Watch CBS News

Zipperstop: In Long Island City, a zipper shop is a family legacy

Zipperstop: In Long Island City, a zipper shop is a family legacy
Zipperstop: In Long Island City, a zipper shop is a family legacy 02:35

NEW YORK - In Queens, a store is stocked from floor to ceiling with thousands of varieties of an often overlooked device: the zipper.

"Every zipper's different. Every outfit you wear is different," Zipperstop owner Jeff Feibusch said.

From the business's headquarters, which acts as a warehouse and retail space, zippers are both shipped in bulk and sold individually. 

Made of everything from brass to plastic, they come in colors from scarlet to violet. Zippers for dresses have a bottom stop, while zippers for jackets open freely. Dainty zippers might adorn small purses while zippers with large teeth can close oversized duffel bags.

Jeff runs the business alongside his daughter Michelle and her husband Keith.

"We're a family business. We're family," Keith said. "Some of these customers we've been dealing with for over 40, 50 years."

Zipperstop is an enduring legacy.

"My father started the business on December 7, 1941, which was Pearl Harbor Day," Jeff said. 

Eddie Feibusch, a Jewish Austrian, had been living in Vienna when his world changed.

"November 11 was the day that the Nazis took over, and they kicked him out of his house," Jeff said. "They took his father away to a concentration camp."

Once in the United States, he started his business and was drafted into the infantry two years later. He survived getting shot in the leg, groin, and stomach and was awarded for his bravery. 

After his recovery, he was set up on a blind date in New York with Susie Neugarten, who herself had escaped the Holocaust. 

The two married in 1950, and zippers became their joint endeavor.

"The business would never have survived without my mom and dad. They were a pair. They loved each other, and they grew the business," Jeff said.

Eddie's passion for his career never waned.

"My father came in every day until he passed away," Jeff said.

Jeff aims to treat employees and customers the way his father did—like family. He cherishes the relationships cultivated at Zipperstop, including his bond with Keith. 

"He's not like my son-in-law. He's like my best friend," he said.

Together, the Zipperstop staff cater to professional tailors and home sewers alike. They count as customers both the New York City Ballet and NASA.

"Everyone can use a zipper," Keith said.

22-19 41st Ave
Queens, NY 11101
(212) 226-3964

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.