• Michelle Fix

Chapter 3 - Salon

Paola was so fed up with Clara. She could not take one simple instruction. The townhouse salon had only been open for a month and already there were so many re-fittings it was embarrassing, to say the least. According to Alba, this never happened. The client’s had a maximum of three additional fittings. Well….we were already up to seven - seven! - fittings on Tootie Campbell’s silk shantung pants. And that was just the persimmon pair. She also ordered cream, cerulean, and violet. That’s a week of appointments right there - with no money!

When Paola asked why no client was charged for alterations, all she got was…..we’ve never done that. So? Then start! When she was at Andrea Lee, they had an entire price tier for anything and everything - from $35 to hem pants to $250 to redo a jacket….and that might even be higher depending on the fabric. This was really something else. In 20 years of working with made-to-measure clients, Paola had never seen anything like this operation.

And all Roberta seemed interested in was decorating the space. She was determined that it feel like you were walking into a Florentine salon. But the decor was turning out to be more New England estates. Paola had never had so many meetings about how to convert a former trading office into a pseudo-women’s clothing salon. At least there was only one floor the clients could really access. But what an odd space to have rented for this endeavor. No street presence, the entrance a deep brown wood lobby with no one there and you had to climb two flights of curving stairs - passing by a constantly smoking attorney and his staff - on your way to the third floor salon. With an average age of 60, Paola wouldn’t be surprised if some of the clients never made it up for their fittings.

There must have been some really good deal on the place. It was owned by some group that called themselves Sixty-Two Realty Associates, which was confusing since it seemed like the attorney owned the building. Paola would have to chat with his two assistants, Rosario and Amy, to see what information she could get. Amy didn’t seem to keen on interacting, but she could tell Rosario would run her mouth.


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