Tuesday, April 2, 2013

The scoop on the March 22 Speakeasy...

The blogosphere is full of "sneak peeks", "secrets", and "pssst... Look over here! Just for you" etc...

That approach has grown tiresome for me.  While I do a "Speakeasy" tour, for me the "pssst" factor is not a gimmick.  One thing about the garment district in general, is that the stores are constantly rotating inventory.  New things to see, new shipments of fabrics, new suppliers, vendors' fabulous scores on overseas buying trips, and new fabrics and notions to delight and excite you.

I do the research first, find out which stores have the fun offerings of the moment, see who is a good match within the mixture for each speakeasy trip, and avoid the obvious, most popular spots you can easily find on your own.

At the end of our time together, with hours left in the shopping day, I set you free with your own Speakeasy map, mentioning new finds, exciting finds, hard-to-finds, and more.

Every trip usually offers at least one or two celebrity sightings...  The most recent one offered a chance encounter with a sewing celebrity who stopped to chat, and a Project Runway contestant, shopping in one of our Speakeasy stops...

After lots of time spent scouting before the tour, I grabbed a couple of energetic folks to join me in an extra stop, that didn't fit within our pre-lunch timeframe... and oops, a bit of my own shopping.  I picked up a length of soft cotton fabric I couldn't resist.

Participants on the tours are free to take and share photos, as long as participants agree, but I am notoriously absorbed and averse to experiencing something this fun through a camera lens, so instead, I am extremely present for the tours, and deliriously happy doing them as a result. I hate seeing myself in "candids"... I am neither a supermodel, nor an everywoman, so I feel that I always stick out a bit in photos, and frankly, it weirds me out.

If you are a person for whom designer names often inspire shoulder shrugs, and you know what it is to dance to the beat of your own drummer, I already know you.  On the tour, we look at fabric that can be categorized as fancy, casual, textural, washable, etc.  All the stuff you care about...

While all are welcome, This recent tour had a wonderful blend of people creative and confident enough to just open themselves to what is fabulous, bringing their own ideas, plans, dreams, and patterns along for advice and consideration.

We topped off our visit to six fabric stores and one notions store with a great NYC prix fixe lunch (prepaid in the Speakeasy fee), and our fun Australian in the bunch got to try a knish! Offerings for any common dietary concerns (gluten free, vegetarian, etc.) are on the menu, with no extra charge.

After the tour, I shared my growing secret speakeasy list... which is not of value if you don't come, and have a conversation regarding the things that interest you specifically, since I suspect it would just become an endless list for you otherwise...

I do try to make money by doing the tour, since it is meant to be a profitable thing after all.  But I confess... after all was said and done on this one, did I spend as much as I earned?  Yes...

Scowling... And it was worth every *bleepin* dime.

So, where did we go?  I'll tell you soon (after the next tour), since some are doing such exciting things, we may need to visit them on the next one, too!

The next Speakeasy is April 12.  No others are planned right now, but I will add future dates soon, as my schedule permits.

Note: I will be adding a May 24, 2013 speakeasy date shortly.  Memorial Day weekend, FYI.


  1. I am soooo looking forward to a speakeasy tour in the future! We have a few more semesters of college tuition to pay, then I'm headed that way with an empty suitcase!

    1. And I sincerely look forward to meeting you when you do!

    2. It's a great experience, Nancy. You won't be disappointed!


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