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Mail Order Fur Cleaning/Storage/Repair


FurLoverinFL
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The local furrier here in my part of FL closed (a very good assumption since his building is torn down and phone disconnected). Does anyone know of a furrier who will accept furs Fedex'd or UPS'd for storage/cleaning/repairs? Thanks!

 

FLinFL

 

...real furriers only - I'm sure many of you would take good care of my furs for me!!!

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FLinFL

 

There is a furrier in St Pete that has a very nice on-site storage facility. Takes good care of it and has quality equipment and security. He also hand cleans blankets and older furs. Many will not.

 

You have to be careful, about 30% of the furriers stick them in their basements or a backroom with no special cooling or humidity. Also, many send them out to major storage facilities. This is not bad, just not quite as convenient. Must schedule ahead of time and only during certain dates.

 

Their name and address is:

 

Tom Johansen, Owner

Florida Fur and Leather

411 19th Street South

St Petersburg, FL 33712-1360

 

727-822-3653

 

Not certain if they would remember me, but my husband Bob has been there twice.

 

Good Luck,

 

Linda

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For the UK, Gale Furs in London NW1 can help. I don't know where you are. All storage in the UK is necessarily off-site. Its no big deal. You just have to call ahead a couple of days.

The advantage for Brits is the summers aren't usually as consistently hot as the USA, but the disadvantage is that you generally don't have insect screens over your windows, so you need to be extra careful about those pesky accursed moths.

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Thanks Linda! That's only about a 2 1/2 hour drive - now I just have to schedule a business appointment in St Pete! I didn't realize that some furriers were just not reputable. I guess coming from NJ, it was relatively easy to find a good furrier within a short drive from my (then) house!

 

FLinFL

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New York has a very good fur business, so there are many choices. But, there are many there you would not want to do business with. This is true of any business. There are good, there are bad and there are those in between.

 

Outside of New York they are dropping like flies. In fact, the shop I am referring you to was purchased from a furrier who was retiring a few years ago.

 

At a lecture at Montreal Annual Fur Show a few years ago, they predicted over 50% of the furriers would be out of business within 10 years, as I remember it. It is happening.

 

That is why they thought I was out of my mind to start a fur business. After being a Merrill Lynch stock broker, my belief system is this: Don't listen to Brokerage Investment ideas. Buy when no one wants it. Sell when everyone wants it. Actually most people buy based on past history trends. The better the history trend the more likely it has topped out. The risk is: if you buy too soon in the bottoming out cycle, you will set for awhile with a "dead" investment. But, this cycle is much shorter than buying at the top.

 

I have in fact closed my physical shop this month and now will concentrate on internet only with appointments and occasional hotel shows. Since I do not do alterations and repairs, or storage, having a shop is a tremendous waste of energy. You cannot hire a college student to set in a fur shop. So, that meant either Bob or I had to be there.

 

We have various versions of this discussion on the old site. I will see if I can find a few links to the threads later today.

 

Linda

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You know furs and the markets???????? I think I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

The shop I dealt with in NJ has been in the same location for at least 49 years - it's at least as old as I am. They do storage/cleaning/repairs on premises, but as you point out, they are basically a middle man for furs made in Canada/NYC/the Far East. I'll be up north for the Easter holiday - now I have to make it a point to stop in and say hi!

 

FLinFL

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I agree that small local furriers are closing. Most of the closings are because the furriers are retiring and their children do not want to or have been discouraged from getting into the fur bussiness. Basically, no new blood is coming into the business.

 

The good furriers left will usually specialize in storage, cleaning, repairs and alterations. They can no longer be competive in the area of manufacturing coats. They can still make a profit on the other areas.

 

A good furrier can also be an excellent consultant by providing information about buying a fur. He can tell you what to look for and what to avoid. Hopefully he can keep you from being taken to the cleaners.

 

My family has been using the same furrier for a number of years. He knows our furs and takes good care of them. He inspects them to see if any repairs are necessary and also does the repairs, he cleans them and provides storage. He also made my mink lined raincoat. The raincoat was purchaed by me and the mink lining was one of my mothers old coats. He has also taught me to deal with the fur disrict wholesalers and how the selling cycles works, or at least how it used to work. These are some of the services which can not be delivered by large organizations such as department stores or manufacturers.

 

The problem we will have to face is how long will it be until he retires. Will his business remain open under a new furrier or, like so many others, just close and go out of business.

 

These are just some of my thoughts about the business of being a small local furrrier.

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Linda

You mean you are letting another man into your life?

 

Carol

Say, I know a young woman who could take over that business!

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Carol,

 

I really agree with the value of working with an individual person. That goes for ebay as well.

 

I still would love to hear your version of how to shop in the Fur District! Hints like this are always worth their weight in gold. Remember you have been in furs for a long time. I am a newbie. Only 5 years in business.

 

Dealing with the guys in Fur District is hardball! They have been doing this for generations, in many cases. It is like trying to play poker against a pro.

 

Linda

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Linda - I'll be in the Central NJ/NYC area. I meant that I was thinking about stopping in at the local furrier. If I ever get up to Michigan, I'll let you know!

 

White - now now, let's not start any untoward rumors! Well... on second thought...

 

FLinFL

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White Fox,

 

Sorry I missed your post!

 

Funny, funny!!

 

Bob still wants to know if you want to go kayaking? After the murders by you, lets go here though. OK???

 

L

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I agree. That sure makes you think. I could tell you a rather chiling story about Alexander Bundy and me too but since off topic I won't.

 

You know I've had one thing happen twice that I can remember. I was looking at furs in one of these "end of season sales in hotels" and a shopper standing near me asked "Do you know if these prices are really as good as they are advertised to be?" And as much as I know about furs I could not answer it. Yes, if a shopper gets to know they want a Golden Island Fox and knows quality they can compare prices by then going from store to store. But just to go to a spot like that the shopper is really at the mercy of the sales folk. And, I expect that those sales folk know it.

 

As for Kayaking. Man am I ready. I'm working on schedules right now.

W

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