Today I have a wonderful, pretty little shop in Brooklyn to share with you all, Ouvrez La Porte! Karen, the stylish lady who owns this shop, is also a designer and has a sewing studio in the back where she creates the house label of clothing. She hosts a fun mix of emerging designers and vintage wares- let's take a closer look!
What is the name of your shop and where is it located? How long have you been in business?
Ouvrez La Porte (French for "Open the Door"). 105 Bond St. (Atlantic & Pacific) Boerum Hill Brooklyn NY. It'll be 5 years this fall!!
What sorts of items do you sell? Who are some of the designers you carry?
I sell an eclectic mixture of emerging designers, handmade one of a kinds, and vintage. Clothing designers include; RikaRika, Astridland, Zuzupop, GlamGarb, Suzabelle, NRS, pH by Phillia, Abigail Gluam Lathbury and my own house label, Ouvrez La Porte. Jewelry designers include Agapantha, Liv & Lucy, NolaBella, Juju, Anna Sofia, Amy Tavern, Foxglove Accessories, and Avnon. Handbags by SML and makeup by Pin-Up Cosmetics. The designers carried here are from all over the country and Canada.
What sort of mood/design aesthetic does your shop have?
The shop has the feel of a walk in closet with vintage slips spilling out of drawers and shoes on the floor ready to be paired with your outfit for the day. It's feminine and intimate like a boudoir with girly paintings and photographs on the walls and glittery red roses but with a nostalgic handmade twist with vintage items hanging off of crochet hangers my Grandmother made ages ago. Customers can also see into my design studio in the back so there is immediately a sense of craft and handmade goodness!
What price range do you carry?
Nothing over $400! Handmade notecards for $5 and handmade silk dresses for $350.
What do you think makes your shop stand out from the crowd and keep people coming back?
I try to keep the shop filled with beautiful things that are affordable and hard to find elsewhere. That mixed with neighborhood friendliness is what I hope does the trick.
Do you operate on wholesale or consignment? Do you accept submissions of handmade items from designers? If so, what's the best way for them to approach you?
With designers I operate on a consignment basis, the vintage is from my own sourcing. I do not resale vintage from people's closets. I love to see what other designers are doing and do accept submissions. It's a small shop here and I don't always have openings for new lines so an email with pic and links is the best way to approach me- [email protected]
What is the best thing about owning your own shop? And the worst?
The best thing is the creative freedom and the wonderful community of designers I have met. Also it's great to meet people from this neighborhood, everyone is so friendly and appreciative of what I do! The worst is without sales help, it's hard to take a vacation!
What is one lesson you can pass down to future shopkeeps who are just getting started?
Redefine success; some days I get more compliments and hearts than sales. And that to me is a job well done!
And, if you're a shop owner who would like to give us a virtual tour of your own store, just email me with the subject "shop tour" and let me know!