My homie E. Downs has a theory that when someone's name is on the door of their business—and that person is actually still working there—there's a chance that the level of service will be at least moderately higher because the legacy of that business is being written in real-time. That person is living the connection to the services provided by the namesake business, everyday.
Let me tell you about Sy, the Tailor.
I'm very particular about my fits, so I needed to see if I could get some jeans tailored. I should have gotten the hint when I Googled "tailors, Omaha", and all that kept popping up was this name; "Sy." Now one would think that in these days of "SEO" blah blah blah, that Sy was getting major love because of his website. No; not the case. This business was getting a huge boost from high star ratings and customer reviews. Interesting. So I took a chance and drove out to pay a visit to Sy's Tailoring.
I walk in, pleasantly greet the lady I see working there, and two seconds into my explainantion of what I need she stops me and says, "let me get Sy." What?! Sy is here?! E.'s word immediately resurface in my mind and I start to get excited to test his theory. Around the corner wheels a man with a round face and warm demeanor. Sy greets me with "Hi! How have you been?!", as if he's known me for years. We talk about my garments in detail as he explains his services and takes the time to tell me exactly what he will do for me. He then breaks form with the current trend in "customer relations" and gets personal; "Tell me…" he says in delightfully broken English, "why you like the 501?" (referring to my choice of jeans). I tell him that I like the craftsmanship & materials, and the fact that I can make them my own over time and not pay $300 for a pair of jeans that are already worn. His response was a chuckle, saying, "Good for you! Those are literally 'rotten', the material is destroyed. I like you. You get it. I'm gonna take care of you." Wow… Sy is gonna take care of me! Not just some customer, but "Me"—personally.
We continue to talk for several minutes about a number of things not even related to my garments, but business, neighborhoods and Omaha in general. Just before I leave the last thing we chatted about were a few shops in my old neighborhhod of 'North O' that carry suits and come to him for tailoring. Again with that sly, telling chuckle he gives me one of the best, most on-point compliments I've ever received; "… ah, but I know you don't wear the suits… because you have too much 'funky'!" I laugh even typing that, partly from the funny cadence of his chopped English, but mostly because a man I had never met paid such attention in a 10 minute conversation to know what friends, family, co-workers and former bosses could never realize; I'm not built to rock a suit and tie. But Sy—this little Asian-American craftsman did his job, applied his craft—connecting with a customer, and in the process made a huge fan of me.
To close, he told me he would do his best, guaranteed his work and shook my hand—looking me right in the eye—and said he'd see me in a week. I have no idea how the work will come out, but I have a feeling Sy is going to take care of me.
Sy's Tailor Shop
2061 North 120th Street
(NE Corner of 120th and Blondo right next to Coldstone Creamery)