LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) — It was the week before the Kentucky Derby and all over Alex Mazon’s house were jackets, dresses, maybe even a blouse. Customers rush in with clothes that don’t quite line up, hoping Mazon can fix them in time.
In St. Matthews, Mazon owns Alex’s TG Alterations, which is near the intersection of Shelbyville Road and Hubbards Lane. Mazon has been a tailor for decades and his hands have become memory foam around a sewing machine.
“It’s my life,” Mazon said. “This is my first house.”
Mazon has been an integral part of his St. Matthews business for nine years, calling his store his second home.
He has been in the United States for 45 years, since a visit to Chicago from his home country of Mexico ended in an unexpected hospital stay.
“When I got here I got so sick,” Mazon said. “My gallbladder exploded and I was in hospital for three months.”
When Mazon recovered, he said he decided to stay and make his life in the United States. He went to work as a tailor to make ends meet, bouncing from Chicago to Indianapolis to Louisville, all the while earning himself a nickname.
“I’m the TG,” Mazon said. “Do you know what that means? TG? The tall one!”
Mason said he branded the nickname while working in Indianapolis at Nordstrom.
“I was there and the employees in men’s suits called me (saying), ‘I want to see TG, I want to see TG,'” he explained. “Yes, and I’m here.”
Mazon makes sure to live up to its reputation, especially when the schedule swings into spring and the Kentucky Derby is approaching. During the Derby season, Alex The Great said he increased his workload by around 300%.
That’s why his store is packed from April to May, living proof of the $400 million economic impact Louisville Tourism expects the Kentucky Derby 148 will have on Louisville.
“God blessed me, believe me, every day I have a lot of work all the time,” Mazon said. “But this time, oh my God, it’s crazy.”
For weeks, he spent hours in his sewing chair, his eyes glued to the laundry that desperately needed work. His only distractions are last-minute customers, on pins and needles to get their clothes to fit perfectly.
They hand over the fabrics, adding to her long waiting list, and watch Mazon sew them to perfection.
“I want to stay here,” Mazon said. “I want to stay here, and all my prayers, I say, ‘My Lord, when you take me, I want to die here by the machine.'”
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