Last week open for ArtBag, only Black-owned business on

NEW YORK – The first and only Black-owned business along the Madison Avenue shopping corridor is closing shop. This is the final week in the storefront for ArtBag Creations, but the owners will continue to serve the community with craftsmanship.

ArtBag Creations president Chris Moore said the decision did not come lightly.

“The rents in New York are just too high,” Moore said.

After more than 60 years stitching and painting handbags on Madison Avenue, the Moore family is flocking south.

“We needed to find something with less taxes and that we would still be near our core customers,” said Moore. “Luckily enough, many of our customers live in Florida and New York.”

Moore started working with his dad, Donald, at ArtBag Creations when he was 6 years old. The family has grown alongside the neighbors who are closer than just clients. The elder Moore said he will miss his customers the most.

“I’ve seen little kids grow up to be mothers, and they have their children and their children,” added his son. “It’s been amazing. But I didn’t realize how much we meant to the community until we decided that we were going to make going to make this move.”

The race is now on for regulars to buy bags at a discount and drop off their own for refurbishment.

“It’s amazing,” said Gail Zauder of ArtBag’s handiness with handbags. “They took stuff that looked terrible and they made it look brand new. Yeah, it’s fantastic.”

After Friday, July 9 bags will return to customers through mail. The Florida storefront opens July 25.

“Everything has to go,” Moore said. “The interesting thing is that as soon as we put the sign in the window that we were moving, customers are coming in and buying four and five bags at a time.”

“Although it’s factual, we are the first and only Black-owned business on Madison Avenue, we never looked at it like that,” admitted Moore. “We just looked at it as our store, our business, and we just want to provide our customers with all the great quality workmanship that we could.”

Their craft will continue, serving a worldwide client base from a new home base.

Even though their address is changing to 927 N University Drive in Coral Springs, Fla., ArtBag’s phone number and website will remain the same. You can drop off bags at the shop on Madison Avenue at 84th Street until Friday, July 9.

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