Fern Penn has been taking people on tasting tours of the interesting and innovative eateries proliferating in Crown Heights. Now she is starting fashion tours of Crown Heights, where she will not only guide women to stores with stylish but modest clothing, she will help them shop there. Plus there will be a break for lunch at Basil for shopping energy.
“Women on my food tours pass by the stores I point out, that I go to, and they want to shop, but we don’t have time,” Penn explained. “And husbands on the tour don’t want to wait. So I’m doing this tour to make shopping the focus.” Unlike other parts of Brooklyn, the stores in Crown Heights are in walking distance to each other. Groups are limited to 10 and will spend about 30 minutes in each store.
You could walk the streets yourself. But you wouldn’t have Fern with you, who has a well-honed ability to gauge what styles might look good on a woman and help her pick them out. “I help people choose from hundreds of pieces,” Penn said. “Most people don’t know where to begin. I used to do this in my store (Rosebud, formerly in SoHo, then on Madison Avenue) and when I take women to Israel on fashion tours. I can find things for everyone from teens to women in their 90s.”
The tour goes to The Frock and Mimu Maxi for a hip vibe; House of Lancry for elegance; and stores with a wide mix of styles including Top Fashion, Fashion Queen and Totally Her. The tour goes beyond clothing as well. Prestige is a leather embroidery house with “amazing” leather wristlet bags, challah covers and tallis bags, and things Penn said she hasn’t seen anywhere else. Welcome Home is a gift store with a mikvah on the premises to toivel items on the spot.
The tour will begin at 10:30 and end at 2:30. The next one will be Tuesday, November 26. “It will be a fun shopping day with lunch,” said Penn. “I am each person’s personal shopper, choosing fashions I think they will love.”
If you want some company for Shabbat food shopping, Penn has another Crown Heights food tour for you. You can come along with her Friday morning, beginning with breakfast at Basil at 9:30, and shop until 12:30 for your challos, cakes, appetizers, mains and sides. Flowers, too. Penn said she started her original food tours when Shabbat guests kept asking where she got all those fabulous goodies.
For more information on all Rosebud Food and Fashion tours, or to reserve, visit www.rosebudfashiontour.com.
By Bracha Schwartz