What began as a way to fill an 8-hour day ended up being a rewarding, uplifting and satisfying adventure. I was at an intersection between my kitchen renovation completion and a rare day with no appointments on the calendar.
My home studio is currently inoperable, or I’d happily have spent those hours designing and sewing. Since I needed to be out of my space and didn’t have any projects cut and ready to stitch, I chose to take a day “off” from my routines. A friend mentioned Industry City in Brooklyn which was all the direction I needed.
I looked it up online and was particularly attracted by the Maker area advertised on the website. I dug deeper, going to one of the Maker’s own websites–Saskia–and watched her video. I knew I’d have a good time exploring, particularly if I could find this woman’s shop.
Travel there was easy enough. I took the A to the D, got off at 36th Street, and walked a couple of blocks to the complex. Sadly, there was very little foot traffic due to the pandemic, but that created a sense of safety nonetheless.
There are several buildings that make up this Brooklyn attraction. I walked around a bit to get my bearings, then saw arrows pointing to the Maker space on the second floor of Building 5. Saskia’s bright, attractive window display invited me in. Her large, airy shop is well-organized with finished jewelry pieces beautifully arranged on one side of the space, and an equally apealing workshop with busy craftswomen and fascinating works-in-progress on the other side.
This friendly, masked woman engaged me immediately. I recognized her from the video, and her enthusiasm, warmth and sincerity made me want to explore her products further. I’ll let you watch the video to learn more about her international travels and bead collection. Pretty soon, I was lining up all the pieces I wanted to buy, some as gifts, and one for me.
I didn’t go to Industry City with the intention of blogging about it. But when I meet an artist as professional and captivating as Saskia, I want to share the qualities that make her successful. There was the work, of course, but she was also a host, a story-teller, and salesperson extraordinaire. I loved the packaging of her jewelry pieces, and even the checkout system which included an illustration of each piece I bought. These details spoke to the quality and dedication of this woman’s ownership, pride and commitment.
She had laid the groundwork for my visit in her marketing efforts. Not every Maker has a video. It reminded me of how important that is in today’s marketplace. By the time I arrived at her shop, I felt like I was meeting the ‘star.’ How often have you entered an establishment only to have a disaffected person call across to you, “Let me know if you need any help.” This was completely the opposite. I felt like a guest at Saskia’s party.
As she was wrapping up my purchases, I mentioned what I was up to and even showed her an image of my pillows. She immediately related to my work. “Any suggestions of where I might exhibit?” I inquired. She mentioned a new-ish organization called Shoppe Object. And guess what?! I just applied to exhibit with them.
After leaving Saskia and the Maker area, I ventured over to the ABC Carpet and Home Outlet nearby. I was looking at the competition – pillows – and examined the zippers and pricing of their collection.
I left Industry City filled up, tired, but restored creatively and professionally.