Sponsor Feature: Brooklyn General Store
Enjoy an interview with Making / FAUNA sponsor Catherine Clark of Brooklyn General Store:
Tell us how your company got started!
I opened Brooklyn General in 2002 with a small empty basement and a box of Rowan yarn. The shop soon out grew my little basement and in 2006 we moved into our current space across the street. I have been a crafter all my life starting when I was very young making and selling little things at craft fairs with my Mom. I grew up with the notion of craft as a business but I also really loved the process making things and spent hours and hours tucked away in my room either on my sewing machine or knitting or making animals out of felt and fur. As an adult, I continued to crave the making process and found that it was hard to find the supplies that I wanted to make things with. I wished there was a General Store for crafty-minded people...a place where makers would gather and share experiences and expertise...a place where you could find natural, excellent quality, beautiful and inspiring materials and tools to make all kinds of things that are fiber related...so I opened one.
What is unique about your company or brand?
The Brooklyn General Store brand is classic but rustic and vintage and filled with hand made forest animals. Walking into the shop is like stepping back in time...rolling ladders and floor to ceiling shelving filled with yarn, fabric and all kinds of crafty goodness. It is a tribute to the Old Time Country Store.
Tell us about a challenge you've had to overcome.
I am a Midwife. Being a Midwife comes with loads of responsibility and an unpredictable schedule. The biggest challenge for me is juggling my practice while maintaining a presence in the shop AND being a good mother. It is a balancing act that used to stress me out but I have learned to center myself and let the stress melt away by letting go of control...Very hard to do!
Share a funny story about something that's happened with your work.
More than once, we have had squirrels come into the shop off the street probably confused by the multitude of squirrel figures in the shop. They run around terrorizing us and the customers and then finally escape. What a mess! I love squirrels, but not the real ones in the shop!
What project of yours are you especially excited about, either current or forthcoming?
Currently, I am working on a Cape/poncho design made out of the Scottish tartan blanket yardage that I have in the shop. This fabric is so beautiful, you can't really go wrong.
Describe your perfect day.
Well, my perfect day of work is very different from my perfect day of restoration. I'll describe my perfect day of restoration: Wake up without the alarm. Leisurely breakfast. Hot Vinyasa Yoga followed by a epsom salts bath while reading a romantic novel with a headlight in the bath. Lunch with best girlfriends. An afternoon of sewing. An evening of knitting while watching a movie. My perfect work day must include at least one of my perfect rest day activities.
What's your favorite color?
If you were going to create something just for fun today, what would it be?
My favorite thing to do in the shop is make the window display...some sort of fiber filled sculpture.
Where do you see your company in 5 years?
In the next 5 years I see Brooklyn General expanding more and more into product design. In addition, I see more fiber and yoga retreats in our future!
Which project of your are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my children.
Thank you, Catherine!