Monday, October 8, 2012

Overheard in the Garment District...

Many fashion companies, new designers, students and startups send out scrambling groups of interns in the garment district to find, source and buy a wide variety of fabrics, notions and other supplies.  In my experience, lately, there is a fairly significant (and growing) customer service problem in the district.

Just recently, in a notions store I frequent, one nervous, young intern, obviously pressed from time, scrambled up to the counter, gripping a zipper in her hands, breathlessly exclaiming, "I was told to get a red, non-separating, invisible zipper... Is this right?" The cashier smiled, and repeated back to her in heavily- accented English, "Non-separating, Non-invisible.  We have...", and motioned at the intern to hand over the zipper, so she could ring it up.  She wasn't even looking at the zipper. Maybe the answer was yes, but it was pretty clear she didn't care to actually look, or even indicate to the intern how she might identify such a zipper. I didn't have the heart to look at what the intern was buying, because I didn't know how else to handle it but to violently snatch the zipper from the cashier's hands, and guide the intern to where she needed to be, and show her what the identifying features were.  Okay, so let's say that isn't their job, but really, can't we just care a little bit?  The store wasn't even crowded. Sigh...

One of the things my Shop the Garment District Tour has inspired, and frankly, it has become a bit of a mission for me... is to encourage sewers not seek advice from some of the employees of some of the businesses where they shop.  Some of them are very interested in what you buy and how you will use it, and some... and, folks, I really completely understand why.... will tell you whatever results in you adding money to their cash register.  Questions like "Is this difficult to sew?" or "Is this fabric double-faced?" or "Is this washable?" have clear answers, and will probably govern your buying decision and/or yardage requirements.  Additional bits of advice, like "This fabric is a directional print" or "This fabric has a nap" or "This fabric is narrower than most" matters  a great deal, and will help you make the yardage decisions you need to make.

The second tour I am leading is fast approaching, and I would love to see you on November 2.  The trip is a definite "go", and you will benefit from being led to some beautiful fabric and notions shops and my great relationships with business owners who CARE.

Itinerary below:

10AM - 2PM - Shopping (Will include several very special fabric stores with a wide variety of offerings suitable for many different purposes/types of garments.)

2PM-3PM - Lunch (included in your fee)

3PM - 5PM armed with your "Secret Map", you may visit more garment district stores if you wish, and give unique codes (that you'll get from me) to vendors who will give special assistance/discounts.

The cost of this guided, efficient tour is $75 per person. If you use this trip to shop and participate in what NYC has to offer, you will save at least as much as you are paying, and probably far more.

Wanna come?  Click below, send payment, and the details on meeting time/place will be provided. From outta town? If you need hotel and/or travel help, I will advise some of the BEST NYC secrets I know! Also, you can click on hotels above (this page - to your right) for the most standard and convenient choices. Payment is only accepted via PayPal (you do not need a Paypal account), credit or debit card. No cash, personal checks, or additional payments will be accepted on the day of the tour. The trip will involve a good amount of walking, so come prepared, and healthy.