Brooklyn Craft Company (165 Greenpoint Avenue), formerly situated in the Pencil Factory, has moved to a brand new home! To celebrate, they are throwing a grand opening party this weekend, September 10 & 11 with free DIY activities! We caught up with co-founder/owner Brett Bara about how they started, where they’re going, and plans for the new shop.
Greenpointers: Congrats on the new shop! Can you give me a brief history of Brooklyn Craft Company – where you started and where you see yourself going?
Brett Bara: We started almost 4 years ago—I’ve been in the crafts industry for 15 years [as the host of a knitting TV show, editor in chief of Crochet Today magazine, crafts editor at Woman’s Day magazine, author of a sewing book called Sewing In A Straight Line]. As a Greenpoint local, I noticed a need in the neighborhood for DIY instruction in an approachable way, so I put together a day long event called Brooklyn Craft Camp. It attracted 120 guests and we had music and food, and did craft workshops including sewing, weaving, dyeing—and everything grew from there!
Greenpointers: Why move from your previous location in the Pencil Factory?
BB: Well, our rent was going up by a lot and it just didn’t make sense to stay there! We also realized that class attendees wanted to buy the supplies to make these crafts on their own. Offering retail made a lot of sense, so we started looking into moving. We wanted a storefront with more visibility as well.
Greenpointers: What made you choose this new space (165 Greenpoint Ave)?
BB: It was a psychic premonition! Not really, but I used to drive by this space every day [formerly a pop up store called Mind Over Matter]—I kept thinking about coming in to ask them when their lease was up – but I knew how crazy that would look! So I didn’t, until one day I just did, and it turned out that their lease WAS coming up and we were able to jump on it right away. We were the first ones in the space—it was very serendipitous.
Greenpointers: Who curated the items in the shop? They’re all so adorable.
BB: The inventory was curated by myself and my two business—I am responsible for most of the yarn and fabric, my partner Christina looked into the art and jewelry, and Carolyn did most of the general crafts curating.
Greenpointers: The new space is smaller than your old space in the Pencil Factory. How will that affect your craft classes and events?
BB: This is actually a lot more efficient for us—now we have one main crafting table and we’ll max out at 12 people. We’ll be offering a lot of classes including sewing, knitting, crochet, embroidering, bargello (it’s a retro style of needlepoint, we’re bringing it back!), art, jewelry making, needle felting, weaving, and more. We’re pretty excited.
Greenpointers: What has been the best part of this so far for you?
BB: I think when people get really into the crafting. We have regular customers who love the classes and come back and take all of them. It’s really fun to see people get really happy and relaxed. By the end of a workshop, everyone’s loosened up and having fun.
The grand opening event hours are Saturday 9/10 11:30am-7:30pm, and Sunday 9/11 noon-5. They will be hosting free DIY projects all weekend plus giveaways and other goodies so stop by, say hi, and check out the store!
Brooklyn Craft Co. | 165 Greenpoint Avenue | Tuesday – Saturday 11:30am – 7:30pm, Sunday noon – 5pm