"Jackson & Connor is a small and unique menswear specialty shop offering truly spectacular goods. We offer a full range of products -- from jeans and tees to suits and sport coats, and a wide range of accessories, shoes, hats, jewelry, care products and more. We provide full tailoring services for our garments, and we frequently track down hard-to-find items for our customers through custom and special orders. Tucked away on the second floor of Thornes Marketplace in Downtown Northampton, we pride ourselves on our passion for excellent service as much as our incredible selection. Any of our friendly associates can work with you to find what you're looking for, or help you discover something you've never seen."
How did you come to do what you do?
I took over Jackson & Connor from the previous owners in November of 2013, and it's an absolute dream come true. I was their only employee for three years, and one day in late August they sat me down and told me they'd decided to close the store. It was doing really well, but they wanted to do different things. "What am I supposed to do?" I asked. "I don't want to work for someone else, I want to work for Jackson & Connor." They offered to sell the store to me. "Sell it? How can I buy it? I don't have the money, and I've never run a business before!" They generously offered to work out a deal with me, and to help transition me into the role of new owner. I was in the right place, at the right time, and was exceedingly fortunate to have great employers who were willing to work with me. They got out, I got in — it quite literally could not have worked out better. WB
What is your favorite part about your job?
I absolutely love getting to meet new people and help them out with what they're trying to find, or what they're trying to do with their clothes. I had a customer from Connecticut come in a while back who'd lost a ton of weight, wanted a wardrobe refresh, and wanted to do something awesome for himself for his 40th birthday. He came into the store on a whim, and we hit it off right away. Over the last year and a half or so, we've become best of friends, and we hang out all the time. It's the only job I've ever had where "dealing" with people has actually become the best part...and it's really because we're so fortunate to have incredibly lovely and understanding customers. It's providing that individual attention, and cultivating the personal connection that makes my job so incredibly rewarding.
On equal footing is my deep, profound love of menswear and style —I love to curate, merchandise and talk to customers about our different lines (and especially our own Jackson & Connor line). The industry is constantly changing, and that comes through most when I'm buying for the store. I'm always seeing new fabrication, new styles, new production methods — even new materials. I love seeing all the new things, and the innovative ways that these companies are producing these killer goods. To be honest, I can't imagine a job where I could possibly be happier with that I do every day. WB
What makes you stand out as a wedding vendor?
I think what really makes us stand out as a wedding vendor is our commitment to individual attention. Whether it's just you looking for a suit for your wedding, or if it's a group of a dozen guys you want kitted out, we really strive to give that one-on-one level of service. It doesn't matter if you're trying to find basic solid gray or black, or trying to find some fun linen suits for your guys, we love to track down the right outfits. It's so, so important to be able to provide that level of personal attention. Also, considering that we get a lot of folks who don't wear suits regularly – some ever – and they're coming in to get married, they usually need a little help. That's why we're here...and it's truly what we love to do. WB
What is your favorite part of the wedding planning process? Or, more specifically, what is your favorite part about the big day of the wedding?
Our favorite part of the wedding planning (because we're not usually there on the big day), is when our customers try on their outfit after it comes back from the tailor, and it fits perfectly. We live to see the look in their eyes when they see themselves in the mirror and the transformation is complete. The excitement, the happiness they obviously feel seeing themselves in this totally different way...it's really what we enjoy most in this job. WB
What’s your favorite advice to give to clients for their wedding day?
I have some clients who come in months ahead of time (and in opposite season of their wedding), and I have some people who come in a week before their own wedding. My advice is two part: wait until the season that you're getting married (so our seasonal fabrics will match the time of year), and give yourself about six weeks. In six weeks, I can special order whatever we need, have it altered (and re-altered if it needs a little more work), and have you looking great. If you want a custom, made-to-measure suit, it's more like 3 months (it takes them four weeks to make the garment)...but it's definitely not on the same timeframe as the ladies' side. WB
What are you most excited about for this season? (other than Valley Wed, of course).
This season, we're really excited for the new lines we've brought into the shop. We work with over 80 different clothing companies to put our collection together, and it's always good to breathe some new life into the offering. This spring, we started up with a new dress shirt company, a knitwear line that makes absurdly soft and comfortable lightweight tees, and with a new line out of Amsterdam making some of the coolest and funkiest shirts, vests and sport coats we've ever seen. We love bringing in fresh looks to give everyone a few more options. WB
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