Though her favorite part of the day is making her customers smile, there are a few of them that Dana Mason has never even seen.
“I have a few customers that just trust me,” she said outside the Manhattan tennis store last week. “I have a customer in Chicago that has never even been in the store. I just know what she likes and we ship out boxes. She never sends anything back.”
Dana is VP of Mason’s Tennis Mart, one the few tennis goods stores in New York City, and a primary destination for U.S. Open products this year.
According to Dana, the Open brought “absolute insanity” to the store, but the place itself has been humming for the past 35 years, thanks to Dana’s father, Mark, who first opened the shop in Manhattan’s Upper West Side.
The boutique now sits comfortably in Midtown on the east side, just south of where many affluent New Yorkers live, and just north of many corporate offices, where Dana says many of her customers work.
“This is a perfect location for us,” she said, eyeing the store as midday traffic zips through the doors.
While her dad might be the tennis guru in the family business, Dana has always had an eye for fashion. As a young girl, she would hang around the store, but said her interest lay mostly in the clothes.
When her dad brought her on as a buyer seven years ago, Dana flourished in the position.
“I’m so lucky that my dad brought me into the business,” Dana said. “Picking out merchandise for the store and watching it come off the shelves, I love that. Those are my picks, and I love when the customers love them.”
Dana knows her tennis fashion: from Fred Perry to Fila, adidas, Nike, and Polo Ralph Lauren, Dana has dealt with the big guns of the tennis fashion world.
Which isn’t to say that this is all fun and games. Her biggest frustration?
“Not getting the players outfits! I can’t tell you how many people come in wanting Sharapova‘s dress or Roger‘s jackets. But those things just aren’t available. It makes me sad!”
Read more about Dana’s picks for what’s next in tennis fashion, who shops Mason’s and her tennis DON’T for on-court fashion. [Read more...]