Snapshot: Decorators Den Is a Shadchin for Fabric and Home
By David J. Glenn
Decorators Den fabric store on New Utrecht Avenue doesn't have a website.
There's a clear reason for this. "You can't do this service online," says Raiza Silber, whose mother, Shiffie Schonbrun, started the family business in 1996. (Today, Raiza, her sister, Chany Stern, and their mother operate the shop, still at the original location.)
Their services — principally designing window treatments, wall upholstery, headboards, and custom beds — can't be done over the Internet or over the phone because the customers want their bedroom or living room — or both — custom-designed from an array of fabrics from all over the U.S. and rest of the world.
"They have to come in to see and feel the cotton, vinyl, leather, wool, and all the textures and colors," Raiza says. "You can't get that on a computer screen."
Often, customers will come in with their decorators and with photos of the rooms they're decorating. Raiza, her sister, mother, and long-time employee Karen help them find the right match and then have all the measurements taken at the home.
"Karen helps find just the right fabric," Raiza says. "She has a photographic memory — she remembers which fabric is in which book."
Mother and daughters have developed an expertise in designing even though none had any formal training, Raiza says. "We were self-taught. We learned on the job."
Raiza has a long list of steady customers, including those from Lakewood, Williamsburg, Monroe, and the Five Towns.
Customers can just walk in, or make an appointment.
Booking appointments is just about the only thing for which Raiza needs a phone.