Merchant of the Week: Barry Mishkin, Family Britches
Photos by Kevan Full, at kevanslens.com
April 27, 2012
by Rob Greenstein
My wife has given up trying to improve my wardrobe. So, to Britches, for an Invisible Valet!
70 King Street
Chappaqua, NY 10514
Tell me about your start in Chappaqua
We had a dream that we could create a fine quality haberdashery in Northern Westchester in the summer of 1970. Starting with jeans and knit shirts in a building on North Bedford Road, we were able to expand downtown two years later into our present 70 King Street location. We have tripled the size of the space and increased the offerings dramatically while still staying true to our dream and making our customers part of our family by giving unparalleled customer service and updated, traditional merchandise selected for men, women and boys from the best manufacturers.
What’s the significance of your name?
The name harkens back to our beginnings, where we featured pants and tops for the family. The word “family” has a lot to do with it. When someone comes into our stores, we treat them as if they were part of our family. We believe in developing lasting relationships with our customers. We want to know what they need, who they are and how to make their wardrobe work for them.
What are some of the trends in men’s, women’s, and boy’s clothing?
Color is a big theme for Spring. Our merchandise is a mix of traditional styles and fashion-forward designs for consumers who like distinctive, coordinated ensembles in their wardrobe.
Have you always been focused on helping your customers create outfits?
We are the customers’ valet. Helping them with all their wardrobe needs wherever and whenever they need assistance.
Tell me about your online Invisible Valet, and how does the process work?
We can give our customers a detailed list of each wardrobe ensemble either pictorially, coded or printed.
Do you also have custom clothing, and are your alterations, fittings and repairs done on premises?
Custom clothing is one of our specialties. Our Old-World tailors work on the premises. We offer this service for shirts, pants, jackets and suits at a variety of price levels.
Tell me about some of the clothing events your involved with?
We just wrapped up our pre-season special order event. Family Britches sends out notices twice a year to introduce each season with a Thank You gift certificate to our loyal customer base. Currently, we are featuring art work for a charity, Morning Glory. We are a lead participant in the Chappaqua School Foundation April Madness event which starts April 1. In addition, we have “trunk shows” during the season with our manufacturers like Canali, Zegna, Hickey Freeman, New England Shirts, Peter Millar and Bills Khakis. We are especially proud of our semi-annual Made-In-America program.
Any suggestions to make downtown Chappaqua more vibrant?
The town is making slow progress in helping the downtown Hamlet. The bridge and parking lot are completed. We need the community to realize that we are their partners. By offering what they want and supporting the merchants, Chappaqua can lead Westchester, just as we did with the “Shop Small” promotion in conjunction with American Express. Come downtown and enjoy what we have to offer.
Visit NCNOW.org’s Local Merchants Section to see other “Merchant of the Week” pieces by Rob Greenstein.