In a world where it seems like big-box companies control all aspects of our lives, it’s nice to know that there are plenty of alternatives. The push to buy local—not just in New York City, but across the nation—is proof that there’s another way.
More and more consumers are turning towards small businesses for an array of needs. In New York, for instance, local officials have made it a priority to ensure that all New Yorkers have access to fresh, locally grown food by supporting various greenmarkets throughout the boroughs. Partnerships between local businesses and local artists are being forged as an effort to support one another.
And unsurprisingly, there are plenty of places in the city to find locally-produced home goods. We decided to zone in on Brooklyn to see what the borough had to offer, and found ten local companies offering handcrafted goods with a focus on sustainability, and repurposing in a way that you won’t find in many national chains. Know of some others? Let us know in the comments.
↑ What started as a small idea by brothers Matthew and Steven Loftice—to produce sustainable, eco-friendly furniture and home goods—quickly grew into a full-time business. All of the products made by Recycled Brooklyn are hand-produced in their 8,000-square-foot studio Red Hook workshop. Though they don’t have a brick and mortar storefront, Recycled Brooklyn can be found at the Brooklyn Flea every weekend.
↑ Former band promoter-turned-furniture designer Jeremy Pickett draws inspiration from the ancient temples of Japan to the viking ships of Norway for his custom projects. Working out of a studio in Red Hook, each piece of furniture is made to order, though some pieces, especially some of the concrete clocks pictured above, are typically in stock.
↑ This Brooklyn-based furniture company has been handcrafting furniture since 1997. Their primary focus is creating quality furniture that is both trendy and affordable while also extending the option to customers to create customized pieces.
↑ Specializing in high-end custom designs, Uhuru has catered to clients that include the Brooklyn Museum and the Smithsonian. The Red Hook-based company crafts out-of-the-ordinary furnishings that are unlike the stuff you’d find at Ikea.
Talbot & Yoon
↑ Architects Mark Talbot and Youngjin Yoon founded their design firm with a simple mission: to create beautiful objects that incorporate their architectural thinking into practical but playful designs. From end tables to jewelry cabinets and lamps, each item is designed and made by the duo in their Brooklyn studio.
↑Woodworking studio Bien Hecho has been stationed at Brooklyn Navy Yard since its 2006 inception by founder John Randall. Since then, it’s racked up an impressive list of clients that includes the New York Botanical Garden, Workshop/APD, Related Companies, and the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The company’s designs focus on creating fine furniture that is environmentally responsible.
↑ Occupying a 25,000-square-foot warehouse in Greenpoint, Sentient produces products so lovely that even the ritzy London Edition hotel tapped the brand to craft some of its furniture. Everything from standard fare to exotic furniture can be found here.
↑ Looking for some funky furniture to give a kid’s bedroom a bit more pizazz? Then Casa Kids is your place to go. Manufacturing out of Red Hook, this small company offers practical yet fashionable children’s furniture designed by Roberto Gil.
↑ Coming from a long line of furniture designers and craftsmen, DUMBO-based builder Mark Jupiter creates handcrafted furnishings that are both elegant and sustainable.
Brooklyn Bowls and Furniture
↑ Every product offered by Brooklyn Bowls and Furniture is handmade by a single person: Founder Craig Diamond creates every piece in his line—from small home decor to jewelry to furniture—out of his Bay Ridge shop.