Not ready to retire, tailor opens new shop in Berlin

Published on Sunday, 1 October 2017 22:31
Written by Charle Paullin

Staff Writer

BERLIN - Josphene Giangrave used to run a tailor shop in Newington on New Britain Avenue before opening a bridal shop.

She then sold that business and another building she had in Plainville and was supposed to retire.

“But I don’t want to retire. I don’t want to stay home, so I opened this,” said Giangrave.

Giangrave recently held a ribbon-cutting for her new business, Star Alterations and Tailoring, at 1171 Farmington Ave.

“I like it, I like Berlin and I like all the people,” said Giangrave, who is now closer to her family, who live in Berlin.

Star Alterations and Tailoring, which opened for business in June, provides tailoring and alterations on all clothing except leather.

Along with zipper and jacket repair, Giangrave provides custom dress making from scratch, including for weddings, at the customer’s request.

“Whatever style they want, the fabric … we make it exactly the way you want,” said Giangrave, who said her low prices set her apart from other tailors.

At Star Tailoring and Alteration, it’s $8 for alterations to a pair of pants, and $75 to $250 to alter a wedding dress, she said.

“We are thrilled to have you here,” said Berlin’s economic development director, Chris Edge, adding that he is happy to see human beings still making dresses. “I’m very excited because you add to what is one of our more thriving plazas here in town.”

“Thanks for moving to Berlin,” Mayor Mark Kaczynski told Giangrave.

At the moment, Giangrave is the only person working at the shop but if business picks up, she said, she’ll look to hire more. Down the road, that might be her 8-year-old granddaughter.

“She loves sewing,” said Giangrave. “She already designed some dresses I make for her.”

Charles Paullin can be reached at 860-801-5074 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Berlin, General News, Newington on Sunday, 1 October 2017 22:31. Updated: Sunday, 1 October 2017 22:34.