shopping 06.1.16

Tinsel Trading
Every Person in New York

Arch Bergoffen bought the French Tinsel Company in 1933 selling tinsel (gold trim) to the U.S. military for uniforms from a loft on 36th St. Later, he expanded for the needs of the garment industry, calling it simply Tinsel Trading.

He sought out gold and silver cords, tassels, ball fringes, sequins, metallic threads and woven metallic ribbons from France, handmade raffia flowers from Italy, straw millinery trims from Switzerland and anything else he saw in European catalogs brought to him by traveling salesmen. When things went out of style he boxed them up and put them in the basement.

After Mr. Bergoffen died, his granddaughter, Marcia Ceppos, inherited the business and came across the boxes in the basement. "It took a while to sink in," she said. "Some of these boxes had not been opened for 50 years."

Ms. Ceppos brought these small treasures out of hiding and into the shop. "The most amazing thing," she says, "is he never went to Europe. He bought all this from little pictures in catalogs."

They moved in 2013 from the Garment District to the Upper East Side—828 Lexington Ave. [63rd/64th] 212.730.1030.

What hasn't changed is the many things that Tinsel Trading enhances, detailed in the book French General: Treasured Notions Inspiration and Craft Projects Using Vintage Beads, Buttons, Ribbons, and Trim from Tinsel Trading Company.

Jason Polan started Every Person in New York in March of 2008. He plans on working on the project until it is finished. Look for more at Jason's site and his book Every Person in New York.

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