NANCY CERVANTES: Working

Having her own business is a dream come true
Nancy Cervantes alters everything from wedding and prom dresses to jeans and suit jackets. Carrie Ann Salvi

   Before Nancy Cervantes moved to the United States from Peru in 1985, she attended school for design, but dangerous conditions in Peru led her and her husband, Carlos, to leave their country. “We decided to come here, start a new life in a nice country,” Mr. Cervantes said on Saturday at his wife’s shop in Noyac, Nancy’s Tailoring.
    Ms. Cervantes had been sewing all her life, and her background in design initially took her to work with fashion designers in New York City. She created wedding dresses for Mansala Galina and samples for Mark Montano before he moved to California for his television show.
    From the fashion shows at Bryant Park, Ms. Cervantes came to Sag Harbor, where she raised two children, who graduated from Pierson High School.
    Four years ago, she opened her own tailoring shop in the Berkshire Court complex on Noyac Road. Having her own business is a dream come true, she said, and she is grateful to have nice customers, and new ones every day.
    She does alterations of all kinds for men, women, and children. Whether it is a dress, suit, or jacket that needs letting in or letting out, summer whites, Halloween costumes, or holiday fashions, she stays busy all year long. Last week, she was busy altering prom dresses. The week before that it was Communion dresses. Wedding gowns are always a part of her work, too, she said, and her experience with them helps brides-to-be trust her.
    Many of her customers ask her opinion on wardrobe choices and proper fit, she said. She guides them toward clothes that are right for their bodies, offering a clean and comfortable setting for her clients and friends or family members who might accompany them.
    Her husband initially worked in carpentry, but now he works mostly with her, helping to construct custom pillows, cushions, and upholstery. The couple can sew leather, fix belts, and repair some shoes and bags, as well.
    Customers come to her by word of mouth, and many clients of the doctors  with offices in Berkshire Court use her services, but she also advertises in local papers and has a Facebook page and Web site, Nancytailoring.com.
    With a hem costing around $15, and waist adjustments in the $20 to $25 range, her services are accessible to all income brackets; however, she said she serves many who are very wealthy, including celebrities such as an in-disguise Richard Gere. She regularly tailors vintage clothing purchased on eBay by a woman who she said lives in a castle in Switzerland. Some customers bring in six to eight pairs of jeans at a time, some with $2,000 price tags still on. Ms. Cervantes is often asked to alter expensive designer dresses, as well.
    “Everyone wants things today,” she said, and she does her best to accommodate them. “They will come back,” she said. The shop is open weekdays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and off-hours by request.


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