Waking up to the sound of her mother’s roaring Singer sewing machine, Ana Stone learned how to sew before she knew how to read. She was always making things, cutting up clothes and repurposing them into something new.
Now, she and her husband, James Guccione, have a store of their own: The Stonework, a specialty men’s clothing boutique in the Ditmars area. The store opened the first week of October.
While The Stonework is a men’s apparel shop, it also sells home goods and unisex accessories, and the services offered (custom, hand-stitched embroidery, denim repair and hemming) are for everyone. Customers can find candles from Brooklyn Candle Studio, hand poured in NYC, as well as collectable vintage apparel and sundries that make incredible gifts.
The apparel that the Astoria couple sells at their store is timeless.
“We care about the quality of the product and we actually want it to last,” Stone said. “The Stonework is proud to provide high-quality wares with an emphasis on classic, American-made goods.”
Stone’s early exposure to sewing gave her a true appreciation for the functionality of clothing. Immersed in the fashion industry since attending the Fashion Institute of Technology’s fashion design program, Stone has worked in editorial styling, visual merchandising and buying, but she has always longed for a store of her own, with products and a vision that she can stand behind.
Her husband is a local NYC utility worker and his concerns of fit and functionality carry over into the selection at The Stonework. The aim is to supply goods manufactured to outlast the world of fast fashion.
“The Red Wing Heritage boots carried in the store are the same boot that has been made in the U.S. since 1905,” Stone said. “Schott NYC is an American manufacturing institution; they were the first company to put a zipper on a jacket in 1913 and actually invented the Perfecto motorcycle jacket. We are happy to be able to offer the same ‘made in USA’ Schott peacoat that was manufactured for the U.S. in World War II.”
All of the store’s denim is selvedge denim, meaning the outer edge of the fabric is finished to prevent unraveling. The Stonework carries premium denim made by Queens-based Left Field NYC, which sources its denim from the last remaining denim mill in the United States, Cone Mills’ White Oak plant in Greensboro, NC. The jeans are not mass manufactured; they come in one inseam length, as they would have come 100 years ago. Stone offers on-site complimentary hemming of their jeans, using a vintage chain stitch machine that produces a beautiful, ropelike hem.
Relaying this history to their customers is what makes the experience special and unique.
“My husband and I both grew up appreciating old things,” Stone said. “His mother was an antique and china restorer. The work table she used for 40 years is my work table and is where I do all of the custom embroidery, denim repairs and hemming.
“We’ve been collecting vintage items for years and are so happy to have a place to talk about the stories we’ve learned and find new homes for the things we’ve loved,” Stone added.
Stone and Guccione said that they’re very fortunate to be building their business in their home neighborhood.
“The support we’ve received from not only our local customers, but local small businesses as well has really been moving,” Stone said. “People are proud to live here and our hope is to provide a unique, dynamic shopping experience that celebrates creativity and diversity — like the great city we live in.”
Living so close to the shop also allows for their favorite staff member — their 3-year-old daughter, Story — to be on call. If you are lucky, you will find her in the shop, helping to ring up sales and creating projects of her own.
37-06 Ditmars Blvd.