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About Us

Our History

The Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Center name and its iconic needle in the sky have been part of the city’s history for longer than most Sacramento residents can remember. It’s probably not a stretch to say that the company has sold, or at least serviced, most of the sewing machines found in Sacramento homes. That’s why people are often surprised to learn that the third-generation company didn’t begin life under its giant needle—or the Sacramento sky.

Ernest Meissner's first Sacramento location on P Street

William Meissner's first Sacramento location on P Street


In 1930, Ernest Robert Meissner founded his industrial sewing machine business in the Los Angeles area. At the time, California’s garment industry was booming, with more than 900 manufacturers and 28,000 workers. Thanks in part to the movie industry, California fashion has always found plenty of buyers and its garment industry flourished until the lure of cheap foreign labor drew many manufacturers overseas.

While Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Center is known for its sales, education, and service to countless sewing enthusiasts, the company’s history and continued work in industrial sewing plays a big role in its success. Decades of experience keeping industrial machines in perfect order for business owners whose livelihoods depend on nonstop performance is why the company insists on representing only top-quality brands. It’s also why Meissner’s service technicians are so exceptionally good.

Bill and Myrtle Meissner at P Street

Bill and Myrtle Meissner at P Street


Keeping the garment industry humming was the company’s main focus when Ernest’s son William (Bill) came into the business. Bill moved the business to Sacramento in 1958, where the family lived upstairs from its Victorian storefront between 20th and P Streets. The industrial side of the business continued to prosper as Bill and Myrtle Meissner expanded into the home-sewing business, gaining a loyal base of customers throughout the Sacramento area.

The company extended its family tradition to the third generation when Bill and Myrtle’s son Jim took an interest at an early age. By the time Jim was 10 years old, he could be found in the downstairs shop after school, building industrial stands and learning to repair machines. Jim grew into his career as a service technician, which is another reason the company places a strong emphasis on service and repair excellence.

P Street mascot and family pet, Cooper, with a young Jim Meissner

P Street mascot and family pet, Cooper, with a young Jim Meissner

1982 – Present

When Bill Meissner retired in 1982, Jim took over the family business, moved the company to its current headquarters at Business 80 and El Camino Avenue, and erected the giant needle and thread. Today the company’s needle in the sky serves as a Sacramento landmark and a testament to the Meissner family’s more than 85 years in the sewing business.

Why Meissner

Vintage Meissner Ad

We strongly believe that selling products proven to be leaders in our industry and delivering exceptional, one-to-one service ensures that you’ll enjoy working with us for many years.

Family-owned and operated since 1930, Meissner Sewing is the largest sewing machine company in Northern California, offering the best selection of the industry’s top brands. But that’s just the beginning of what sets us apart. We also bring you:

  • Our low-price guarantee. We won’t be undersold. If you find a better price on a product we sell, give us the opportunity to earn your business by meeting or beating that price.
  • An unbeatable selection. Visit the 20,000-square-foot Sacramento superstore to see hundreds of home sewing machines, sergers, embroidery machines, industrial machines, long-arm quilters, garment printers, and multi-needle embroidery machines. You will also find a large selection of the top-name vacuum cleaners.
  • The chance to test and compare machines. You wouldn’t buy a car without test driving it first, and we don’t think you should invest in a sewing machine or vacuum cleaner before trying it and comparing it side-by-side to other machines.
  • The best service and repair department. Our full-time technicians receive continuous training to ensure that they are the best in the business. With combined experience of more than 140 years, our factory-trained technicians eliminate the worry of owning a sewing machine.
  • Friendly, knowledgeable staff. We hire carefully and invest in our people by providing them with ongoing training so that they’re well-versed in the latest technology. They also share your passion for sewing. Some sew garments, some quilt, some embroider, but they all understand your desires and the challenges you may face. They’re here to offer tips and friendly advice for your next sewing adventure.
  • Free Classes. When you purchase a machine from Meissner’s, we want to make sure you take advantage of everything it has to offer, so we provide our New Machine Owner’s Class Series. Our professional instructors will guide you through every feature of your new machine, and you’ll leave with an organized set of samples and instructions specific to your machine, providing a valuable resource you can turn to for years to come.
  • The very best brands. After more than 85 years in the sewing industry, we know who makes the best, most reliable products. We also apply our same high standards to the brands of vacuums we carry. We only buy quality products so that you can, too.
  • Exciting selection of fabrics, notions and accessories. If there’s a special thread, needle or machine accessory you need for a project, you can be sure we have it on hand. Our wide selection of notions and fabric also makes our stores a fun place to come for endless inspiration.
  • Fully-stocked parts department. Our in-house parts department maintains a large inventory of parts in stock, dramatically reducing your wait time for most repairs.
  • Unlimited support. When you buy a machine from us, we’ll provide you with lifetime support for your machine. In addition to the New Machine Owner’s Class Series, where you will learn to use your new machine, we’re here when you have questions or need advice. Come in, call, or email us anytime you need support.
  • Meissner Complete Protection Warranty Plan. We offer an optional warranty plan to protect your investment and ensure your sewing machine remains in top working condition. Our coverage includes bumper-to-bumper protection on your new machine for three years, unlimited tune-ups, and 100% guaranteed trade-in value toward an upgrade purchase for one year.
  • Our commitment to education and events. We take pride and pleasure in bringing you a wide selection of courses, monthly clubs and classes, and a great selection of exciting events. We host the biggest names in the industry—including Walter Floriani, Anita Goodesign, Hope Yoder and many other well-known educators. Our 4,000-square-foot Training & Event Center is equipped with big screen televisions, which makes it easy to follow along with our celebrity instructors. Our constantly evolving catalog of classes and events also provides you with opportunities to make new friends who share your love of sewing.
  • Business-grade machines. If you’re looking for the right machine for your business, we offer a wide selection from the best names in long-arm quilting machines, industrial sewing machines, parts, and accessories. Commercial Embroidery Systems is a division of Meissner Sewing & Vacuum Centers— located within our Sacramento superstore—that offers commercial embroidery machines and supplies.

The service and support we offer come together to make your sewing adventures fun and hassle free. Visit any of our four stores located in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville and Santa Rosa.