Via Big Fat Blog, I just learned about Oak Park alteration shop Sew Particular‘s “Help Me Stay in Business Sale.” Sew Particular is owned by a 56-year-old African-American woman, Vivian Colette, whose specialty is plus-size alterations. She also runs a fat chick consignment shop, Sew You — why the hell didn’t I know about that? (South Oak Park is a loooong haul from where I live, but I totally would have made the trip at least once before.) Paul says his wife went there to have a dress altered last year, and Colette was awesome.
Unfortunately, she’s one of the many small business owners who’s suffering in this economy, hence her decision to put a sign in the window announcing the “Help Me Stay in Business Sale.” Colette owes a “substantial” amount of back rent — and though her landlord is, refreshingly, being pretty cool about it, she’s going to have to fold soon if she can’t make the money. Says Colette, “I’m not a quitter. I try to roll with the punches, but it has been just below the belt, and I’m trying to hold on.”
The store is her only source of income, and she says going back to a home-based business — which is how she started — would make her services inaccessible to customers with disabilities, among other reasons why it would suck.
I’ll be out of town this weekend, but I’m going to plan on making a trip to Oak Park to check out the consignment shop and maybe drop off some stuff to be altered next week. If any other Chicagoland Shapelings can do the same, I’d love to see that.