The leak damaged her business. Now, a local tailor wants people to come back. | news

For 17 years, Savannah Pham has toiled at her small tailor and alteration shop on California Avenue, stocking it with bridal gowns, tuxedos and other dresses, suit shirts and trousers that needed to be made in Gather here, widen or lift the hem there.

Savannah Pham at his tailor shop in Palo Alto on Dec. 12. 21, 2022. Photography: Magali Gauthier.

Large spools—in commercial sizes and in every color of the rainbow—protrude neatly from nails along the walls of the store, Savannah Tailoring, at 101 S. California Ave., unit D100D, built on the ground floor of Palo Alto Central.

On the wall hangs a poster-sized framed photo of Marilyn Monroe smoking a cigarette, her platinum blonde hair slightly tousled. In a light-colored dress, she seemed to be waiting for Savannah’s turn for the perfect fitting.

August four months ago. 1, a leaky, rusty pipe dumped water into Van’s shop from between the ceiling of the dental office on the third and second floors. The customer’s clothes were not damaged, but the long wait before repairs resulted in mold on the walls and the collapse of some ceiling tiles. The floor was also torn.

Fan continued her work in the shop, hunched over one of her sewing machines. Petite and soft-spoken, with shoulder-length black hair, she was her only employee. She said it’s been a tough few months, and the past few years have been tough because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

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