New Yorkers are so lucky to have a great shoe shine and repair service that is local and in places that are easy to get to. Leather Spa can literally fix any damages/problems you have with your shoes, handbags, or leather belts, restoring them to their original gorgeous look. The other day, I found out that they even can lower the excessively high stilettos that I purchased after having too many mimosas on a Sunday afternoon. My girlfriends had convinced me that I looked fabulous in them and that the stilettos would go well with my jeans or leather pants. So, I went ahead and spent some $$$, only to end up wearing them once in 5 years. Bummer, I thought, because they’re super nice but the heel is a tad too high. Then I found Leather Spa: they came to the rescue, and guess what, I love my new, 1/4” lower stilettos 🙂

The problem
I took my fabulous stiletto boots to the closest Leather Spa. On my recent visits to the Leather Spa FiDi location, the line was insane. I discovered that the clerk taking orders also performs inspections, which must be done in order to get a price quote. Only after the inspection and a price quote can the order be placed. Despite the long line, the clerk didn’t even think of calling for help. Finally, another staff member showed up, but he didn’t open another cash register done with the average price of carpet cleaning in dublin to help the next guest; instead, he helped a shoe shine customer who had come in way after me and the three other waiting customers.

The Fix
The management should train their staff to keep an eye on the traffic. If there are more than 3 customers waiting in line, someone should call for assistance. It would also be a good idea to monitor what times of day are busiest and hire part-time help during those hours. At the very least, have the decency to serve the customers in the order in which they arrived—no matter what service they need.

My co-worker and I booked a ticket to D.C. a few weeks ago on the Acela, which we both agreed was a much more civilized way of traveling to DC than flying. There was no fuss boarding the train, and we had some high-speed internet access, meaning we got loads of work done before arriving at Union Station. But, while walking from Union Station to our hotel, we agreed that the experience, service, and comfort were nowhere near those of the EU and Japanese rail systems. Americans are light years behind when it comes to railway travel and service. I’ll say no more…

The reason for our trip was to celebrate the first year anniversary of Curio Concept. A luxurious, curated boutique located in Georgetown, Curio Concept sells high-end street fashion, including clothing, shoes, jewelry, and home accessories. In 2015, my company was lucky enough to be selected as the branding agency for Curio Concept, and I must admit that though I rarely pat myself on the back, in this situation, I had to say, “Wow, we were part of this creation!”
I have no other words except to say how cool and awesome the boutique is, and how proud I was to walk inside. The owner, Lena Faruki, pulled this off entirely on her own. It was 2 years in the making, with loads of unexpected surprises during construction—such as having to deal with the excavation of a horse skeleton from the 1700s in the outdoor tea garden!—as well as having to deal with a very difficult construction team, whose name I won’t disclose here.

The Problem:
There is not one single problem with Curio Concept except maybe that the D.C. woman doesn’t “get it.” Curio is just too cool and authentic for those in government — sorry, D.C. women…

The Fix
Open up a concept store in NYC. Unfortunately, the problem is finding the right retail space, as greedy landlords have made it almost impossible for startups/young companies to have a brick and mortar presence. It’s deeply disappointing that NYC has lost its authenticity to corporate avarice 🙁 Such a shame!