KENDALL & DESMOND BROOKS, OWNERS OF SHOPBOY

How did you two meet and at what point did Shopboy come about?

We met at a bar in the East Village in 2016, struck up conversation and have been together ever since.About a year after meeting, we started talking about getting clothes tailored in New York City. We couldn’t believe how difficult it was to find a good tailor, especially in a city full of people who really care about fashion and style. From Desmond’s experience with luxury brands, he always held the belief that no matter what you’re wearing, the most important part is how it fits. We decided that with a tailor shop, we could offer the fashion industry something that hadn’t been seen before, at least not in the way that we’re doing it. 

At Shopboy, our focus has always been on building relationships with our clients.

If we understand what a person does for a living, what they do in their free time, what interests they have, etc. we can begin to understand what they wear, why and how they want their garments to fit. Clothing can be very personal, even emotional for people. If the customer knows that we get that, they’re more likely to entrust us with their garments and develop a loyalty to our brand. The best part about specializing in alterations has been that, not only are we given the opportunity to work with a variety of garments and brands, but also a diversity of clientele with varying style, personalities, jobs and socioeconomic backgrounds.

Where does the name Shopboy come from?

We wanted something that felt modern & unique and spoke to the fact that we are young people entering this ancient craft. We found an article from an Italian tailor and we felt that the “shop boy” described in this article was a metaphor to us entering the industry. 

On top of it, Desmond’s favorite painting is “The Blue Boy” by Thomas Gainsborough and he had already had his aunt draw our logo off of that painting prior to coming up with Shopboy. The fact that he was a well tailored looking boy that would go perfectly with the name Shopboy really brought everything together. 

Which one of you is more of the tailor and which LEADS THE BUSINESS?

Desmond’s background is primarily in luxury fashion, and both his passion for style and his understanding of fabrics, garment construction and fit have always been the driving force behind the Shopboy concept. Kendall comes from a family of entrepreneurs, so starting and building a business has always been her focus. However, when it comes to the alterations, we lean on the expertise of our master tailors. Tailoring is a craft that takes years to learn and perfect, and we want our tailors and their skill to be the highlight of our business. 

Explain the importance of tailoring & the difference it can make to your wardrobe.

Tailoring is the most important aspect of any wardrobe, because it’s what gives your wardrobe personality. Whether you’ve spent $2,000 on a new blazer or $30 on a vintage t-shirt, bringing your garments to the tailor allows you to curate a wardrobe that fits your style and individuality. Tailoring is also extremely important when it comes to sustainability. We encourage everyone to invest in pieces when possible, to make those pieces fit so that they become an important part of your curated wardrobe and to repair them when they need love. 

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What is your favorite part of owning a small business?

The best part about owning a small business is building something from nothing and then watching it grow and take on its own form. The moments when our clients are truly happy, when the word spreads organically, when people find value in what we’re doing and share their excitement, these are the moments that make us appreciate it all the most. The process has taught us so much, not only about running a business in NYC, but also about ourselves, our relationship, and other people. It can be difficult to celebrate little victories along the way, but it’s always amazing to look back and think, “Wow, I can’t believe we did that!”