Brooklyn retailer Life:Curated is stocked with an eclectic mix of locally designed garments, quirky jewelry and crafted housewares. Owner Sarah Meyer and Creative Director Ryan Thomann share with BULLETT exactly how they curate Life:Curated.
Tell me a little bit about your background, and how did you end up opening this store?
Sarah worked on the design side of the fashion industry for several years, and my (Ryan) background is in communication art. Sarah had wanted to open a store for some time, and I was the perfect partner to take it to another level. After a year of planning, the rest was history.
Where did your store name come from?
The name, Life:Curated, came about a bit randomly. We had been stressing about naming the store for a few weeks and had tried on several different ones when Sarah finally threw “Life:Curated” out over a mac-n-cheese dinner. By dessert, we both decided we loved it, and it stuck. It’s fitting, we think, because we wanted to build a boutique that provided focused, style-driven fashion and home goods to make life more beautiful.
Describe your store decor. Who designed the space?
[Designing] our space was a collaboration with our good friends Trish Andersen and Maureen Walsh of Domestic Construction. (www.domestic-construction.com.) They put their hearts and hammers into the place, and it suits us perfectly. The decor leans toward the masculine, and its gray walls and pops of color are moody and edgy. The space features a pretty intense rope ceiling installation and wall-mounted boxes that we use to display products like art.
How long have you been open? Do you have any other locations?
Our one-year anniversary is September 2, 2011, and we can’t believe it’s almost here—it’s been a whirlwind year! So far, the Williamsburg store is our only location, but we’re about to launch our web-store, which will widen our customer base. Sarah’s dad keeps asking when our five-store, ten-year plan will be ready. Ha! We’ll see about that.
Describe your typical customer.
Our customers’ style is easy with a bit of edge. They look for products with character and award extra points when the brand is local, independent or up-and-coming. At Life:Curated, we strive to create a tailored store that really reflects our neighborhood and lifestyle so the majority of our customer base has been from our neighborhood. We’re very appreciative for the local support and are also looking forward to reaching a broader audience when our e-commerce site launches.
Who are your favorite designers in the store right now?
We love all of our lines equally, but some of our favorites presently in the store are Timo Weiland, Mara Hoffman, Creep by Hiroshi Awai, Elizabeth Knight and Rebecca Minkoff. We’re also looking forward to adding some new lines like Orly Genger and Velour for fall.
How do you find the boutique or niche designers that you include in your seasonal buys?
We find inventory in all sorts of places. Of course we frequent the trade shows, but we’re lucky to have an extensive network of artistic friends who are always creating and making new friends who create. We get really stoked when we’re able to throw support behind our friends and stock their collections.
What piece are you personally most excited to wear in the summer season?
Sarah loves boyfriend-fit jean shorts, and I try to spend the entirety of summer in a tank top… any tank top.
In the midst of an angry heat wave, as we fanned ourselves with any readily available paperwork, the BULLETT team drew inspiration from the unlikely source of our sweat-streaked faces. Fantasizing of an alternate world where we looked sexier as the temperature rose, BULLETT crafted and cast a down-and-dirty faux-couple to slink about in a heat wave.
Photographer: Geordy Pearson
Men’s Stylist: Gabriel Marques
Women’s Stylist: Janice Chou
Hair and Make Up: Jonathan Rackleff using MAKE UP FOR EVER
Models: Dana A, Request Models and Eric, RED
All pieces available at Life:Curated (186 Grand Street, Brooklyn, NY 11211. Call +347.689.9143 for more information.)