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Davis Journal

Chay’s Alterations drums up business by word-of-mouth advertising

Dec 08, 2022 01:15PM ● By Alisha Copfer

Leilani Drumm works at her sewing machine at Chay’s Alterations on Main Street in Bountiful.

BOUNTIFUL—Originally built in 1900, the small house-like building on Main street, across from the Bountiful Police Department, is home to Chay’s Alterations. Leilani Drumm purchased Chay’s in 2001 and has been there ever since.

Drumm, originally from the Philippines, has been sewing since high school. She was about 16 years old when she started sewing and worked as a professional seamstress in the Philippines. After Drumm married, she moved to the U.S. and later to Utah. She has been here for almost 30 years. 

“I’ve had a passion for tailoring and alterations since I was a teenager,” Drumm said on her website, “I immigrated to the United States in 1994. Five years after that, I decided to start my own project. My dedication and reputation over the years have given me the opportunity to continue to excel and learn more about this industry.”

“I just like sewing,” said Drumm. When she first moved to Utah, she lived in Layton with her husband and worked at ZCMI in alterations. One of her co-workers knew that Chay’s was for sale and helped Drumm make the purchase.

“When I bought the place, it wasn’t much.” said Drumm. “I had to build it up.” One of the best ways Drumm has been able to keep Chay’s running is through word-of-mouth advertising.

“When people just like your job, they tell their friends,” explained Drumm. “People just seem to know me, and they just keep coming back.”

Drumm takes nearly any sewing job she can get. From alterations to hand-made wedding dresses, she does it all. “Whatever they ask, I’ll do it,” said Drumm. Making wedding dresses from scratch is her favorite thing to do. She keeps pictures of each of her creations on her counter by the front register. Drumm also makes prom and formal dresses from scratch.

Chay’s can handle men’s sewing and alterations, wedding dresses, prom dresses, uniform alterations and much more. Drumm has learned to work with customers while still stitching away at her sewing machine.

Drumm handles the shop on her own. “I like the quiet, so I can think about what I am doing and what needs to happen next,” said Drumm about working solo at Chay’s. “Because when I see the customer happy, I feel better about myself and my job.”

Chay’s Dressmaking is located at 796 South Main Street, Bountiful, UT 84010. They are open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and closed on Sundays.