Chicago Shapelings: Help a Local Business

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.

11 thoughts on “Chicago Shapelings: Help a Local Business”

  1. I have at least two things I need to have altered. Plus, YAY CONSIGNMENT SHOP! I plan to head down this weekend when I’m off. Any northside ladies want to carpool, drop me an e-mail.

  2. Damn. This makes me wish I lived in or around Chicago. OTOH, I do know one or two people in the area. I’ll pass the link on and hope they can help.

  3. Ooh! I have things! To be altered! This is perfect…I’ll grab everyone I know and head down there this weekend.

  4. Oh, that’s good news, Paul, since I no longer have a car and she says in the article that parking sucks around there. I would have booked an I-GO car, but the blue line’s even better.

  5. I totally wish I lived in Chicago for this. I have so many things needing altering, and I haven’t found anyone around here who is reliable or good.

  6. Wow, yeah, this place sounds great! I usually just suck it up and don’t get alterations when I need them. Makes me think about going back to Igigi for their suiting…

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