Friday, September 7, 2012
Just Listen: This Man Makes Beautiful Suits
However, ever the optimist, I have searched for the silver lining in my situation this week: 1) I got to explore a city I had never visited before during lunchbreaks, 2) I finished knitting a hat for my soon to be adopted nephew while riding the ferry, and 3) I had lots of uninterrupted time to listen to NPR. Usually, I am lucky if I can squeeze in two hours a week of NPR, and even then it is always broken up by the short people in my house requesting my assistance in one way or another.
This morning during Planet Money, of all features, they played an interview with Peter Frew, a tailor in New York City who hand-sews custom made suits. Even though Frew's suits are certainly a luxury item, retailing between four and five thousand dollars each, he himself does not make more than fifty thousand a year (which is stretched thin in an expensive city) and could never afford to buy one of his own suits. Frew confessed he cannot even afford to take the time to make himself a suit (much like my organic farmer friends who cannot afford to eat their own produce).
I appreciated that the interview certainly gave the listener a better understanding of what goes into handmade goods, and provided the perspective that although the final product may have a large price tag, the artisan is not getting rich off of the sale. When asked why he doesn't go into some other business, Frew replies he still gets a lot of satisfaction from every suit he makes, and at the end of the day, he just loves what he does - a very inspiring answer for us all.