Big cities mean tons of options, which unfortunately can also mean too many options when you’re pressed to find the best. So to share the best local makers in New York City, we’ve assembled the A-team of insiders: some of our favorite Krrb members and resident influencers with knowledge on where to go and what to pick up. Let’s meet the team!
1. What locally made products do you use?
MO: I’m always looking for new local producers to support. I absolutely love jewelry and luckily there is quite a selection of brands here in New York. For a special piece thats unique I love to visit Catbird and for an item thats fun and suitable for everyday wear I love to visit Brooklyn Charm where you can make up your own piece thats one hundred percent unique!
EB: To be honest, all my products that I use are local brands, from cosmetics to clothes. I’m in love with Context skincare, Everlane, Cluse watches, Will and Bear hats and Vrai & Oro jewelry. Also, I like to discover new local brands in Whole Foods, especially for body care and oils.
AH: I love the candles from Apotheke and everything they do actually! For food, I love “Empire mayonnaise,” especially their white truffle one. I am also a big fan of Sir Kensington Ketchup. I also love Avandi that does really cool home goods and jewelry. And the designer is Belgian just like me!
2. If you want to give someone a gift that truly says “New York” what do you get them?
MO: I’m absolutely obsessed with the New York skyline plates sold in Fish’s Eddy. I’m hoping one day to have the whole set myself, but for the moment I think they are a really cute gift to give to someone, especially because they feature many of the renowned sights like the Empire State Building and the Brooklyn Bridge.
EB: Haha good question! I like The New Yorker magazine postcards with old-style covers. And of course, rare books! I like Rizzoli Bookstore for fashion books and Dashwood for photography books and albums. Or maybe I’d go to find something unique on vintage markets in Brooklyn.
AH: I actually try to give them something unexpected to show a side of the city they didn’t know. I often go for jewelry, home decor, or food.
3. Where do you go to discover local makers?
MO: Often I discover local makers simply by going to different markets around the city. I love visiting Artists and Fleas in Chelsea Market to see what new local sellers are being showcased, especially for fashion and art. Of course Smorgasburg is one of my go-to spots during the Summer to taste all of what New York has to offer! I’m excited to see whats going to be this years version of the infamous “ramen burger”.
EB: Instagram! I have a huge list of local brands and all of them I’ve found on Instagram. I prefer to follow people with common style in clothes so I can discover new brands from their profiles every day. And sometimes it’s local markets; for example, last month was Axis show with a lot of pretty local brands, and you can meet them in person.
AH: It’s usually just walking around in Brooklyn that I make my best finds. For example, I just discovered an amazing shop By Brooklyn in Carroll Gardens. Every single creator and every single item they feature is made in Brooklyn. Everything from soap to jewelry, books, clothes, and food. I really like Bklyn Larder that has all sorts of gourmet food. Their cheese selection is great. I often go to West Elm Market in Dumbo because I know they feature a lot of local artists. Look at the selection that is next to the entrance, they always have amazing designers.
4. We tend to find out about new local makers via social media; are there any feeds you follow that showcase local makers? Let us know so we can follow along!
MO: Like the rest of the world, social media is where I discover all things up and coming! I like to follow Made in NYC, it’s a pretty good account for showing what local makers are getting up to and if there’s any upcoming events that they’ll be featured at!
EB: Sure! It’s Axis Show for clothes and cosmetic brands, Still House for home goods and jewelry, Steven Alan store, The Line with local luxury brands, Need Supply with a collection of contemporary designers and independent labels, and The Stell for skincare brands.
AH: I follow Artists and Fleas: they always have a great selection of local artists amongst their vendors. I also follow my favorite neighborhood stores and they tend to carry a lot of local makers: Diana Kane, Pink Olive, and Annie’s Blue Ribbon.
5. Living in a major city can leave you overwhelmed with shopping options—are there any mom and pop stores you’ve become loyal to rather than sticking to “the big guys?”
MO: Of course its so easy in NYC to shop at all of the big department stores and chains but its also so very important to try and support the businesses that have been in this city long before the big brands arrived! I love to shop at The Strand for all of my books and my favorite place to eat is The Lexington Candy Shop Luncheonette. Right on 83rd and Lex, this diner has been around since the 1920’s and is definitely a NYC Landmark!
EB: Sometimes I can find new local brands in Urban Outfitters and Whole Foods, but I still prefer to discover something new on Instagram. I like brands with emotions and a story, so even when I’ve found new brands in physical store the first thing I do is check them on Instagram. And yes, if I like their IG feed it means I’ll buy it in 99% of the cases. I’m a designer, I like everything that has pretty visuals :)
AH: I live in Park Slope so I have great access to a lot of these stores! I am a loyal customer of Pink Olive, Annie’s Blue Ribbon, and Diana Kane. I also like the butcher shop Fleisher’s and my pharmacy Park Chemists.
6. Every city tends to have a different style in terms of design or style. What local designer would you say embodies the overall fashion sense of New York?
MO: I personally love Tome NYC, a womenswear brand based right here in the city. I feel that the each season their collection embodies New York style with a fresh perspective! All of the pieces have clean silhouettes with a twist and a neutral color palette that hits the heart of every New York woman.
EB: Nike sneakers and Vince coat. Louboutin heels and white Everlane t-shirt. Yoga pants and long fur jacket (I saw it!). First of all, it should be comfortable because you might have three meetings a day, gym class in the evening and a party with wine after. It should be kind of a basic style but with unique details. I guess Everlane is the best example of NYC fashion. Because of the concept, design, quality and a variety of styles in one lifestyle — convenience.
AH: Diana Kane. She’s a super talented jewelry designer in Park Slope. She has a lot of designs and she also creates personal pieces like wedding bands. Anything you have in mind, she’ll try to make it happen. On top of that, she has all sorts of other little design skills that she’s mastered: She makes super cute boxer shorts with liberty prints, candles, knit beanies and scarves, tote bags, and now she has a great “feminist” t-shirt. Her shop is a little treasure in Brooklyn.