Flying Squirrel (87 Oak Street) got its start more then a decade ago by filling a void. Its owner, Kate Schmitz, was schlepping in and out of Manhattan with things for her friend’s 1-year-old twins. At the same time, they were concerned about what would happen when the kids grew out of all that little kid stuff. They worried that those “two huge plastic ExerSaucers on the curb were going to take up a lot of space in a landfill.” And thus—the idea for Flying Squirrel was born, complete with cool logo design by illustrator Carl Dunn. Now that in Brooklyn you rarely need to go to Manhattan for anything, Flying Squirrel offers an expertly curated selection of new and used children’s clothing, toys and books for families that have made their home in the neighborhood.
From high-end toys, artisanal gifts, newborn essentials, and solid second hand items, it has something for the parent who has the best of everything and the parent who doesn’t have quite so much. There are cool new items like Tegu blocks and Estella rattles. If you’re looking for a second hand deal, you won’t find a glut of super cheep brands like Carter’s on the well-organized racks so you don’t have to dig deep to find a gem.
If you shop at Flying Squirrel then you’ve probably talked to Kate, or at least seen her at work. It’s her aesthetic taste, warm personality, and years of experience buying and selling for the 0-8ish age group that shape the store. Kate strives to make selling your gently used item as painless as possible. If you have a really good item that she knows she can sell you get 50% of the resale price as in-store credit. For more heavily worn or less unique items, not so much. But, she will give back the unsalable stuff gently. Every used item has such sentimental value to the parents that reselling can be an emotional experience. She always tries to deal with each customers items with care, although she doesn’t recommend dropping off a giant bag of wrinkled and stained flotsam and jetsam. There’s also a consignment option for larger items like strollers.
Flying Squirrel has been in its new and more spacious location at 87 Oak Street for three years and is aiming to stay connected with the neighborhood by sharing their space. The store has been re-organized and the music and play area is now slightly larger and at the front. There are now nine sing along times a week and new programming to come. Kate is looking for more family friendly artists who would be interested in sharing the lofted area above the store for other types of collaboration so reach out if you are interested. There’s more in store for Greenpoint’s little set!
Flying Squirrel | 87 Oak Street | Tuesday to Saturday 10–7, Sunday and Monday 11–6 | Buying Hours:
Tuesday to Friday 10:30–1:30
, But call to confirm.
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