Clothing alteration shops are losing out in the time when fast fashion is prevailing. It could take some effort to find one on the street nowadays. Nestled underneath a staircase on Tam Kung Road, Jing Kung Clothing Alteration is the clothes saver loved by the community. Through the magic hands of the owner, Mrs. Leung, altered clothes are given new life.
Once a factory worker for years, Mrs. Leung is very experienced in sewing. After the factory’s relocation to China about a decade ago, she decided to run an under-stairs shop on Tam Kung Road to make a living with her specialty. The working space occupies only 40 feet with the most basic setup – an iron, a sewing machine and two white fluorescent tubes above head. The lighting is unusually strong. Perhaps that is what is needed to sew accurately. At the end of the unit, there is a rack of thread rolls and fabrics scattered. The ceiling is too low that even for Mrs. Leung, who is short in stature, cannot get in without a stoop.
This under-stairs unit is one of the few equipped with air conditioning. A plastic door curtain will be hung to keep cool during the hot season. On breezy days when there is no curtain, Mrs. Leung likes stretching at the doorstep for a homey break. Mrs. Leung is friendly and talkative. When she is not occupied, she could chit-chat for hours, even with a stranger. Despite the limitation in space, human connection has not been limited.
What makes the old neighbourhood irreplaceable is always hidden behind the corners.