Located off M-26 in Houghton, Bissonette’s Sew & Vac carries a complete line of sewing machines, vacuums and supplies. Additionally, Bissonette’s repairs all makes and models carried in the shop as well as other models customers may have.
“A lot of customers don’t know that we’re a repair shop as well,” Emmert said, “so I want to break some of those myths. A big part of what we do is fix and solve problems for customers. Why throw it away when it can be repaired?”
Bissonette’s carries Janome brand sewing machines and customers will find a variety of models on display in the showroom. Emmert said Janome has the highest customer satisfaction out of any brand of sewing machine they’ve ever sold.
“We’ve discontinued other brands to sell only Janome,” he said, adding that some of the machines can also be purchased at the Portage Quilt House in Houghton. “Janome is the world’s largest manufacturer. Stitch quality is their main focus before any bells and whistles.”
Bissonette’s carries three premier lines of vacuum cleaners including Miele, Riccar and Fuller Brush. The Riccar brand, Emmert said, is an American-made product and has been very popular. Miele vacuums have done very well with allergy sufferers.
A lot of times, customers will assume they’re saving money by purchasing a budget vacuum from a discount store, Emmert said. But what ends up happening, is that the vacuum doesn’t hold up and needs to be replaced too soon.
“You can get vacuums for under $200 that can last you over 15 years, and that surprises people,” he said.
Product warranties are another way customers can stretch a buck.
Emmert said that depending on the vacuum, warranties range from two to six years and cover all parts and labor.
“Since all repairs are done here, there are no send outs,” he said. “If you’re having a problem with your machine, you can just bring it in and let us deal with it.”
The sewing machines, he said, come with a 25-year limited warranty.
Bissonette’s has in stock more than 100 styles of bags and filters for all makes and models of vacuum cleaners.
“It doesn’t matter what brand you have, we’ve got a bag for just about everybody’s vacuum,” he said. “If you’re not sure, bring the vacuum in and I can help you find the right bag.”
Bissonette’s offers free estimates on vacuum and sewing machine repairs. Customers can bring them in, and Emmert will help to diagnose the problem.
“I will tell you if it’s worth fixing or if you should look at replacing it,” he said.
In addition to new products, Bissonette’s sells used vacuums and sewing machines and accepts trade- ins.
Along with sewing machines and vacuum cleaners, Bissonette’s carries a variety of air purifiers.
Air purifiers, Emmert said, clean the air by removing dust particles and odors.
“They’re helpful for people with allergies. Others, who may have pets, may want to use them to freshen up the air,” he said.
Air purifiers come in a variety of sizes — some are portable on wheels — and can be controlled by a remote or manually.
“Depending on the setting, they’re pretty quiet,” Emmert said. “They also tell you when the filter needs to be changed.”
Customers will also find that they can rent a dry carpet cleaning system at Bissonette’s. The dry carpet cleaning system is about the size of a regular vacuum cleaner, which makes transportation easy.
“It’s great for cleaning traffic areas. Because it’s dry, there’s no danger of over wetting and there are no lines left behind,” he said. “It’s great for removing anything from dried coffee stains to pet accidents.”
Emmert, who has been in business for going on 19 years, says customer feedback is how he judges the success of his business.
“I get customers that will come in and say things like, ‘I didn’t know my sewing machine could run that smooth’, or ‘I’ve never had a vacuum last as long,’” he said for example.
“When I hear how satisfied customers are with products, that’s what I like. That, to me, is success.”
Emmert is the third owner of Bissonette’s. The business first opened in Hubbell in the late 1950s, then moved to downtown Hancock. From downtown Hancock, Bissonette’s moved to west Hancock and finally Houghton, where it has been for the past four years.
Emmert says there’s a myth that small businesses and specialty stores come with a higher price tag verses what customers will find in a catalog or online. However, that’s not the case.
“I don’t want people to shop here just to help out a small business, but because I have a better deal,” he said. “We sell things well below the prices you’ll find online.”
Bissonette’s Sew & Vac is located at 47451 M-26 in Houghton. Business hours are 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. For more information, call 482-1288 or visit www.bobsmachines.com
Editor’s note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Bissonette’s Sew & Vac of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.
Bissonette’s Sew & Vac owner Bob Emmert stands beside a display of products including vacuum cleaners, sewing machines and an air purifier at his Houghton business. Bissonette’s Sew & Vac, located off M-26, also offers repair services for customers.