The first time I came upon a basement of old ribbon, I was on 38th Street in New York City looking for a yard or two of trim. As I walked into So Good, I was greeted by a rather gruff man named Danny who was almost buried underneath the spools of ribbon that were stacked as high as the ceiling. When my charm didn't work on Danny, a young man named Tony came out from the back and asked me what I needed. I tried to explain that I really liked all of their new ribbon but what I was really looking for was the old ribbon. They didn't think they had much. But after a little more prodding, Tony asked Danny if he could take me to the basement. Although this sounds a bit ominous, I knew it meant gold. A bit of haggling and a few rolled eyes between them, Danny finally said yes, "but only to look".
I spent the next six hours "looking" in the basement. Since no one ever came down to check on me, I took it upon myself to start pulling out every old spool I could uncover - stripes, picot, water marked taffeta, grosgrain and silk - everything from 1/2" woven ribbon with red polka dots to 6" black mourning ribbon. I left that day with more than a dozen large brown boxes filled with some of the treasures from So Good's basement.
Since then...all those 15 years ago....I stop in and see Danny and Tony whenever I am in New York, They greet me with a smile and an anticipated look on their face and they always ask "Are you going to the basement again?" - I don't think they ever forgot how excited and overcome I was when they left me down there on my own to rummage through their old stock. Every now and then, I pop down two flights of stairs and take a look around - but the stock has been picked over and replaced with newer items. We reminisce about the good old days and they fill me in on the latest news of the street.
These days, it's not so easy to uncover a basement full of antique ribbon, so I rely more and more on new ribbon dealers, here and in France. Yesterday, a box arrived with over 60 spools - every color of the rainbow. Napoleon said "A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon" - and I couldn't agree with him more.
For a fun weekend giveaway - we will choose two lucky winners who will each receive a box full of beautiful ribbon - their choice of color! Leave a comment below about your favorite bit of colored ribbon and Sofia will choose two lucky winners on Monday, November 10th! Bonne chance!