Friday, October 25, 2019

Finding a Good Tailor

Photo by Alexander Andrews on Unsplash

A retiree living in Florida, Eva Lea Klein immigrated to the United States from Brazil in 1991. Upon arriving in Boca Raton, Eva Lea Klein found work as a tailor at the local Banana Republic store, where she altered garments and designed custom clothing items from unique patterns.

If you want to make sure the tailor you’ve chosen is up to the job of altering your clothes, ask to take a look at some of the tailor's finished work, such as clothing on the rack waiting to be picked up. Look for signs of careful, professional stitching. Avoid tailors whose work looks hurried and has obvious signs of alteration.

Examine altered hems for crooked lines or uneven spacing between stitches or ruffled fabric where it should appear smooth. A capable tailor can hem a garment with even stitches, symmetrical lines, and a correct stitching technique that avoids ruffling the fabric. You should not be able to see visible signs of alteration from the outside of the clothes.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Making Customers Feel Valued

An experienced tailor in Boca Raton, Florida, Eva Lea Klein spent nearly a decade sewing and altering garments at Banana Republic, a clothing and accessories retailer. Prior to this position, Eva Lea Klein worked at a retail store in Brazil, where she handled all managerial roles.

If you work in retail, here are a few dos and don’ts to make your customers feel valued:

- Do listen to them. Listening to your customers is important. Pay attention to their comments, and don’t make them feel rushed.

- Don’t ignore their questions. If your customers send any questions or comments to you, respond right away. Any customers messages should be prioritized and responded to within the same business day, if possible. This helps customers feel as if they and their needs are important.

- Do thank them. Make sure you genuinely and regularly thank your customers for their business. You can do this with a card or small gift during the holidays and by holding a customer appreciation event at least once each year.

- Don’t hide your challenges. You are already comfortable sharing positive news with your customers, but sharing your challenges is equally important. When you quickly overcome an issue, share a quick anecdote about how your team handled the problem by being agile and adaptable.

Friday, April 20, 2018

Cotton Thread Quality

Eva Lea Klein is a longtime south Florida resident with an extensive retail management background. Eva Lea Klein also has experience as a tailor and most recently engaged with Banana Republic in Boca Raton in the alteration and creation of garments. 

One of the key considerations in any sewing project is the quality of the thread. Cotton thread is generated by twisting the fibers of the cotton boll, with extra-long fibers adding strength and durability. 

A key advantage of cotton is that the natural fibers grab the fabric firmly and create a tight seam. Disadvantages include the expense of quality thread and the difficulty of telling the difference between high- and low-quality threads. In addition, non-optimal fiber length and processing can create a great deal of lint.

Cotton threads are typically mercerized, which involves immersing them in a caustic solution. This results in the fiber swelling and enables luster-enhancing dye to permeate the fibers more fully. Another common process is gassing, or cotton polishing, which involves passing the thread at high speed through a flame. This effectively burns off the longest pieces of lint and results in a finished low-lint product.

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Gap Inc. Beats Earnings Predictions

A native of Brazil and resident of Florida, Eva Lea Klein has spent more than two decades in the retail and fashion industry. In addition to working as a sales professional in a retail store in Brazil, Eva Lea Klein spent eight years as a tailor for the Banana Republic store in Boca Raton, Florida.

Though the retail market continues to be tight for companies that rely on traditional brick-and-mortar stores, Banana Republic and its parent company, Gap Inc., exceeded expectations for the Q4 earnings report in 2017. In March of 2018, the company announced that its sales and revenue had far surpassed analyst predictions, pushing up the company’s price.

The higher-than-expected revenue was largely due, Gap reported, to an increase in holiday shopping at the company’s Old Navy locations, though other brands under the umbrella, such as Banana Republic, also saw a modest increase in sales. The company’s CEO stated during an investor call that he expects overall revenue to continue its upward trajectory; this is a result of the company’s strategy of shifting focus from its Gap and Banana Republic retail locations, to the more profitable Old Navy and Athleta brands.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Three Etiquette Tips to Follow While in Brazil

A native of Brazil, Eva Lea Klein studied architectural design at Kafaat University and has worked extensively in the fashion and retail industries. Eva Lea Klein worked as a tailor for Banana Republic, where she designed custom clothing in addition to altering customers’ garments. Since retiring, she enjoys spending time with her children and grandchildren and traveling to New York City, Texas, and Brazil.

When traveling in Brazil, it’s helpful to be aware of its unique customs. Here are a three etiquette tips to follow while in Brazil.

1. Receive and offer friendly greetings. In Brazil, people often greet one another with a kiss or hug and typically touch each other by placing a hand on the other person’s arm or shoulder when speaking with them.

2. Accept that less interpersonal space is normal. In crowds, it is not unusual for Brazilians to maintain less space between each other than that to which many North Americans are accustomed.

3. Dress professionally in business settings. Although Brazilians, especially women, are known to wear bold, colorful, and sexy outfits, formal attire is the standard dress code for conducting business. Even when it’s hot out, men and women are expected to dress in full suits for business engagements. To gain access to shops and restaurants, smart, casual clothing is appropriate.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

Rio de Janeiro’s Surfer Friendly Arpoador Beach

Eva Lea Klein is a Boca Raton, Florida, resident originally from Brazil whose background includes helping to manage her family’s department store business. An avid traveler, Eva Lea Klein often visits locations such as Texas, New York, and Brazil. 

One of the highlights for visitors to Brazil seeking escape from the urban grid are the country’s abundant beaches along its 5,000 miles of coastline. In Rio de Janeiro, Ipanema is perhaps the most famous beach, although it can be crowded on weekends and in fine weather. 

Those seeking a less touristy experience can continue along the coast, past the turnoff to Copacabana, to explore Arpoador. This sand beach is a favorite with locals, with both body surfers and traditional surfers taking advantage of the currents and waves, and the oceanfront restaurant Azul Marinho offering tasty dining and local music. A short climb to the top of the headlands offers an outstanding view of the length of Ipanema and the iconic Dois Irmãos mountain.

Thursday, January 25, 2018

A Brief Overview of How Banana Republic Was Started

Eva Lea Klein studied architectural design at KAFAAT University in Brazil. After working as a manager in the retail industry, Eva Lea Klein served as a tailor with worldwide fashion retailer Banana Republic. 

Banana Republic was co-founded in 1978 by Mel and Patricia Ziegler. Making an initial investment of $1,500, the couple launched the business with a determination to make it different than any other fashion retailer in terms of its clothing lines and marketing strategies. The founders valued freedom of expression and originality as much as earning an income from the business.

The Zieglers' original vision for the fashion line was to locate vintage military surplus fashion items and make them suitable for resale. However, the clothing brand eventually expanded to sell well-tailored casual clothing items made from natural fabrics. Since 1983, after being purchased by fashion retailer Gap, the company has existed as a division and now has over 600 stores in operation around the globe.