Bruce Heyman, the owner of Metropolitan Window Fashions at 469 Amsterdam Avenue, shared the following letter to Upper West Siders.
Thank you for your patronage for the past 16 years. This is the story of why we sold our Upper West Side store to Janovic, the legendary NY paint and decorating company.
In September of 2004, we opened our store at 469 Amsterdam Avenue – expanding our small business from two stores in NJ. It was a bold move. My wife and I would have dinner outside at Fred’s staring at the new location, formerly Bath Island, convincing ourselves that we could pull this off.
We were welcomed into the community and had immediate success. We became members of the Westside Chamber of Commerce, participated in street fairs, hosted local interior designer events and met all the local merchants. We supported the arts, museums, parks and schools.
Fast forward 16 years and I turned 60 this year. It was a little late for a midlife crisis, but I had to start thinking about slowing down. Retail is a grind, six days a week. To simplify my business, I started thinking about selling the Amsterdam store – because there is nothing simple about doing business in New York. To maintain our current level of business, we decided to open a third NJ store in Livingston with the thought that maybe in 5-10 years, we pull out of the City.
Then COVID happened.
We thought about staying put, but coincidentally, our lease expired at the end of July. We still thought that we would sign a new lease, but then I had two key resignations in my NJ stores. It finally became obvious that the time to move on was upon us.
It was a difficult decision. Although we live in NJ, we have stayed on 74th Street many times, apartment-sitting for a friend who works in Europe. We love everything about the UWS.
We had a bon voyage staff party at the Hi-Life last Friday. Earl and I have become good friends over the years – fighting the good fight, as small business people do everyday. We didn’t win the scaffolding battle, but I am glad to see Hi-Life and Fred’s continuing to thrive. We were the third longest tenured business on the block after those two great restaurants.
We leave the business in good hands. Janovic has an excellent management team. They were attracted to our company because of the way we do business. Taking care of our customers, the community and our staff. We are delighted to announce that Yvonne, Shawnna and Sarah (pictured below) have accepted positions at Janovic.
All customer accounts have been transferred to Janovic and they will be honoring all warrantees. Janovic has roots in NYC going back over 100 years. In addition to window treatments, they also offer fabric, wallpaper and paint. They have 12 locations in NYC. Our Amsterdam Avenue store will close, but they have two stores on the UWS including 159 West 72nd street and 2680 Broadway at 102nd Street.
For assistance with your new decorating projects, orders in process or warrantee issues, please contact the Janovic decorating team – at 844-JANOVIC (844-526-6842) option 2, or our same number 212-501-8282 or visit Janovic.com.
Wishing you and your family health and happiness.
Bruce Heyman, CEO
Metropolitan Window Fashions / Green Brook – Paramus – Livingston / windowfashions.com
This is a classy, wonderful note. It frustrates me when businesses close without any word of thanks or explanation. Obviously, Metropolitan Window Fashions respects and cares about it current and past customers — and the neighborhood. Thanks for the note to all and good luck to you in your future endeavors.
Indeed, a very classy letter. Good fortune for your continued ventures.
Bruce sounds like a great guy! Enjoy the next chapter, sir.
Nice. Best of luck and health to you both.
Margaret and Bruce,
We’ll miss you on the UWS. Your products and service were always first-rate. Bigger is not necessarily better, but here’s hoping Janovic maintains the quality.
Enjoy your hard-earned retirement or semi-retirement.
Sorry to see you go! I had very good service from your store in the last five years. I ordered four new window shades during that time and they were exactly what I wanted, beautiful and well-made, and installed with care by your personnel. Thank you so much, and best of luck with your remaining stores.
Good luck Bruce. Though retired myself, I have enjoyed having your store on my way to the gym, and your staff was always so helpful to another window treatment person. So glad they’re being welcomed to Janovic, another top notch and friendly operation.
‘…because there is nothing simple about doing business in New York…’
That says it all.
Thank you for being such a great neighbor and member of our community, for your generosity and support of the local schools and all you did. Best of luck to you and yours.
Margaret and I wanted to say thank you to everyone for your kind words, we are deeply touched. This is why we love the UWS – everyone is so cool. We are grateful for your support. See you around the ‘hood.
Good luck to you during the transition. We look forward to the opening in Livingston!!