From bridal fittings to button mending, Cheryl Lofton & Associates (719 T St. NW) has a team of exceptional tailors for all needs. Owner Cheryl Lofton is a lifelong Washingtonian who has worked in her family’s tailoring business since she was a teenager.
Lofton’s grandfather opened the first African American tailor shop in the District in 1939, and the business has been in the family since. She learned tailoring skills from her grandfather, who also owned a tailoring school in the District.
Following graduation from Howard University, Lofton took over the business in 1981. Originally, the shop catered to men’s tailoring but has expanded offerings to include women’s alterations and tailoring.
Lofton said the wide range of services provided and the relationship with the community make Lofton’s unique. “We’re a full-service tailor business and we’re like a family here in DC,” Lofton explained. “We treat all our customers like they are family members. I think that’s what brings so much business to our door.” Lofton’s Shaw location won the award for Best New Shaw Business in 2006 from Shaw Main Streets.
Lofton believes that the diversity of her employees helps make her business unique. She has tailors from Lebanon, Korea, Pakistan, Guatemala, Senegal and the United States who provide a variety of services in tailoring and alteration.
While most of the customers live within walking distance of the store, Lofton also has customers from across state lines. Additionally, the shop offers home visits throughout the District, Maryland and Virginia for individuals who are handicapped or do not have time to come to the shop.
Lofton, a Shaw Main Streets board member, is convinced that community is at the forefront of everything that her business does. “We want the community to know that we’re here for them for all their needs,” Lofton stated. “We even have emergency services available. If someone needs a quick hem, we can turn it around for them in one day.”
For more information about services and to schedule a fitting appointment visit www.cheryllofton.com. Cheryl Lofton & Associates is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sarah Payne is a general assignment reporter for Capital Community News. She can be reached at email@example.com.