Sherry Accessories

“Our machines allow us to produce all sorts of accessories.”

Terry SchwartzFounder & CEO

“I started working at age thirteen, and never stopped since.”

Terry Schwartz unveiled his entrepreneurial mindset at only thirteen years old, when his father gave him the choice between attending camp or getting a job. Without hesitation, Terry chose the latter and started working at a toy store. By the age of seventeen, he became responsible for managing all operations as well as the entire staff, as the store owner recognized that Terry had doubled revenues and significantly improved business processes. Upon graduating from college a few years later, Terry asked the owner if he could become a partner in his business, but his request was declined. Disappointed, Terry set out to discover his next opportunity. In 1972, his cousin bought a belt factory in the Garment District and asked Terry to become his partner. After four years of successfully managing this new venture, Terry dreamed of opening his own manufacturing business; that is when he created Sherry Accessories.

Faces of the Garment District - Sherry Accessories Belts
Faces of the Garment District - Sherry Accessories Belt buckles

“Our machines allow us to produce all sorts of accessories.”

Sherry Accessories started as a belt factory, but soon became a full accessories manufacturing facility with the ability to create buckles, crowns, buttons, bags and more. Terry quickly discovered that his factory’s equipment would allow him to manufacture a range of different types of products, and Sherry Accessories’ service offerings continued to expand.

After four decades of consistent growth, Terry is now an industry leader in creating and manufacturing accessories for both established and emerging designers. Most recently, Terry has also ventured in the luxury market, accepting smaller orders of more intricate products. Most companies in the area are too small to compete for these complex production orders, which has allowed Sherry Accessories to stand out in the marketplace.

“My goal isn’t to build a big company; I prefer to focus on making really cool stuff instead.”

“The Garment District has drastically changed since the ‘90s.”

The landscape has drastically changed over the last forty years. When Sherry Accessories opened its doors in 1976, three hundred garment and accessories manufacturers existed on its block. Today, only three companies are left. Terry’s team initially included seventy employees, but due to the changing economic landscape and skyrocketing rent, the team now consists of seven employees.

With COVID, business became unpredictable Terry started sourcing Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), providing medical grade gowns and masks to nursing homes and other facilities. Pivoting allowed him to help the community, while covering his staff’s salaries and surviving the economic consequences of the pandemic.

Terry has now turned his focus again on accessories manufacturing, and on expanding his client roster. The pandemic showed necessary the online marketplace is, and Terry and his team are working hard on expanding Sherry Accessories’ reach and brand awareness through digital channels.

Faces of the Garment District - Sherry Accessories buttons

Q&A with Terry Schwartz

What work have you most enjoyed?

Anything involving creativity, and trying to figure out problems.

What keeps you motivated?

Continuous effort. I do not want to be defeated; if I fail, I’ll fail on my own terms.

What has influenced you most?

Working in the toy retail business.

Fun fact about your company?

We made belts for Madonna’s tour. Her team sent someone in to make a hundred different versions of the same belt and in the end, they ended up using the first version.