2013 Best of Manhattan Award Recipient

2013 Best of Manhattan Award

Press Release


ShopNYC Tours Receives 2013 Best of Manhattan Award

Manhattan Award Program Honors the Achievement

MANHATTAN December 11, 2013 — ShopNYC Tours has been selected for the 2013 Best of Manhattan Award in the Tours category by the Manhattan Award Program.

Each year, the Manhattan Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Manhattan area a great place to live, work and play.

Various sources of information were gathered and analyzed to choose the winners in each category. The 2013 Manhattan Award Program focuses on quality, not quantity. Winners are determined based on the information gathered both internally by the Manhattan Award Program and data provided by third parties.

About Manhattan Award Program

The Manhattan Award Program is an annual awards program honoring the achievements and accomplishments of local businesses throughout the Manhattan area. Recognition is given to those companies that have shown the ability to use their best practices and implemented programs to generate competitive advantages and long-term value.

The Manhattan Award Program was established to recognize the best of local businesses in our community. Our organization works exclusively with local business owners, trade groups, professional associations and other business advertising and marketing groups. Our mission is to recognize the small business community’s contributions to the U.S. economy.

SOURCE: Manhattan Award Program

Manhattan Award Program

Email: PublicRelations@bestofbusinessawards.org

URL: http://www.bestofbusinessawards.org

Spotted: Celebrity Sightings with ShopNYC Tours!

Check out just a few of the exciting celeb sightings that shoppers have spotted on our tours.  Just proves you don’t have to be a Gossip Girl to mingle with the elite!

Dicaprio was seen hanging with friends in the East Village clad in jeans, sneaks and a backwards baseball cap during the Vintage Boutique Tour while singer Sheryl Crow was spotted grabbing a latte at Starbucks in Soho during a Customized Mother/Daughter Shopping Tour.  Gaga, spotted during our Teen Fashion Tour, was bargain shopping at Necessary Clothing in Noho.  After all, every Lady needs to watch her pennies!

Craving Consignment

It was a private limo tour for a group of lovely ladies in their 40s. They left the husbands and kids at home and although they were searching for designer pieces, they had no intentions of paying full price. So we headed to some of the most amazing consignment shops in the city.

At first, they had mentioned shopping for vintage, but when I explained to them the difference between vintage and consignment, they decided that it was more the consignment that they were craving. Vintage, I explained, is from another era, (even though the 80s can be referred to as vintage now)…. Yeah–I don’t think Madonna and Cindy would be thrilled to hear this…nor is my mother. Consignment, on the other hand, is second-hand as well but it can be from someone’s closet just last week. In the case of New York City, many of the consignment shops contain ready-to-wear from recent fashion weeks along with red carpet recently worn by the likes of Chloe Sevigny and Sarah Jessica Parker.

Our first stop was West Soho–INA. They carry some of the most amazing consignment in the city. Their shoe collection contains names such as Lou Boutin, Choo and Blahnik–enough said. One of the women was looking for a recent Gucci handbag, but she wanted it at a consignment price. That’s the one thing about consignment that can be difficult–having one specific thing in mind. Because there is only really ONE of everything when you shop consignment. It’s very rare that you’ll find two of the same pieces.

The next stop was the street vendors for many along with a bite for lunch at Snack–a stylish Soho cafe. It was a beautiful day so they enjoyed leisurely strolling the streets.

After West Soho, it was back in the limo and time to head to the East Village. I wanted to introduce them to Buffalo Exchange. INA was a little pricey for their liking. There was a small distraction when we headed over to East 11th Street–Viniero’s Bakery–a delicious distraction. The ladies loaded up on treats to take back to the hotel for later. They have some of the most amazing pastries in the city.

Buffalo Exchange didn’t really peak their interest although some of the ladies enjoyed browsing Min K next door and Tokio Joe’s (aside from the crowded factor.) I figured we should try out Tokio 7. They carry very similar designer consignment as INA but the pricing is a little more reasonable and the clothing slightly more dated. Nonetheless, they really enjoyed it and some of them even tried on some things.

By this point, since they had decided to incorporate lunch and dessert into the tour, we only had time for one more stop. I figured that Cadillac’s Castle would be the best option. This was one of the most successful stops where almost everyone left with something including jewelry, shoes and dresses. Cad’s Castle really is a hidden gem and their prices are extremely reasonable for what you can find. All in all, it was a great tour and the ladies had an enjoyable afternoon.

If you’d like to tour some of the most amazing consignment shops in NYC, visit www.shop-nyctours.com/guidedtours for more information. We look forward to shopping with you!

Private, Customized Tour for Two Lovely Ladies

As I walked into The Plaza Hotel with my ShopNYC Tours tote, I must say that I felt a little anxious about the palace-like decor and what it conveyed. Were my customers staying here and, if so, were they going to be friendly or a bit prude? I wasn’t sure what to expect. Maybe they were just exploring and touring The Plaza and staying somewhere a little more “low-key” like The New Yorker? I quickly found out. Just as I entered, they were conveniently standing in front of me, saw my tote and we introduced ourselves.

There were 2 ladies and a gentleman who quickly explained that he wasn’t going on the tour, but rather just seeing them off. We walked out to the car and he took a photo of them getting in. Then he smiled and waved goodbye. The ladies were somewhat quiet when we first got into the car and even up until we neared the first stop.

When we arrived at East 11th Street, I think they were a little apprehensive about the neighborhood. They asked if it was more of a local area and I told them that it was but assured them that the most interesting boutiques are located in “local” neighborhoods. I wasn’t really sure what they were going to think about the boutiques on 11th Street but figured I would find out! The boutiques in this area are mostly bargain/consignment boutiques, which can turn some people off. Within a few minutes though, one of the ladies was trying on a pair of shoes in Tokyo Joe’s so I knew they were liking it!

Next up was O Mistress Mine, which they loved! One of the ladies bought a black patent-leather handbag with red, satin lining and the other almost bought one of their vintage hats. They had a great time exploring O Mistress Mine, as people usually do.

Even though they were loving the vintage and consignment, I decided to take them down to East 9th Street where they could find a nice mix of vintage and trendy fashion boutiques. It’s a beautiful block and it was a little difficult to see that since they were filming Step Up 3. But I guess they thought it was interesting that they were filming there. We visited a fairly new place that I hadn’t been in before called DejaVu, which is both a boutique and tailor service. I was extremely impressed with it. They had a beautiful collection of dresses (some made in France) that were actually pretty affordable. They also had some beautiful, unique handbags in the back.

Some other places we visited on East 9th were Local Clothing, Fialka and Meg. We were going to head to East 7th Street but were running out of time allotted for the East Village so we decided to head over to Soho.

I knew that they would absolutely love Chelsea Girl (I could tell by their reactions from the videos) and I figured that they might like Laurel Canyon as well. I was also sure to point out INA since they took a liking to some of the designer consignment in the East Village.

At Chelsea Girl, one of the ladies tried on several vintage dresses but didn’t have any luck with the sizes. At INA they did more browsing and then headed across the street to the jewelry store, Lunessa, where they made a few purchases. Last stop in Soho was Sacco and this is where they made quite a few purchases. One of the ladies fell in love with their headbands which consisted of unique feathers, flowers and bows (a la Gossip Girl) while the other found a comfortable and stylish pair of shoes.

Next up was their requested stop–Lulu Guiness. This was something they told me they wanted to do when they first booked the tour. Since Lulu Guiness is located in the West Village, I wanted to allow time for more than just one stop because I knew they would absolutely love the neighborhood.

When one of the ladies stepped into Lulu Guiness, you’d have thought she stepped into her personal heaven. She quickly scoured through every little, unique handbag with glee! They didn’t have the one that she wanted in the correct color, which was disappointing, but the disappointment quickly went away when I pointed them in the direction of the Magnolia Bakery, where they bought two cupcakes. On the way to the West Village, I had shown them the video of Darling, so they decided that in the remaining time they wanted to shop there. So we hopped in the car and headed that direction while they finished their delish cupcakes.

They really adored everything at Darling. They both ended up purchasing a lovely pair of earrings. And one of the women bought a belt as well. So the tour ended on a good note for both of them!

On the way back to The Plaza, the ladies said they had a wonderful time. They said that they thought 4 hours of shopping would be too much, but that it went by so quickly. They also commented that they would have never found the boutiques that I introduced them to if it weren’t for the planned shopping tour itinerary and transportation. I was really glad to hear it. That’s what I’m trying to provide people: a relaxing, unique, comfortable NYC experience that you just can’t have when you’re on your own in the Big Apple.

If you’d like to have one of these NYC experiences, visit my website for more info at www.shop-nyctours.com. Thanks for reading and I hope to shop with you soon!

Vintage Boutique Tour for Browsers

Yesterday’s tour was unique. It consisted of 2 women: one from Vermont and one from California. They were on a short weekend getaway. I could tell from the beginning that they weren’t going to be big shoppers, which was completely fine. I think what some people don’t realize is that my tours are meant for shopping, but even if you’re not a shopper, you’ll have a wonderful time just experiencing the neighborhoods and browsing the boutiques. On my tours, you can have an AMAZING experience even if you don’t buy on thing.

We began, of course, in Soho–but on the west side of Soho. I always explain to people that the east side of Soho is where they have the more commercial stores (Old Navy, H&M, Victoria’s Secret) and high-end designer stores (Prada, Chanel.) I focus on west Soho on my tours because it’s a quaint, clean, quiet area of Soho where there are a lot of individually owned, smaller boutiques. In fact, there’s actually something called “S3” (which stands for Shop Small Stores) that smaller, locally-owned boutiques have created to promote shopping in their boutiques. At any rate, the ladies really seemed to enjoy the neighborhood immensely. They weren’t spending a lot of time in any of the stores because they were just browsing–not shopping but it still allowed them to enjoy themselves. One of the ladies commented on how it was fun just simply exploring.

After Soho, we headed to the East Village and they really enjoyed Buffalo Exchange on East 11th Street. They spent quite some time browsing but didn’t end up buying anything. It was the same with O Mistress Mine. They loved looking through Wanda’s (the owner’s) collection but they didn’t make any purchases. Again–they were just having a nice time strolling through the stores and exploring.

On our way to East 9th Street something very exciting happened! We saw Leonardo DiCaprio!!! Yes–even though I’m a local, I admit, I was very excited. We weren’t sure if it was him so one of the ladies said she wanted to go back to the cafe where he was sitting to get a drink. She didn’t really buy a drink, of course. It was just to confirm that it was him. And it definitely was! I couldn’t believe how grungy he looked. You know, he’s one of those Hollywood stars that dresses very chic and sophisticated for the most part. He looks very polished on the red carpet whereas someone like Johnny Depp tends to look a little more grungy. But to my surprise Leo looked like a regular East Villager. I do think, however, that he had to TRY to look this way. He was TRYING not to stand out which was cool, I guess.

Anyway, on East 9th Street, they explored Fabulous Fanny’s and Cadillac’s Castle for a bit. They were also excited to see AuH2O so we headed to East 7th Street immediately after that. One of the ladies bought a pair of Obama earrings for her mom and the other tried on a top but didn’t make a purchase because it didn’t fit. They definitely had a really strong interest in Kate’s boutique though.

We had a little time left after East 7th Street so I decided to take them to St. Mark’s Place. I figured they might enjoy seeing an area that was still a little “off the beaten path” but also a little more touristy and with shops that have some lower prices and some souvenirs. (I knew they had teenagers they might want to buy for.) So we strolled along St. Mark’s. I told them that was one of the perks to it just being the two of them. I was able to show them something that wasn’t part of the usual itinerary.

Following St. Mark’s, I asked if they’d like to visit the West Village since we still had an hour left with the car service, but they decided to head back to the hotel. They said that they had a wonderful time already and they were anxious to change clothes and have dinner before their show. One of the ladies was actually waiting for her lost luggage to arrive at their hotel so she also wanted to get back to check on it.

I think the tour started out a little rocky but as time went on, the ladies realized that there was no pressure to shop. I was happy just showing them around and they were happy just exploring.

If you’d like to browse with ShopNYC Tours, visit www.shop-nyctours.com for more information about us! I hope to shop–or browse with you soon!

Vintage Boutique Tour – Erin Go Braugh!

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!