Alkes grew up in Glens Falls, where her grandfather, a local tailor, expanded his business and went into dry cleaning.
“Just last week I was visiting my cousin — he is running my grandfather’s business now — and we went back into alterations and there were two sewing machines, a really old one that had been around since my grandfather was here, and a new one,” Alkes said. “I asked the seamstress which one she liked better. I knew which one she was going to say — and she did. She said she like to sew on that old machine much better.”
When Alkes first became involved in the sewing machine and vacuum cleaner business, she worked in her father’s business at night and on weekends while working a full-time job. Ben Alkes first taught his daughter to oil sewing machines. She found she had an interest in the machines and began to learn more about them.
Alkes began to immerse herself in the intricate mechanisms of vacuum cleaners and sewing machines. She finally quit her job and joined her father full-time.
In addition to the repair service, Alkes sells Eureka Vacuum cleaners and stocks accessories, bags and filters for many vacuum cleaners.