Friday’s Vintage Boutique Tour was really a lot of fun. I knew the tourists were going to be from Ireland but I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. It ended up being three ladies on a girlfriend getaway for the weekend. One of them currently lives in Seattle, Washington, so she met the other two, who still reside in Ireland, “halfway” in NYC.
When I arrived at the pick-up location I was happy to see three ladies. I don’t mind having men on my tours (especially the Vintage Boutique Tour since there’s a pretty big selection for men in most of the boutiques) but I knew that if my customers were ladies, they were more likely to be there by choice.
I knew this was going to be a good tour because when I started the tour videos of the Soho stores, they were super-excited about what they saw and they couldn’t wait to shop.
First stop was Flying A and they started shopping immediately when they walked in the door. They were picking up items to try on in the dressing rooms, trying on accessories, etc. I was glad to have them stay at their first stop for 30 minutes because I knew that they had a true interest in what I was showing them. Sometimes when people aren’t shopping, I wonder if they aren’t liking the tour, if they were expecting something different, etc. I think the case lately for non-shoppers is simply that they enjoy browsing and they want a unique experience of the city. Also-with the suffering economy, it’s definitely understandable when people don’t want to buy. If the economy were booming, I would expect pretty much all of my customers to spend money on my tours. But in this difficult time, I (along with the boutique owners, sales associates) completely understand and expect it.
So after Flying A, we headed over to Chelsea Girl Couture where they tried on some truly amazing vintage dresses. This store never ceases to amaze me with their absolutely stunning collection. David, the store manager, is also a gem when it comes to selling vintage. He has an amazing knowledge of the business and really enhances my vintage tours both in the videos and in person. The ladies had a ball trying on several dresses each. One of the ladies made a purchase and despite a slight misunderstanding about the discount, left the store very pleased.
So following Chelsea Girl we, of course, visited their other store, Laurel Canyon Vintage. Laurel Canyon is geared toward more of a college customer, but still, they have some really great 60s and 70s apparel that can appeal to appeal to all ages. After a quick stop, the ladies decided they were ready to head to the East Village.
Once again, on the way, watching the store videos got them excited about what was coming up next (especially AuH20.) First stop was East 11th Street, as usual. They took a strong liking to Tokyo Joe’s, which is really well known for their amazing collection of designer consignment such as YSL, Prada, Fendi, Ferragamo, and Louis Vuitton, to name a few. When I saw that they were loving these consignment items, I knew that they would absolutely love Tokio 7. So I let them know in advance about it so they didn’t spend all their money in one place. Again, that’s one great thing about a small group. I can actually cater to their preferences.
We made a quick stop at O Mistress Mine since they loved the video of it and I spoke so highly of the owner, Wanda. They didn’t make any purchases here but were still highly impressed with the collection. I knew they had their heart set on the designer consignment so I suggested we head to Tokio 7 next and they strongly agreed.
We stopped along the way on East 9th Street at Mudd Coffee for a bathroom break and a pick-me-up. Mudd Coffee is amazing at giving a late afternoon boost. The Irish ladies even said so themselves.
When we arrived at Tokio 7, I waited outside with their coffees (it was a beautiful day) while they browsed around consignment “heaven.” Almost 45 minutes later, they walked out with items like a beautiful Chloe handbag and an elegant pair of Chloe dress pants among several other items.
Last stop was AuH20. After seeing the video of it, they were very excited to visit Kate’s unique boutique. They tried on quite a few vintage and recycled items and made several purchases. Kate, being her sweet self, was very happy to have them. And it was great seeing her new space (she moved to the boutique next door from where she was originally.) I also had the pleasure of meeting the owner of the new boutique next door who carries some amazing handbags that are made in New York. I may end up working with her too!
After the East Village, they asked if I could drop them off on 46th Street at Bourbon Street, where their other friends were having drinks. I was happy to do it since it was just the three of them.
I think they had a lovely time. They gave me a lot of compliments and they were very curious as to how I started my business, when I came to NY, where in the city I lived, etc. So it was another success, I hope. As usual, I’ll patiently await the reviews!
For more info about my shopping tours and my upcoming web series, visit www.shop-nyctours.com. Hopefully I’ll be shopping with you soon!