George Tsaftarides / George's Fashion And Tailoring
How did you become a designer?
I grew up in a village in Greece in the 1940’s and 50’s at which time there was a war. Summers I worked on my family’s farm and to keep busy during the winters, I went to tailor school and became an apprentice.
How did you become interested in the industry?
During the winter, I did not like to sit around and I heard about others becoming tailors and decided to give it a try. Plus there was a pretty girl who entered the school and so I thought maybe this would give me a chance to talk to her. I never spoke to her, but found a passion for the industry.
How long have you been in the industry?
I have been in the industry for 66 years. I began tailoring school at age 14 and have continued with it since.
Do you have a back story about your business?
After coming from Greece at 19, I worked with several tailors until I opened my own. I was selling custom-made suits in the 60’s for under $100, now they are $900 and up.
What Makes your business different than others?
My business is different from others and I am one of the last master tailors around. Every piece of merchandise in my store is something I handpicked. Also, for all clothing I sell, I do my own alterations and make things fit like custom made. I believe true quality and workmanship is what makes my store and craft stand out.
What was one of the most challenging / creative jobs you have ever done?
In 1963, a group of Union Tailors had a contest to see who could do the impossible. I made 1 and ¼ inch lapel into a 3 and ¼ inch lapel and I won the contest. All the others were older than me and were laughing because I was a kid and they didn’t think I could better than them.
What Do you do to keep up with the industry?
To keep up with the industry, I look at trending styles and go to clothing shows yearly. I also talk with different salesmen to see what the upcoming styles are. Additionally, I have started dabbing in social media which has provided a lot of insight into trends and new styles.
What is new and exciting for 2021?
Something new and exciting for 2021 is my social media accounts. In late 2020, I began on TikTok as The Master Tailor and have grown fond of my “followers” there. I am excited to teach them about sewing and to also share the items I carry in store with them via website fasthionsbygeorge.com. This is something I have grown to be passionate about over the last few months as it has brought positivity back into the store and my work after having a difficult 2020.
What do you like best about WAWAK?
This would be a long list, but to name a few, I love the customer service at WAWAK, the great selection and the best prices.
When it comes to your company, what are you most proud of?
One thing I am very proud of with my store is the strong and lasting relationships I have had the opportunity to build with my customers over the years. My customers are like family as they have seen my kids grow over the years and I theirs. It is different walking into my store versus a big box store and that too is something I am proud of.
What advice do you give to the next generation of designers?
No matter what field or niche you are following, my best advice would be to not give up and to follow through with your idea. So many times we start a project, see hardship or failure and give up. If I would have given up, I wouldn’t be where I am today. As cliché as it sounds, persistence and commitment is the key to success.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop?
To ensure continued growth and development, I am broadening my horizon by using social media platforms including TikTok, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. Also, I have created an online store, fashionsbygeorge.com, to allow out of state shoppers to take advantage of the quality merchandise I have in store. Something else I have begun doing is taking out of state alterations as this is something that was requested by those on TikTok. I have enjoyed to know my TikTok “followers” and appreciate all of the messages, comments and support.
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