Seamstress Nancy Lee’s secret is in the pinning

by Linda Hubbard on May 31, 2012

Ask Nancy Lee’s loyal customers why, with a choice of seamstresses, they return to her tidy work space on Crane St. in Menlo Park, and they reply, “It’s her pinning.”

While her staff does most of the sewing, Nancy still does her own pinning, making sure that each garment is properly altered. It’s probably one legacy of being originally in the bridal shop business where gowns needed to be fitted to perfection.

Nancy opened Style Alterations in downtown Menlo about a decade ago. “When I first opened the shop, I introduced myself to the clothing shops located downtown by dropping off flowers and a cake,” she recalled. “They got to know me and liked my sewing, so they recommended my shop when alterations were needed.”

While those recommendations and word of mouth initially built her business, Nancy says online recommendations have been another boon. Her business continues to expand, and she brings on additional staff to help with the workload. “My staff and I have good communication, and I can rely on them because they are all very experienced,” she said.

Nancy, who arrived from Korea 40 years ago, said she’s found downtown Menlo a comfortable place to do business. “I was first located in Sunnyvale and someone told me about Menlo,” she said. “I used to drive around looking for space — I’m glad to be here.”

Photo by Irene Searles

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