One of the benefits of running this Garment District web site is getting to meet and know the store owners and managers. Shop here regularly here and you will find "pockets of small-town warmth in a large city that can leave you feeling anonymous" (Dominique Browning). But last week I met Mr. Garment District Weenie and I'm still steamed about my encounter.
When I do a store review I always ask permission to take photos, and I like to do an interview as well. This puts my college journalism degree to actual use. I explain what Shop the Garment District is all about—how it's a service to home sewers, fashion students and budding designers, how stores benefit from the publicity, yada yada. All very up front.
Last week I went to Grayline Linen on W. 39th Street, a store that several readers have mentioned but one that I haven't reviewed yet. Introduced myself to the manager, gave him my card, was in the middle of explaining how Shop the Garment District is a free service that's helpful to both consumers and retail stores...when he abruptly said no and walked away. My jaw dropped open and I said "But no one has ever said no before!" to his back. To which he turned around and icily replied, "We aren't like anyone else." Clearly not, because the other store managers I've met are decent people.
I was and still am baffled by his behavior. He spoke perfect English, so no language barrier, and he was young enough to know about the power of the Internet. The store was quiet and I clearly hadn't interrupted him. I wasn't trying to sell him anything. So, unless there is a change in management, please do not expect or ask me to include this store here on Shop the Garment District or on my map.
A similar unexpected snubbing happened recently to author Dominique Browning at her favorite NYC bakery. What about you, readers? Have you experienced appalling treatment at a store in the Garment District, or elsewhere? I mean beyond things like harried or ignorant salespeople or long lines. I'm talking jaw-droppingly egregious treatment. Feel free to vent here.