Tuesday, June 2, 2009

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!

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