Owners of Embroidery FX have opened a new business, called Ready Set Sew, where customers buy sewing machines, have them serviced and take classes.

“[We have an] open-door policy,” co-owner Steve Coakley said. “Come sit down, see if you like it.”

Melanie Coakley and her husband Steve Coakley have been in the embroidery business in Chattanooga for more than 24 years.


Embroidery FX is a commercial embroidery business, which was formerly Signature Designs.

At their new location, which is in the same building as Embroidery FX, the couple will be offering classes in quilting, serging and embroidery, as well as a full line of threads and access to all brands of sewing machines.

Some media outlets across the country and internationally have reported that sewing has made a resurgence in recent years, especially with young people.

But the Coakleys said that interest has never really waned.

“Melanie says it’s never gone away,” Steve said, adding that maybe some people who have been laid off or retired have picked it up again.

“It’s never going to go away,” he said. “It’s always in people’s hearts.”

The duo is going to be offering classes for all skill levels and is considering doing an all-male class.

Store spokesman Kendall Kaylor said that Melanie is somewhat of a rock star in the embroidery world.

“With a degree in clothing and textiles and a lifetime of experience in sewing, quilting and embroidery, Melanie enjoys celebrity status in the embroidery industry and is a frequent speaker, consultant and instructor at many stores, events and trade shows across the country,” he said in a news release. “She is a featured writer in numerous industry publications and has recently been honored in the top 20 women of distinction in the commercial embroidery industry by Stitches magazine.”

The new store, located at 3444 Ringgold Road, is open for business, but the owners are planning a grand opening for the fall.

“We hope everyone interested in sewing, quilting, serging and embroidery will visit our new location and check out all that we have to offer,” Melanie said in a prepared statement. “Our focus is on each and every customer having a wonderful experience in our store while getting the expert knowledge they want.”