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Know Your Sumter: Downtown tailor combines love of sewing, collectibles at Main Street shop

BY SHELBIE GOULDING shelbie@theitem.com
Posted 2/14/20

Opening the door to Melinda's Tailor shop, there is a narrow space with a straight shot back to a cozy sewing room, which store owner Melinda Martin calls the heart of the tailor shop.

"A lot of people like it when they come in," Martin said as …

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Know Your Sumter: Downtown tailor combines love of sewing, collectibles at Main Street shop

Posted

Opening the door to Melinda's Tailor shop, there is a narrow space with a straight shot back to a cozy sewing room, which store owner Melinda Martin calls the heart of the tailor shop.

"A lot of people like it when they come in," Martin said as she looked up at the shelves filled with various collectibles. "I call it my junk."

From a vintage Coca-Cola machine to antique toys, the store at 112 S. Main St. is filled with Martin's "junk," and each item has a story to tell. For example, one of Martin's first sewing machines is among the collection resting on the shelf above the clothing rack.

For more than 10 years, Melinda's Tailor Shop has been a go-to place for Sumter residents in need of all types of clothing alterations.

Since high school, Martin has been sewing things back together, and she did it so much that she decided to make a career out of it.

"I like sewing. I like taking something apart and putting it back together," Martin said.

Before the tailor shop, Martin was a stay-at-home mom tailoring in her dining room. Eventually, she needed more space as she gained more clients and moved to her garage. She then started to work as a tailor on Harvin Street and now runs the shop on Main Street.

"I also work with the stores downtown," Martin said. "They'll send them to me."

Martin said she can't put a price on something she loves doing.

"That's another reason they keep coming back," Martin said. "I'm not the highest (priced) person in town."

For more information, call (803) 775-7753.