Jonathan Garcia’s background may not be in fashion or design – but he knows a great shirt when he sees one. On a trip to Las Vegas a couple years ago, he and his wife Sandra kept spotting a unusual, high-end men’s shirt in the crowd – and went on a hunt to find the retailer. They didn’t realize they were taking the first steps on an adventure that would lead them to opening a business focused on men’s fashion – the Luxury Shirt Co.
The store is one of a number of independently-owned businesses that call Vintage Park Shopping Village home. The restaurant, retail and entertainment center is joining the national movement for Small Business Saturday, a shopping holiday held every year on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Small Business Saturday started in 2010 as a counterpoint to Black Friday and Cyber Monday, both of which usually benefit big box stores instead of small, local shops. A number of tenants at Vintage Park will offer specials for the occasion on Saturday, Nov. 28.
Starting a Business
Once Garcia found the shop selling the shirts, he realized they came in a European cut – and did not have his size. He took a photo of the label and contacted the source directly. Unfortunately, the shirts were only available in a wholesale package of 1,000. It was the spark that made Garcia reconsider his career path. He had been working as an accounting manager and dreaming about starting his own business.
Finding what he considered an ideal’s men’s shirt prompted him to think that others might be equally interested in high quality shirts – and perhaps his new best business venture could serve that market. “My wife was the one who pushed me,” Garcia said. “She said, ‘Don’t worry. We can do this.”
After searching for spaces in The Woodlands, Uptown, Midtown and the Galleria area, the couple found the perfect spot in Vintage Park. Garcia contacted the manager. “They were looking for a retailer catering to men,” he said. “There were only restaurants and women’s shops.”
Garcia went to work contacting suppliers. “I buy everything that I like and I know will sell,” he said. “I know what I’m doing, and it’s working.” Sandra his wife was the designer of the store. “She makes everything look beautiful,” Garcia said. “She is the one who puts the icing on the cake. She works with me all the time, and I’m thankful, couldn’t do this without her.”
A Unique Brand of Luxury
Luxury Shirt Co. opened last October at 122 Vintage Park Blvd. in Building E, Suite F and now offers a selection of luxury shirts, shoes, belts, watches, underwear, bracelets, cuff links, socks and sports jackets. “Most of the brands we carry, no one else in Houston has,” Garcia said. “And we’re bringing in new products all the time.”
Most of the unique designs come from Europe. Garcia works directly with designers, searching their full collections for the perfect product. Then, he offers a limited number of each item at the shop. “If it’s sold out, that’s it,” he said. “There’s always a new selection on the store. When you walk in, it will never be the same.”
Besides the high fashion on the shelves, the store is set apart by its dedication to customer service. “More than 85 percent of our customers are returning,” Garcia said. “They love the product, and they love the service we provide.”
He even offers a concierge service for customers who can’t come to the store. “We’ll go to their place,” he said. And Garcia goes the extra mile to provide for customers of all sizes – stocking extra-small to 6XL on the shelves. “Even big guys leave the store happy,” he said. “They are amazed that we have so much to offer them. They walk out of our store with hands full.”
Women also stop by the shop to pick up dress shirts for the special man in their lives – or even to sport themselves. “It’s a unique store, carrying unique products with great attention to the customer,” Garcia said. And he finally has a place to shop for the shirts that he loves. “Most of the time, I’m wearing the product myself,” he said. “They’re high quality, beautiful shirts.”
The Luxury Shirt Co. is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Thursday, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more information, call832-639-8972, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://luxury-shirts.com. For more information about Vintage Park, visit vintageparkhouston.com.
About Vintage Park Shopping Village
Vintage Park Shopping Village is Northwest Houston’s premier destination for business, shopping, dining and entertainment. VintagePark is a visual transport to an Italian shopping promenade, with the Piazza, a nearly one acre pedestrian area, as the heart of the center. The Piazza features a series of fountains and beautiful landscaping that can be enjoyed by diners from one of the many venues that overlook the area. Where else can you find award-winning restaurants; world-class healthcare; unique entertainment options and a variety of boutiques and shops available in one location? There’s always something happening at Vintage Park; 110 Vintage Park Blvd. (Located at Hwy 249 at Louetta Rd) Visit vintageparkhouston.com