It all began in the early 50s, when an Irishman from Pennsylvania named Daniel Sheehan began working for the Hoover Vacuum Company as a salesman. Hoover was the biggest name in vacuums at the time and Sheehan worked his way up the ladder over many years from salesman to District Manager.
In 1954, Daniel opened Sheehan Sweepers in Washington, PA. Several years later, he was joined in the business by his son-in-law, Richard Lapham. Richard worked for Sheehan for many years until he eventually left to work for Kirby Vacuums, becoming the #1 Kirby Door to Door Salesman in the United States.
Sheehan Sweepers was sold in 1978 and a few years later, the family moved to Florida. While Daniel enjoyed his retirement and after Richard worked a few odd jobs here and there, eventually Richard opened up a vacuum store in Crystal River, Florida in 1988.
When Richard’s youngest son, Scott, graduated from high school, he followed the family tradition. With the support and help of his loving mother, Colleen, Scott opened his first Citrus Sew & Vac in Inverness, Florida in 1990. He soon added stores in Ocala and Belleview. However, his hard work and dreams of this being his lifetime career almost came to an abrupt end.
On the night of September 9, 2011, the Ocala store was destroyed by an electrical fire. Scott’s first thought was that he would have to start over with a new career, joking that he could always go work at the hardware store. But, being the stubborn, red-headed grandson of Daniel Sheehan, he refused to let this one thing ruin everything he had been working for and he immediately began making plans to succeed even in the midst of such a disaster.
The very next day, Scott set up a small tow-trailer and tents in the parking lot of his burned store and continued doing business as usual, selling high-end vacuums and sewing machines to his loyal customers, as well as servicing their older machines. One month later, he was issued a city permit to bring in a temporary modular building, where he operated the business while the store was being rebuilt.
In 2018, Scott moved the Belleview store to The Villages. He then turned his attention to Utah, where the girl he would later marry lived. They spoke often of opening a store in St. George, so when the subject came up again in August 2020 during a vacation to Aruba, Scott and his now wife, Michelle, decided to go for it.
Citrus Sew & Vac of St George opened its doors on October 1, 2020. Scott and Michelle are exclusive dealers of Janome and Elna Sewing Machines; Sebo and Riccar Vacuums, and Horn of America Sewing Cabinets. Citrus Sew & Vac is now the 5th largest Janome Dealer in the US and has been in the Top 10 Dealers for over 10 years. In addition to the stores, Michelle also owns Travel Adventures by Michelle and organizes and manages quilting cruises and retreats.
When they aren't working, Scott and Michelle enjoy time with their combined 6 children and 4 grandchildren. They are huge Florida Gator and Pittsburgh Steeler fans, as well as followers of the Nascar racing circuit. They even have a dog named Gator, of course. They love to travel, quilt, watch football and Nascar, and hang out in the pool with the kids (and the dog).
“Customer Service is very important to us. We want our customers to feel that even after they have purchased from us, that we are still for them with any questions or needs they may have. Our customers become part of our family. We wouldn’t be here without them.”
Come by and visit us in the store and see our selection of beautiful sewing and embroidery machines, sewing cabinets and amazing vacuums, including Central Vacuum Systems. And don’t forget, we service all makes and models of vacuums and sewing machines.