Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Sometimes you have to walk away... Sometimes you need help... Sometimes you have to know what questions to ask before you can find the answers...

Glorious woolens - I'll show you where! (Or you may already know...)

This post was inspired by a recent private tour I did with a client.  I love to help people navigate and shop the garment district, and often help to teach them the garment district culture, so they know how to operate to get what they need.  Since the readers of this blog are both shoppers and proprietors of businesses in the district, I cannot share some some of the specifics with you here (I'd have to whisper... and you're not within earshot), but here is some food for thought. Some of you know many of these answers already, and believe me, it would be nothing but helpful for you to comment publicly below if you are so inclined... but I will also comment when I feel an answer is specifically incorrect and/or incomplete.

So... let's say...

You've found a great fabric for your project.  You need 3 and 1/2 yards of it.  When the sales assistant unrolls the fabric, you see that there are three full yards, and a 3/4 yard piece of it, perhaps with a jagged swatch cut from one corner.  Do you buy it anyway?  How much of it do you buy? What should the vendor offer you (if anything) as an incentive for you to buy it?  What factors do you need to consider?  What question(s) should you ask?

You see a fabric you love, and you are thinking of buying it.  You ask for the price.  The vendor asks how much you want to buy.  What is your answer?

You see a fabric you want to buy.  You ask for the price.  The vendor hesitates, and then gives a number.  What question do you ask next?  How would you get a sense if the price quoted is fair?

You are thinking of starting a line, or producing something in significant quantity.  You want to find the right vendors for your supplies.  Where should you start?  Do you go to your favorite fabric store? Do you go to the Fashion Kiosk? Why, or why not?

You want a reversible invisible zipper.  Does it exist?
You want a two way invisible zipper.  Does that exist?
You need bra cups for an evening gown.  You are between a C and a D cup.  Do you buy the cup that may be a bit too large, or a bit too small?  Why?

You need buttonholes made.  How do you mark them?  Is there a correct method to get the results you need?  What are your options?

Where can I get handbag hardware?  Once I get it, will I be able to actually make a bag on my own?

Why aren't the answers to these questions listed above?

This marks 31 years that I've been shopping in the district  - and yes, I've been sewing and shopping here since I was a child (not joking), and I've learned a great deal.  It is my goal to help you learn a great deal, too! Click here to book a private tour, get a map, or or come on a Speakeasy, and I'll help you learn what you need to know!


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At June 24, 2014 at 7:41 PM , Blogger annie said...

I'd like to say that I won't buy anything from a vendor who hasn't posted the price of an item. It makes me wonder if the price is different for different buyers. As far as the extra 1/4 yard with the cut section, many vendors just toss that into the purchase. I've even heard a salesperson comment that some mystery person cut themselves a sample without asking and that accounts for many "jagged edges."

At June 25, 2014 at 7:19 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

Yes - there are quite a few vendors who don't post prices, although for some, it is clearly a time/inventory issue. The price may very well be different for different buyers, and frequently is! As for the extra yardage question, I disagree with your deal. The small remnant piece is useless to the vendor if you buy the rest, and, you aren't even getting what you are paying for, which is UNINTERRUPTED yardage. You may have to adjust your layout or create an unplanned seam, so you may need it all to accommodate the interruption. The vendor should be willing to charge you for the whole piece only, and throw in the extra, because it is otherwise valueless.

At June 25, 2014 at 7:47 AM , Blogger Beckie said...

If, after I request my yardage, I see there is a yard or less left, I will always say I'll take what's left. Sometimes I get a deal, sometimes I don't.

At June 25, 2014 at 11:44 AM , Blogger mimi jackson said...

My opinion - depending on the price/uniqueness of the yardage, the vendor should generally throw in what's left (when a yard or less, if they don't sell remnants), whether free or at a discount, as your incentive to take it. If you don't mind being charged for it, by all means, offer to do so! Just know that you don't have to.


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