Houston Community News >> Houston Harwin Street Shopping

6/22/2006 Houston -- What if we told you that some of Houston's most fashionable women share a secret? It's a secret to looking great all the time and they do it cheaper than a lot of us. That is, until now. The secret is out!

Harwin Street, shopping area located between Gessner and Fondren, is one of the best kept secrets in Houston. It's a maze of warehouse-looking buildings in the southwest part of town. That's no secret, you say? You've heard of it? But wait -- when it comes to high fashion, here's the real secret. "You know some of those expensive boutiques around Houston? Some of them come here to buy their stuff, mark it up, and then sell it back to you," revealed Lisa Song with Accessory Plaza, a business on Harwin.

No way, you're thinking. That stuff on Harwin is nothing but knock-offs and cheap junk. Think again. A lot of the costume jewelry and other accessories come directly from the same place as expensive store stock. "China, Korea, and lately a lot of Phillipines," said Song. "Some of those companies they do buy from the same people, to be honest with you."

I hear from clients all the time who spend $300, $400, $500, $600 on it and then they come somewhere like here and find the exact piece, like exactly the same, for like $89 dollars," said Bamford

"You find something that's really, really neat and then you go like, 'Oh my gosh! It's only five dollars,'" said Harwin shopper Anne Billingsley. "I think it's one of the places people buy stuff in a way and they could keep it a secret because they don't want their friends to know they found such a good bargain," said Bamford. So why don't more Houston women take advantage of these prices? Well, a lot of people we talked to say they know where Harwin street is, but once they get there, they don't know where to go. So here's some advice:
  • First, just pick a place! Even if it says 'wholesale' on the sign, most places on Harwin sell retail and wholesale.
  • Second, don't be afraid to price compare from store to store.
  • Third, give yourself some time. You'll need at least an hour to navigate and to browse through all the stuff.
  • Finally, try to go during the week when there's not such a crush. Saturdays are crowded.

(Contributed by ABC13.com)