. In the 1940's Ray was a machinist, learning his trade two years before World War II and using it while in the Navy. When he and his wife Deon moved to Santa Clara, he resumed his job as a machinist. An entrepreneur at heart, Ray then produced a job for himself painting corn catches on ice machines and sewing machines. Next, he began buying old sewing machines which he eventually rented for $1.00 a week. Business was so good that Ray and Deon went into the sewing machine business full-time. By March of 1947, the business grew so large they rented a building on Park Avenue for $150 a month, selling Pfaffs, Berninas and renting industrial machines to the Japanese farmers to make covers for their greenhouses. Deon, Ray's wife, was a college graduate majoring in home economics. Her role in the business was bookkeeping, classes, covering buttons and belt buckles. She was the brains behind the business. But her favorite job besides being a wife and mother was making button-holes. This she did for over 30 years. In the late 40's Ray and Deon had a daughter, Ann, and in the mid-50's a son whom they named Ken. Ken started working in the business at the age of four, and his abilities grew quickly. He eventually went to Steckborn Switzerland to learn sales and service on Bernina sewing machines and later taught at the Bernina University.
In 2001, Ray was inducted into the National Sewing Hall Of Fame and continues to be the top single store distributor of Janome sewing machines in the United States. Ray was very proud to see his son, Ken, enter the Hall of Fame as well in 2004. In 2008 Ray passed away. He was surround by family on the same property that he and Deon had their home and started Rays. Upon his passing his son Ken Gresham took over as the owner of Ray's. Managing the businesses and it's everyday operation. Ken has his work cut out for him at Ray's, it's a challenge but with hard working people, it will continue to be successful. Ken continues to expand and share his knowledge of the sewing industry that was passed down to him by his parents.
Ray's is proud to be one of the leading Janome dealers in the world. Partnering with some of the top sewing educators around the globe, Ray's frequently offers classes and specialized training in digitizing, embroidery, and quilting, as well as some of the largest sewing and embroidery retreats and cruises offered by any independent dealer in the industry!
Our business goal has always been to provide the best products on the market, at the best possible price, without compromising service and personal attention. Over the last 70 years, many of our customers have become adopted family members, and some have even become employees.
We truly love and value all of our customers and are very grateful for your continued patronage for the last 70 years!
You have helped to keep Ray & Deons dream alive!