NYC products, available on the NYSOM Marketplace.
New York, New York. We’re proud to call this big city home to our small business. One of the joys of living in the Big Apple is that this metropolis inspires a plethora of outstanding entrepreneurs whose work makes the collective ambience absolu tely electric. At the fore of these fine makers is a diverse group of artisans who seek to solve for a problem and are pursuing their passions in the path to a remedy. Twenty-something Abby Carnevale apprenticed under renowned jewelers in NYC before creating her own vintage-inspired line, while hand-spliced nautical rope collars and leashes made by Found My Animal began with the adoption a rescue dog. Be in the Moment was founded by a jeweler who felt strongly that pet name tags could be beautiful, meaningful and more personal (and she hand-engraves your phone number on each), while SimplyNu’s clocks keep track of time in the city that never sleeps, and Jook & Nona’s city-engraved cuff bracelets keep you rooted as you traipse around town from day to night. Painter Caroline Z Hurley, of her namesake housewares atelier, handprints her scarves; Pete Raho of Gowanus Furniture Co. hand-assembles the most stunning cutting boards you’ll ever see (made only for you, baby); and Caitlin Wicker of Sweatertoys re-imagines the purpose of and potential in a vintage sweater.
Read on to find out why we love these artists, and why their work keeps this the city so nice they named it twice.
No matter where or when you were a little girl, playing dress-up will always be a rite of passage. To Abby Carnevale — a 20-something, Parker Posey-esque Brooklynite whose signatures include red lipstick and a 1980s Schwinn bike — raiding her grandmother’s closet for vintage jewelry was a true treasure hunt. Her favorite discovery was a pair of earrings in near-perfect condition despite decades of wear. The high-quality craftsmanship evident in these pieces made an impression on Abby, who eventually inherited the pair and wears them to this day.
Inspired by her grandmother’s collection, Abby began designing her own jewelry at age 13. As she became more serious about the endeavor, Abby traveled to intensive workshops in Mexico and apprenticed under renowned jewelers in New York City. With her eponymous line, Abby puts a fresh spin on vintage style in every piece she creates. She scours thrift stores, estate sales and flea markets to find inspiration for new shapes and colors to incorporate into her line, and uses locally-sourced materials. Her style embodies a unique dichotomy of simple design and intricate craft, and each piece is both wearable and timeless. A Gatsby costume party-worthy piece is just as easily paired with a sweater and skinny jeans. Years from now, you’ll have the pleasure of seeing how your own granddaughter puts her spin on these styles.
Sometimes its not the HOW but the WHY. As with all of the Merchants carried in the NYSOM Marketplace, it’s a given that Brooklyn-based Found My Animal crafts sustainably-made, built-to-last, beautiful products. Their pieces are so fabulous that if you don’t have a dog, you’ll want one just to accessorize it. Which leads us to the WHY: Found My Animal appealed to us on an emotional level due to their commitment to raising awareness about and supporting rescue animals. The first Found My Animal leash was created for the founders’ rescue dog, and it was decided that these handsome pieces could be a vehicle for spreading the word about pet adoption, celebrating the organizations that grant refuge to unwanted animals and, best of all, cherishing the people who make room in their homes and hearts for a new best friend.
A sailor in the family inspired the nautical theme that weaves its way through this Bedford-Stuyvesant-produced line of products. The rope used in the leashes, collars and bag handles is hand-spliced and then “whipped” to withstand the pull of even the most enthusiastic dog. Each piece is designed to suit canines of all sizes and is available in a variety of colors and patterns to fit your pup’s personality. Whether your pet is a rescue animal or not, these lovingly handmade pieces are a reminder of how lucky we are to have companionship and a place to call home, as well as our duty to share the love.
Some people can do it all — and if they weren’t so amazing, you’d resent them. We were first drawn to Caroline Z(ucchero) Hurley because of her paintings, a skill for which she received a degree from the prestigious Rhode Island School of Design. Her talent has been recognized and rewarded with a fellowship at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in Amherst, VA, and a residency at the New Museum in NYC. Caroline approaches her artwork with the dream of conveying “color in motion, play-time, beauty in the mundane.” In 2011, she spread her theory beyond the canvas and opened Caroline Z Hurley, a housewares company. Very much an artistic process, Caroline individually hand-prints each of these throws in her Brooklyn studio. She uses sustainable materials like linen cloth and non-toxic ink to express the whimsy of dancing squares and triangles; museum-worthy work by a multimedia artist.
There’s no denying it: we love our pets. We lavish them with love and attention, and might even spoil them with gourmet food and feathered beds. So shouldn’t we outfit them in New York’s finest accessories? Melissa, an NYU-educated, Brooklyn-based jewelry designer, showcases her metalworking talents in every Be in the Moment product. Each dog tag–available in nickel silver, copper, brass and sterling silver–is hand cut by Melissa. As a courtesy to her clients and their furry friends, Melissa hand-stamps the pet’s name and the owner’s phone number into each tag at no additional cost. Just like your pup, no two tags are exactly alike.
FOR A MAN with an art history, science and I.T. background, perhaps it’s not surprising that Pete Raho, founder and craftsman of Gowanus Furniture Co., combined these elements into the one spectacular product that launched his business. What’s interesting about his story is the randomness, and yet near inevitability, of events that led Pete to where he is today.
I met Pete at Makeville Studio, the Gowanus workshop he shares with woodworking artists of all varieties. Pete is a ringer for Ben Affleck, though younger and funkier. His work uniform consists of a black t-shirt, jeans, gray apron, and Brooklyn-appropriate footwear: Dr. Marten’s boots one day, Converse Chuck Taylors another. His ready laugh and quick wit have no doubt sealed many a deal with customers initially attracted to the products at his Brooklyn Flea stand.
The improbable inception of Gowanus Furniture Co. began years ago when Pete was working in the American Paintings Department of a leading New York auction house. There Pete encountered the work of Samuel F. B. Morse, the painter-turned-inventor of the eponymous Code and telegraph. As Pete’s curiosity about Morse developed, he was simultaneously completing his MBA at NYU and yearning to break out on his own into the business side of art. The brutal realization of the unavoidable inefficiency, sycophancy and monotony of the art market spurred Pete to move in a different direction entirely. As he says, one day he resolved, “Alright, screw that. I’ll just make stuff instead.”
We find again and again that each New York state of mind is drawn from a million different and unique sources. Shir Michaels, the founder and designer behind jewelry line Jook & Nona, lived in Israel until she was three. Even after moving to NYC, Shir returned each summer to visit her grandfather, a painter. Learning from his example, Shir cultivated a fascination with labors of love. It’s not surprising, then, that a hallmark of Shir’s work is its sentimental tone. Thanks to an apprenticeship under jewelry designer James Colarusso and an MFA from Parsons, Shir now hand-casts, hand-shapes and hand-engraves her line’s brass cuffs in her Upper West Side studio. Each bracelet’s monogram memorializes a place or an activity: NYC, Amagansett, surfing…and the list goes on. Wear these pieces in the moment of your travels, or let them transport you to a happy visit even when you’re stuck at the office.
Perhaps because she hails from Madrid, Elena, the founder and designer behind SimplyNu, especially values heritage and art that withstands the test of time. For her line of clocks, Elena salvages slate and wood from a treasure trove: a 1900s Tudor-style house located near her Queens home. These materials–formerly roof shingles, staircases, and structural studs–are beautifully preserved and deserving of a second life. Each of these pieces is lovingly crafted by Elena, who formerly worked as an art director in branding, and studied fine arts in both Spain and New York. With every clock, you inherit the stories of a grand old home, and in turn imbue these heirloom pieces with your own tales, to be passed along to the next generation.
While markets are flooded with mass-produced, imported, and occasionally toxic toys, a studio in Brooklyn is doing everything right. Sweatertoys was founded six years ago, and each stuffed animal is affectionately handmade, one-by-one, by Caitlin. She’s taken with the concept of “giving new life to something that was once loved,” and combines vintage fabric and knits — a cardigan inherited from Grandma, a cashmere turtleneck shrunk in the wash, an irresistible cableknit found at the vintage store down the street — into heritage-caliber and whimsically unorthodox plush pals and baby rattles. No two are the same, and the colors vary constantly with the available sweaters; it’s a welcome break from chain store monotony. The animals are stuffed with polyester fill composed of recycled plastic bottles. We’re featuring animals native to New York State, and look forward to the day when the State Animal, the beaver, emerges from an old twinset…Be sure to check out her line of pillows, now available on the NYSOM Marketplace.