When you walk into Harlem Haberdashery, an interesting boutique located downstairs at 245 Lenox Ave., you actually feel like you’re visiting an older time in Harlem. There’s everything from biker-styled menswear to vintage-looking womenswear and accessories on display. You’ll find photos of family, friends and well-known entertainers on the walls in front. The owners, Guy and Sharene Wood, are delighted to show you around and share stories about their photo collection. (Several photos of their family members are famous, such as one of Carmen McCrae, the jazz singer.) Also on their wall of fame are photos of folks who were just passing through as customers and friends.

A nice seating area is set up in the center of the space. Imagine a red chandelier catching your eye every now and then. On one side, there’s a desk facing a dressing room in a diagonal corner area with beautiful print curtains. An antique trunk in the center of the shop displays t-shirts. In the back, near the yard, there’s a rack of women’s clothing that you will enjoy looking through.

Last Sunday, Harlem Haberdashery was one of the stops on the Harlem tour of houses, and folks came around, talking about the big celebration the night before. The family gathered in the backyard. The grill was going, and neighbors and friends were coming in with bags of shrimp and various other delicacies to cook up. The atmosphere was extremely comfortable, low-key, warm and friendly.

Despite the afternoon’s festivities, Sharene Wood still took time out for a short interview. Apparently, things are not what they seem at this boutique. Harlem Haberdashery’s business is more about custom designing. So if you don’t see what you want in the shop, just tell them what you want and creative director Guy Wood will design and make your desired outfit, dress or suit. They also design and outfit complete wedding parties, and they work on short deadlines.

The store began with the idea of creating a specific brand for their company. They have actually created costumes for many celebrities like the O’Jays, the Temptations, the Rev. Al Sharpton and even 50 Cent. They also feature clothes by a variety of new designers. Every so often, they will host a pop-up fashion presentation to introduce and show a new designer’s line. Harlem Haberdashery is also a “hub” for discussions on social and community issues. The partners of this family business include Guy and Sharene Wood, Louis Johnson Jr., Bernard “Kells” Barnett, Greg Smith, Guy Wood Jr., Shayvionne Harris and Nairobi Washington. They are a terrific team.

The night before, this boutique was lauded for its elegance, design and good business qualities. Harlem is, and has always been, an elegant, great place to open up a business. Harlem Haberdashery was honored by four business and community leaders who sang their praises. Kenneth J. Knuckles, president and CEO of Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone; Elsie McCabe Thompson, wife of mayoral candidate Bill Thompson; Syderia Asberry Chresfield and Laurent Delly of Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association; and City Council candidate Vince Morgan were all in the house to celebrate Harlem Haberdashery. The nearly 100 other guests included Red Rooster’s Marcus Samuelsson, and Derrick Fleming.

You’ll love the way Harlem Haberdashery allows you to feel at home. Prices vary, but they are affordable. They are open seven days a week, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. When you visit Harlem Haberdashery, tell them you read about their store in the New York Amsterdam News.