Next-gen retail experience bows at Industry City

Marianne Wilson
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Shoppers can buy goods that are made before their eyes in an innovative new retail concept at Industry City, the sprawling 6 million-sq.-ft. mixed-use complex in Brooklyn, New York.

Called “The Makers Guild,” the 25,000-sq.-ft. space includes nine artisan-retail shops where visitors can both watch — and purchase — specialty products that are being made on site. The curated selection includes candles, stationary, greeting cards, African headwraps, jewelry, ceramics, pottery and more. (See end of article for list of shops.) In addition to the permanent shops, The Makers Guild also features a space for rotating pop-ups.

According to Jim Somoza, director of development, Industry City, nearly all of the businesses in The Makers Guild were already creating their products at the complex. But they wanted a way to directly engage consumers.

“Part of the thinking behind The Makers Guild was inspired by that simple desire: ‘what’s created here should,” he explained. “Products take on greater meaning when you understand how they’re made and you see and interact with those doing the creating. The value of a product is found not just in its quality and use, but in its story. The Makers Guild gives shoppers the opportunity to discover those stories and feel a direct connection to both the product made in Brooklyn and the real people behind those same products.”

The new Maker’s Guild space is located at 51 35th Street (Building 5, 2nd Floor) within Industry City, where it is part of the broader Brooklyn Design District  whose retailers include Design Within Reach, abc carpet & home, RH Outlet, and Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams, City Foundry, and Porcelanosa. 

Industry City is comprised of 16 buildings spanning 35 acres on the waterfront in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. The property’s ownership – led by Belvedere Capital, Jamestown and Angelo Gordon & Co. – is transforming the complex, while cultivating a diverse tenant mix.  

The artisan-retail shops in The Makers Guild include:

  • Brooklyn Candle Studio: Independent candle company that handcrafts eco-friendly, cruelty-free, and vegan candles. The art of pouring candles will be visible to visitors to the space and shoppers will be able to purchase the company’s full line of candles, which includes a wide range of woody, floral, citrus, marine, and spicy scents.
  • Mr. Bodington: Stationary and greeting cards design firm. The space showcases artists hand-painting stationary and includes a retail area to purchase cards and large table to encourage people to sit, write, journal, and reflect.
  • The Wrap Life: Fashion brand that designs African head wraps and turbanettes. The shop features vanities where shoppers can try on the head wraps and a photo studio allowing customers the opportunity to snap shots of themselves modeling the products.
  • Saskia: Jewelry studio offering a wide range of necklaces, bracelets, and earrings inspired by world cultures. The space houses a dedicated retail area and showcases the art of hand-beading.
  • Micol Ceramics: Ceramic studio that crafts modern art dishware inspired by the Mediterranean. The space showcases the art of pottery via pottery wheel demonstrations and classes and includes a retail area where shoppers can buy the handmade ceramics, including pitchers, vases, and other works of art.
  • Mizutama: Botanical arrangements design shop. The space features plants, flowers, crystals, and curated plant receptacles for sale and will offer visitors a wide range of classes, including make-your-own kokedama workshops, as well as sound baths and meditations sessions.
  • Mr. Kaves Pigtown Tattoo: A tattoo shop that doubles as a graffiti studio operated by legendary graffiti artist, musician and tattooist Kaves. Visitors to the space can observe live tattooing, get a tattoo of their own, and buy custom graffiti art.
  • Christophe Pourny: Antique furniture restoration studio. Visitors to the space can observe live antique furniture restorations and also purchase the studio’s line of wood and leather tonics, creams, serums and waxes to apply to their own furniture at home.
  • Bee Raw: Socially and environmentally sustainable honey company with its own apiary on a rooftop at Industry City. Honey harvesting and packaging is on display in their space, which also includes a shop where customers can buy a wide range of raw honey products, beeswax candles, and beeswax-based body products.