Woman in purple dress standing on a rooftop with buildings behind her

A Customer Story: Finding the Perfect Dress

We always love a good customer story, and were delighted when Dr. Catherine Ma, a psychology professor at Kingsborough College, shared hers.

As a professor and board member of the Asian American/Asian Research Institute of the City University of New York, Dr. Ma often presents at conferences and attends fundraisers. "I've been on the lookout for more Asian-inspired clothing," she told us. "But after having three kids and living through the pandemic, the traditional cheongsam doesn't fit my body anymore." 

Luckily Dr. Ma found our Old Shanghai meets New York collection. "It really gives an updated look to the original cheongsam that is bold and powerful," she said. It also brought her back to one of her favorite childhood stores.

"When my family and I first immigrated from Hong Kong to America, Pearl River Mart was one of my beloved Chinese stores in Manhattan’s Chinatown. I would spend hours browsing through all their treasures and wide assortment of Chinese and Asian snacks. This store always held good memories for me with its warm and inviting atmosphere during a time where Asians were often discriminated against in the early 1970s.

"I’ve been to all their stores beginning from Elizabeth to Canal Streets, and now in Chelsea Market. They still have an incredible and helpful staff of this family-owned staple of Chinese culture and community."

Dr. Catherine Ma in blue dress giving presentation

Dr. Ma at a presentation in the blue version of the shift dress 

Dr. Ma was also kind enough to shout out Pearl River owner Mrs. Chen and Chelsea Market store manager Lynda. "They went above and beyond helping me pick out an outfit for my conference on Asian American studies. I ended up buying two dresses made of beautiful Chinese brocade because they reminded me of the traditional cheongsams my great-grandmother wore to my aunt’s wedding when I was a child.

"Pear River Mart has always held good memories for me as a child as well as now as an adult. I'm grateful they've survived troubling economic times, a global pandemic, and anti-Asian hate because they are a true exemplar of the resilience of Asian Americans."

And we're grateful for customers like you, Dr. Ma!

Have a story you want to share? Email us at customerservice@pearlriver.com. You can also check out our whole Old Shanghai Meets New York fashion collection.
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