B-Sew Inn began as a small vacuum cleaner shop at 504 ½ N. York St. in Muskogee OK. The store consisted of approximately 250 square feet and was established by Jim and Sharon Stewart in 1981. Lewis and Becky Godby purchased the shop in May of 1985. The store consisted of approximately $5,000.00 in inventory and no employees. In June of 1986, Lewis leased a new custom-built building with 950 square feet and added Bernina sewing machines. The store changed names from “The Vacuum Shop” to “Godby’s Sew-N-Vac Shoppe” at this time. In August of 1987, Singer was added to the line of sewing machines and the shop leased the balance of 514 N. York for a total of 1600 square feet. In July of 1988, Lewis purchased “The Sewing Machine Store” in the Farm Shopping Center, Tulsa, OK. The Tulsa store had dealerships for New Home and White. In November of 1988, Viking was added to the line of sewing machines to bring the total number of dealerships to five. With five major brands, the retail stores were now positioned to serve the customers in the Muskogee and Tulsa marketplace.
In 1992 expansion plans began. Mary Hess, the current owner of B-Sew Inn, joined the company and began working closely with management to develop a long-term strategic plan for the state of Oklahoma. A key element of the marketing plan was to reduce the number of brands offered and formulate strong relationships with key suppliers. The vision was to have the statewide dealership for only 1-3 major brands; thus offering a smaller number of great quality products to allow B-Sew Inn to focus on being more knowledgeable and better capable of providing outstanding service and education to the customer.
After meeting with the suppliers for the five brands currently being sold in the two stores, disappointment arose as no one was interested in granting exclusivity for such a large land area, even though the population is relatively small. In January 1993, the marketing proposal was presented to an aggressive leader in the sewing & home product industry, Tacony Corporation, owned and operated in St. Louis, Missouri. Tacony has been bringing outstanding products to America for over 60 years, and is the exclusive distributor of the Baby Lock brand for the United States. Tacony’s desire to create a stronger, aspiring independent retailer network gave them the fortitude to try this concept.
In 1994 B-Sew Inn elected to begin the process of discontinuing Viking and White products, and over a three year period Bernina, Singer and Elna were also eliminated. Mary Hess was now the Operations Manager for the company and involved daily with her team and customers in charting the course for the next phase of the expansion. In the spring of 1995, the business changed their name to B-Sew Inn Sewing & Software Center and embraced the mission to be “The Best Value in Sewing Machines & Service to help you (the customer) be sewing!’, and thus B-Sew Inn was established with new purpose.
Within three year of Tacony’s decision to join this adventure with the Oklahoma based retailer, B-Sew Inn was now the largest independent sewing machine retailer for Tacony Corporation & Baby Lock, USA. Customers were enjoying the great products, inspiring education and unmatched service … the results was evidence as they stayed focused on changing the way the sewing industry had operated for many years. Sewing wasn’t a chore any longer, it was a hobby; and B-Sew Inn believed all customers deserved to experience the “best value” in all aspects of their hobby.
The marketing plan continued as B-Sew Inn’s team worked together through the course of 1995 to open five lease departments in Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri. While these retail operations began inside of a fabric store, the long-term goal was to test these markets for two years and determine the potential for full-service retail stores. In March of 1997, Mary and James Hess purchased the business from the current owners with the dream of fulfilling the 5-year marketing plan for the tri-state area. By the summer of 1998, the goal was accomplished and all lease departments were now offering a full-service experience to the customers, including clubs and classes, special events, factory-trained technicians and a variety of products to make the sewing experience nothing less than excellent!
During this time, the realization of sewing being diminished in the public school curriculum created great concern for many parents, grandparents and the entire sewing industry. The art of sewing had been a life-skill since even before Betsy Ross made the flag, and the idea of this creative expression of art being eliminated was unthinkable. Responding to this realization was the development and implementation of the B-Sew Inn Education Division, known as “We Think Sew”. This division had one purpose – keep sewing alive in the public classroom! Currently “We Think Sew” operates in all three states and is instrumental in maintaining the art of sewing in over 1500 school systems.
Based on the philosophy of continually expanding and maximizing the love of sewing, the Outside Sales Division of B-Sew Inn actively participates in major shows and host several industry leading events each year. B-Sew Inn has participated in excess of 150 special events since 1998, including State Fairs, Home & Garden Shows, Sewing Technology Expos, Sewing & Quilting Retreats. Steve Wilson and John Deer, who are recognized as industry experts for well known embroidery digitizers such as Mattel, Disney and Spiderman, continue to host fun and educational events with B-Sew Inn. Likewise, world renowned celebrities, authors and TV personalities, such as Nancy Zeiman, Martha Pullen, Eleanor Burns and Eileen Roche have all delivered incredible, once-in-a-life experiences for thousands of customers who love the art of sewing, embroidery & quilting!
In 2002, Mary had the incredible opportunity to fulfill a long-standing dream in the Tulsa marketplace. Continual interaction with customers over the past 10 years, and hearing their desire to have a beautiful store with lots of space to shop, a place to meet new friends and hang out with other sewing enthusiasts was the foundation for the soon to be 16,000 square feet sewing store in the Farm Shopping Center. This facility would operate as one of largest sewing stores in the United States; it would host the largest retail showroom for unmatched brands such as Baby Lock, USA and Koala Cabinets, a centralized service center, plus a fully equipment Technology Training Center to provide nationwide, hands-on training and education. The dream began in 2001 and came alive in August of 2002!
Watching the faces of men, women and children alike enjoy the experience in this new sewing “dream store” only created a bigger dream for the B-Sew Inn Team. Customers throughout Oklahoma, Arkansas and Missouri continually sent letters and emails requesting B-Sew Inn to open more retail stores and to expand the existing stores. With the onset of e-commerce, the fear of larger showrooms surrounded all retail businesses, and B-Sew Inn was not exempt from that fear. However, B-Sew Inn believed customers, especially those who are creative and love to sew, deserve a fun place to shop. Customers want to interact with others in an exciting atmosphere, and be inspired by beautiful displays. They long for a cheerful retail showroom with great-valued products, state-of-the-art classrooms with computers & sewing equipment, a world-class service department and best of all, a team of sewing consultants who are passionate about their love of sewing with the same enthusiasm as their customers coming through the door!
Following the pursuit of this dream, the B-Sew Inn Team opened the Fayetteville, Arkansas location in late 2004. The incredible growth of Northwest Arkansas made this area a natural part of the expansion. Over 5,800 square feet is home to the largest sewing store in the area; and is just the first phase for this thriving state. B-Sew Inn is excited to continue their expansion into Arkansas in the upcoming years and look forward to serving the talented & creative customers throughout the state.
Springfield, Missouri is the home to the retail store opened in 1998. After great response from the area, we celebrated an expansion into about 6,000 square feet in the summer of 2006. This location serves the customers in Southwest Missouri, as well as parts of Kansas and Arkansas. The love of quilting, embroidery and sewing continues to grow in this great community and B-Sew Inn is pleased to be able to serve the creative customers from all around!
With such large showrooms and classrooms in several cities, operating out of a small 2,000 square foot space was becoming quite challenging for both B-Sew Inn’s Oklahoma City team and their loyal customers. Endless years of searching for a larger location finally proved successful and in March 2007 Oklahoma City’s largest retail showroom of almost 10,000 square feet was opened. Nancy Zeiman was the special guest at grand opening in August, and it was incredibly rewarding to watch her share her passion of sewing and landscape quilting with hundreds of men and women from all over the southern region of the United States.
B-Sew Inn still enjoys the small town of Muskogee, Oklahoma and the wonderful customers who supported their beginning in the retail world in 1981. The very first customer to purchase a sewing machine from B-Sew Inn (at the time Godby’s Sew & Vac) still frequents our Muskogee location, and we are honored to still be serving her love of sewing! The once 250 square foot store is now over 6,000 square feet of retail space and classrooms.