We Buy Our Trim From Ellen
A woman who watches “I Love Lucy” reruns every morning can’t help but see two female friends as a potential comedy act. That’s how Ellen Gordon, owner of Florida Lace, viewed Lisa Godown and her “gal pal” when they visited her 6,000 square foot warehouse in Miami. “I was rolling my eyes,” said Gordon, “thinking, Oh great, here comes Buffy and Tiffany.” Gordon had seen that kind of duo before: “They spend six hours, buy one yard of everything in the building, and I never see them again.” Gordon sells fine laces and trimming, bands and metallic trim to crafters, fashion and interior designers, and clients such as the Miami Ballet, who come, as Godown did, to sort through 6,000 square feet of a warehouse filled from floor to ceiling with 78-years worth of trim. Yet, Gordon admits, “I was wrong about Lisa.” Lisa returned without her sidekick, and the two have bonded over their appreciation for family-owned businesses, as well as vintage trim.
Like Max & Dora, named for Godown’s grandparents, Florida Lace is a family-owned business with a long history. Launched in New York City’s garment district, in 1938, by Gordon’s father and uncle, the company relocated to Miami, in 1961. “Not everyone understands the value of what we have here,” says Gordon, “but Lisa does. She appreciates a simpler, gentler time that speaks of a different era.”
“The lace! The trim,” Godown said, of the inventory. “You can’t find anything like it anywhere else.” She also appreciates Gordon’s service. Due to their age and delicacy, many of the pieces must be hand-laundered. “I do it my garage,” says Gordon. “In pails!’
Both women are pleased with the clothing finished in Florida Lace’s trim, such as the Cade Pink Seersucker Dress edged in soft crocheted lace, and the fringe along the Milly Skirt’s hem. Says Gordon, “I’m so delighted with Lisa’s vision. She’s resurrected and given new life to these pieces.” Godown is delighted too. “Working with Ellen, and knowing I could never get goods like this anywhere else, reinforces my commitment to keep Max & Dora American-made.”