For that reason, every once in a while, I think it is important to take a step back to reintroduce myself and the purpose of this blog.
This blog, once owned and authored by Meg, who has since moved on to work at Mood, is now authored by me, a passionate garment district enthusiast, and fanatical professional maker of things for private clients, television, film and theatrical productions, and occasionally... for myself and loved ones.
I do not run this particular blog as anything more than a labor of love. I don't plug stores for any reason beyond just loving what they have to offer and wanting to see them succeed, and, since I am acutely aware that the district and the stores within it are constantly changing, I try to notice everything as I navigate the district, making friends, contacts, and giving praise where its due. A fierce believer in the "rising tide lifts all boats" theory, I know that the better fabric, notions and tools I can find, the better things I can make, the more customers I can attract for the businesses, and the healthier the district can be. I wouldn't kid you by saying that the vendors I know and love don't give me extra-special treatment when I come. And man, if you could see the quality of my stash now, you would just keel over...
And boy, do they treat my tour participants well, too! If you are considering a tour, know that they offer the following benefits:
A curated tour of stores you probably otherwise wouldn't know to visit.
A group of fellow sewing enthusiasts as excited as you are.
A dedicated stretch of hours to completely indulge in shopping.
Discount opportunities you otherwise wouldn't know how to obtain.
Additional info/guidance/expertise/inspiration to help you decide, articulate, and get what you need.
Makes a great gift for the fabric-lover in your life!
I have been shopping in the garment district since I was 12 years old (a mere three decades ago)... seriously... on my own... really! And I used to buy some of my notions at Woolworth on 34th Street! That actually used to be a reasonable choice for notions, and I still have tools with price tags on them to prove it!
I really miss some of the fun old stores like Art Max, La Button Boutique, Greenberg & Hammer (a more recent loss), A&G, and so on... and so on... A 1997 New York Times article on the garment district really told the story well before it came true...
Someone hand me a tissue...
But all is not lost, as there are some pretty fantastic stores out there. Now. And I'm finding them... one by one.. and noticing when they improve, too!
Because of the "speakeasy" nature of the district, due in part to the skyrocketing cost of real estate, many of the places you would love are hidden from your view. So I continue to tell you about them here. Or... if you come on one of my tours, I lead you to them in person, help you find what is fabulous, swing you some special discounts, help by giving you company with creative energy to share, and even advice and encouragement when needed.
If you are looking for something in particular, tell me. Comment. I'd love to hear it, and tell you what I know about how and where to find it!
The tours I lead are shopping tours, not sightseeing tours. There is no transportation via private vehicles or admission fees to anywhere involved. Any distance beyond 10 blocks would be navigated by subway, and I would be paying your fare, so no individual Metrocard is needed.
Speakeasy Tour Itinerary (for every date) below:
10AM - 2PM -
Shopping (Will include several very special fabric and trimming stores with a wide variety of offerings suitable for many different purposes/types of garments.)
Lunch (included in your fee)
3PM - until end of business day
Armed with your "Secret Map" and your own interest in or desire to visit the many other stores you see or have learned about, 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 the date you wish to attend, 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.
Note: If you book at least two tour people for a tour, you can choose the "Bill me later" option on PayPal, and pay no interest for 6 months.
These are the dates for all remaining Garment District Speakeasy Tours:
November 30, 2012
December 21, 2012
March 22, 2013
April 12, 2013