If you ever are looking for cards, candles, games, beauty and household items (and that’s only to name a few), Woods Grove is the right place for you.
The local business opened a store in Greenpoint (109 Franklin St.) on July 6. This will be the second store for the business. Woods Grove started in Cobble Hill in 2015 by Chris DiChiaro. DiChiaro joined forces with one of his closest friends of 25 years, Robby Schnall, in 2018. They met at an executive training program at Lord & Taylor.
“We strive to carry [things] at a good price point like typically under $50 — really well made — something you’re not going to go home and be disappointed about…. And we just want you to feel a little bit of happiness when you buy something that sounds like an impulse splurge, but it was something you bought and you don’t regret,” said Schnall.
With more than 40 years of retail experience combined from places like Lord & Taylor, Sak’s, and Cole Haan, the duo is making their dream and passion of running their own business come true. DiChiaro first saw there was a desire in the community for a gift shop, a place people could grab an eclectic array of miscellaneous things or vintage items. The response to the Greenpoint location has been positive. DiChiaro told Greenpointers that the community has been really friendly and has welcomed them with open arms.
While DiChiaro and Schnall are not sure where they would want to expand next, they do know that they really like to get to know a neighborhood before making that decision. Their retail background has taught them to be more methodical. They had been looking at Greenpoint for three years before they opened a store there. DiChiaro and Schnall would spend their weekends in Greenpoint, walking around and hanging out, getting to know the neighborhood.
“Greenpoint still [has] a little grunge going on and you know, it’s kind of our vibe like we mix old and new together, and we sort of keep this Mom-and-Pop, grungy kind of vibe in our stores,” said DiChiaro
DiChiaro loved that Greenpoint also has this “cool, little hipper, younger” vibe still. It reminds him of how Carroll Gardens (where he’s been living for twelve years) was like ten years ago. He notices that certain items sell better at Greenpoint than in Cobble Hill, such as the Baggu bucket hats. Schnall notices nylon based products (which right now is a fashion trend), such as bags, are doing really well at the Greenpoint location. They end up transferring products between stores, especially a lot from Cobble Hill to Greenpoint (specifically popular products). They are also always ordering new items, items they think are cool and items the community asks for.
Both DiChiaro and Schnall hope Woods Grove will be around for a very long time and that there will be many. They want the wide-ranging gift shop to be a family business and would love it if their kids took over. DiChiaro’s eldest daughter, who’s going off to college, has the retail bug, and DiChiaro hopes that extends to Woods Grove in the future. Similarly, Schnall’s 10-year-old daughter also has shown a love of retail as well as fashion.
They both let their children and family have input in what they pick for the stores but Schnall mentioned how DiChiaro’s teenagers have more of an input as they are older and more in the know about trends. DiChiaro agrees, stating he listens to his teenagers about items that should be sold such as the Euphoria stickers and HONEYCAT jewelry.
Schnall shared they personally buy everything and select everything, which is what makes Wood Grove truly unique. DiChiaro echoes that statement saying the vintage decor and items they source from flea markets and the Brimfield antiques and collectibles show. They look into things they feel have a story or a reason to buy it. Everything in the store are things they personally love.
Woods Grove also has a website, which DiChiaro and Schnall for in-store pickup and domestic shipping when stores were closed in the early days of the pandemic.
Some of Schnall and DiChiaro’s favorite items right now include the Baggu bucket hats, cards, Olivia Le jewelry, Aerlume Jewlery and Dilo candles, Brooklyn Candle Studio Reed diffusers, and Blem Beach towels.
Gift giving can be hard but Woods Grove makes it easier. Whether it’s a bucket hat, jewelry, snacks, glassware, or stickers of your favorite Euphoria or Stranger Things character, they pretty much have it all. So stop by the new Greenpoint location, visit the OG location in Cobble Hill, or go to the website. You never know what you might find.