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A fresh start for Alex Tailoring

Karen Eystad, owner of Alex Tailoring, irons a garment in the business’s old location above Randy’s Men's Wear. As of Jan. 1, the business will be located at 112 Sixth Ave W, Alexandria. (Beth Leipholtz | Echo Press)

The new year will bring an especially fresh start for Alex Tailoring, as Jan. 2 will mark the business's first day in its new location.

For the past 39 years, Alex Tailoring has been owned by Randy Spoden of Randy's Men's Wear, located on Seventh Avenue and Broadway. But in October, when Randy's announced it would be closing permanently, the future of Alex Tailoring was up in the air.

This sent the tailor shops' loyal customers into a tizzy of sorts, according to new owner Karen Eystad, who previously managed the shop under Spoden's ownership.

"I think one or two people in the first week did not ask us where we were going or what we were doing," she said.

After Randy's announced it would be closing, Eystad looked into a few options for a new location. She was eventually contacted by the owner of G'Mariecee Portrait Design, at 112 Sixth Ave. W., who said she was moving her business into her home and the space where her studio had been would be open.

"We looked at a few different places and then Gina from the photography studio (G'Mariecee Portrait Design) came up, and once we saw that we were really all pretty happy about that place, we just decided to jump in with both feet," Eystad said.

The business's last day at the current location will be Friday, Dec. 30. Employees will spend the weekend moving to the new location, one block away, and will reopen Monday, Jan. 2.

"We're not leaving ourselves a lot of time, but if we've got to search through the stuff (on Monday), it's OK," Eystad said. "We'll have all the machines set up and hopefully the racks."

Overall, the shop's services will remain the same as when it was owned by Randy's. For those who were looking to order varsity letter jackets through Randy's Men's Wear, Alex Tailoring will be taking over the ordering process.

"We're going to be taking the letter jackets from Randy's," Eystad said. "We do all the sewing on them anyway, so we will be taking the orders, and people can get stuff through us. We do the work anyway so we may as well have them in shop."

The new location is near Bon Jos Boutique, which Eystad says is a bonus.

"They've always been good about sending their customers to us anyway, but now we'll be right behind them, too," she said. "We'll be kind of still associated with a clothing store so we feel that's a plus for us. They've been extremely nice to us."

Another bonus about the new location is the ease of access for customers, who previously had to go up the stairs from Randy's..

"It's the main floor, and we'll have a storefront," Eystad said. "A lot of the elderly do have trouble coming up the stairs (at the current location). ... I think it'll be a lot easier for a lot of people, and for us, too."

Beth Leipholtz

Beth is a reporter at the Echo Press. She graduated from the College of Saint Benedict in May 2015 with a degree in Communication and Hispanic Studies. Journalism has always been her passion, but she also enjoys blogging and graphic design. In her spare time, she's most likely at Crossfit or at home with her boyfriend and three dogs.

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