I called James a friend of a friend Thursday morning. It was my first full day in LA, and I wanted to look at machines. Fortunately for me he was willing to come pick me up. After getting in the car we began the process of, “Hey, I don’t know you, but we have to be in close proximity for a long period of time, so lets talk.”.
After decent conversation we arrived at a white dirty building with bars on the windows. At this time I would like to tell you where we were, but I had no idea. The area did not look too dangerous we parked behind the storeish building and got out. Entering the building I noticed a pretty Asian women at the counter and what I assume to be her husband wiping his hands on a rag. We made introductions and he quickly pointed out his off-the-arm machines, but then went back to work.
A grocery store type layout the building was completely open with machines all shoved to the back wall 3-4 machines deep. To my left I noticed more machines (mostly single needle straight sewing machines) behind a waist high wall. James talked about the two machines the other man had pointed out. One was a union special (which is now the company Juki) and a machine of which the brand I had never heard of. I looked at the stitches of both, the union special is supposed to be the better of the two at least to my knowledge. Staying true to it’s name the Union Special had better stitches, although the tension may of just needed to be adjusted on the other.
I asked about changing my cover stitch machine so that it had a cover stitch on the top and bottom. I asked for the parts and they said $80, for what they called a Japanese copy. I knew my friend back in PA could get me a better deal. I was just testing the waters to see how their prices compared.
Apparently the way the system worked was, James found the customers and this guys had the machines. James told me that you could not really trust anyone in this business anymore there was a lot of deals that were made behind peoples backs. I could tell that kept me in wary regard the entire time. He talked to me about the machines more and I told him that I needed time to decide.
On the way home we talked about thread. I had been searching for some in Michigan, but the only way I could buy it was in a much larger quantity then I wanted. I was hoping James knew someone who could get me the thread at a smaller amount, even if it were more expensive at least it would not be sitting around. He had some good ideas and he said he would look into it. I also asked about the hot press machine (not sure of the exact name). Which finishes seams with out any stitches just a thin plastic like strip (I am sure you have seen it on a tent or rain coats). He is also working on that too.
I had then asked about fabrics which sparked an idea to take me to the wholesale district of LA. James explained that this is where they have whole sale fabric and goods. We got on the I-10 onto San Pedro street. James told me that it started on Pico and San Pedro and not to go to far off the main drag, because it was dangerous. I learned from James that the best time to come is form 10am-11am Saturday morning, because that is when the most stores would be open and the most people. He also told me people=safety and don’t go there after 6:00pm.
I briefly saw China town and the Disney concert hall . After that he took me back to the freeway and I bought him lunch as a thank you. We agreed to keep in touch while I was in town and parted company.
-Life, I am so excited!
WO: 9miles, 4 strides
Conditions: warm, hills