Places that Matter
K. Trimming Co.
Place Matters Profile
K. Trimming closed its Broadway store in the fall of 2004. According to the owner, Mr. Kaufman, merchandise was being moved to an as yet undisclosed location in Brooklyn. We do not know if the store will reopen elsewhere. Please see below for the brief profile we wrote in 2003.
K Trimmings, a notions store in the heart of now-trendy SoHo, is a thriving reminder of the neighborhood's earlier incarnation as a garment manufacturing district.
You might go to a new boutique in SoHo for a designer t-shirt, but when the designer of that t-shirt needs a safety pin, she'll go to one of the oldest surviving stores in the neighborhood, K. Trimmings. Located on lower Broadway, this store is ingeniously packed with buttons, pins, ribbons, and rolls of fabric.
A German Jewish immigrant opened K. Trimmings at a time when SoHo's cast iron buildings were still primarily used for light manufacturing. As of 2004, it is still run by Jewish immigrants who speak Yiddish to one another and it still carries essentially the same inventory. The surrounding area, however, has changed dramatically. Where prior to the 1960s SoHo was home to garment industry lofts, it is now a trendy shopping district with some vestiges of its earlier role as an artist's neighborhood in the 1960s and 70s.
Keeping K Trimmings running in this new environment is a matter of hard work and modest, incremental earnings, helped by the fact that the owner of the store owns the building rather than having to pay the neighborhood's now steep rents. Most customers make small retail purchases, although the store also does a little wholesale business. It is open six days a week, with long hours so that people can stop in before or after work. People keep coming, says one sales clerk, "because they get everything they need . . . if we don't have it then we write it down and try to get it."
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