One of the things that make Manhattan great is how the city is characterized by its districts: the financial district, meatpacking district, the jewelry district, etc. While I was there we stayed in the garment district, and while I am neither a sewer or fashion aficionado, the retail this area attracts was fascinating.

Blocks of stores carried the most unique fabric patterns, furs, laces, feathers and leathers. Entire buildings were dedicated to nothing but embellishments and garment accessories. If you wanted the exact button or closure, the Garment District is your place.

Having specialty districts, instead of just an aisle or individual store, also highlights the depth of the category and makes it apparent how little novices know or use compared to experts in the field.

Mood Designer Fabrics alone sells alpaca, boucle, cashmere, French terry, neoprene, stretch velvet, vinyl, beaded lace, brocade, spandex, and stretch mesh in addition to the usual cotton, denim and knits in every nuanced shade under the sun. They sell thread and trim, as all fabric stores do, but Mood has an entire floor dedicated to accessories. For those who work in the theater or fashion industries, having a centralized access point for the obscure and exclusive materials is essential. For the rest of us, a place like Mood is just a visual feast.

The districts of Manhattan have been established for generations but consider whether you could take a step toward creating a neighborhood or district of your own. Even if it is a loose allegiance, could you locate similar resources in relative proximity: a health food district, child-friendly entertainment district, or a pet services district? Depth attracts greater depth and expertise that makes it even more powerful.


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