Featured In : WWD

Featured In : WWD
(Excerpt)

“There’s been a significant migration from SoHo to Brooklyn. A lot of creative professionals now live in Brooklyn and that is really my customer base,” said Michele Varian of the shop at 400 Atlantic Avenue that bears her name. Her store sells pillows, lighting, baskets, wallpaper, furniture, tableware, jewelry, art, ceramics and gifts. “I design and manufacture a lot of the lighting, the pillows, wallpaper and some furniture.” Lighting is created downstairs in the shop, which employs a full-time fabricator for the lighting and a seamstress for the pillows.

“I really do believe successful retail is the kind of retail that’s integrated into people’s lifestyles,” Varian said. “We are part of the residential community which is totally how it used to be in SoHo. I live in SoHo. It’s become tourist-driven. We have been robbed of our streets during the day, but it’s a beautiful neighborhood when it’s not overrun with people.”

Varian moved her store from SoHo right before the pandemic, in January 2020. “I can not overstate how important that was. I had the shop in SoHo for 20 years. It was as though my landlord was my boss. I am paying 30 percent of what I was paying in SoHo. If I was still in SoHo I would be out of business.”

Asked what she thinks makes Atlantic Avenue distinctive, Varian said, “The historic storefronts are very striking but within those storefronts you’ve got the owners on site,” bringing their personal taste and preferences to the merchandising and decor. “It’s a more traditional retail experience that hearkens back to olden days,” said Varian. “You see people you know. You have conversations and relationships with the store staff. There are like-minded people and so many of my customers and many of the people on Atlantic Avenue are looking for things they can’t find somewhere else. It’s a discerning clientele craving things they haven’t seen online.”

 

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Block Party GIVEAWAY

Block Party GIVEAWAY
We are so pleased to partner up with @mpatmos and @PageSargissonJewelry ✨two other fantastic women-owned brands from our block✨to offer the first Block Party Giveaway! The link to enter is in our bio and the last day to enter is July 31st. Winner will be announced August 3rd.

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Featured In : New York Times

Featured In : New York Times

Why SoHo Struggles and Indie Shops in Brooklyn Are Doing Fine 

With the exception of November 1929, there has probably been no moment less conducive to opening a jewelry store in New York than at any point during the past 11 months. So it was a hopeful and norm-defying sign, like a heat wave in a Finnish noir, to find Page Sargisson Jewelry arriving on the corner of Hoyt Street and Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn right after Thanksgiving.

Ms. Sargisson had been designing and making jewelry for 16 years, selling it wholesale and online. But she had long wanted to open a store, one that was big enough to accommodate a workshop. This past August, as the lease on her studio space was running out, she approached the owner of a building whose ground floor, like hundreds of other shop fronts around the city, had been empty for some time. She told him what she could pay. They came to an agreement. By the end of December, her sales had far exceeded her expectations...

...The lessons would seem obvious — that neighborhoods do best when they evolve organically in sync with the people who live in them. They cannot be manufactured as if real life were Minecraft. In the micro sense there are hopeful signs — landlords tying rents to percent of sales, banks slowly becoming more flexible in their financing. But the way we think about commerce and communities needs a radical re-evaluation.

“Retail has to be integrated into people’s lives,” Ms. Varian remarked. “Where are people walking their dogs? Where are they taking their kids to school?” Those businesses then need to be supported. And in the end, the vultures need to be kept away.

Read the full article here.

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NYC Jewelry Week 2020 : November 16-22nd

NYC Jewelry Week 2020 : November 16-22nd

NYC Jewelry Week 2020 | November 16-22nd

Dozens Of Live Virtual Events! 

Save the date for Michele : Sunday November 22nd 3:30-4:30pm

STORE SAVANTS
Join Emili Vesilind, Senior Editor and Social Media Director at JCK, in conversation with Michele Varian, Rosanne Pugliese, Claire Pijoulat, and Nilea Alexander about how they buy and curate, how they discover new designers and brands, and how they're responding to the seismic changes currently upending the way we all browse, shop, and buy. 

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