Collyer’s Mansion hosted quite a grand opening party last night. The store was packed wall to wall with a curious and celebratory crowd, prosecco was poured and money changed hands as the neighborhood got their first look at just what was being sold in 368 Stratford Road. The first purchase was made by a congratulatory neighbor buying a $3 white candlestick for his wife.
In planning since August, the shop is the brainchild of Mauri Weakley and Ben Heemskerk (pictured above), the couple behind The Castello Plan located just around the block. The move from restaurants to retail has been challenging, they say, but they’re not working alone. In fact, Collyer’s Mansion is a family affair.
Mauri’s mother, living in Nashville, is a third generation seamstress who creates the beautiful pillows you can see above in collaboration with Mauri. The pillows cost $115.
Ben and his father are behind the Mansion’s formidable collection of refurbished furniture. This $1,295 mid-century dresser and glass cabinet is one example of the many pieces for sale in the Mansion’s expansive next door garage. Ben and his father collect pieces from all over the tri-state area and online to bring to their workshop and rehabilitate. Although they’ve run a successful online furniture shop, the storefront is a new challenge for everyone involved.
A wide variety of interesting books are peppered around the shop. These $10 kids games books by Hervé Tullet include The Game of Light, in which kids can play with flashlights and shapes to create shadows on the wall, The Game of Red, Yellow and Blue in whic kids learn about color and The Game of Sculpture in which kids build using the book itself.
For older readers, a variety of unique cook books (such as Faviken for $50) and design books (Garden and House books run $12) look downright smart.
There is sense of pleasant chaos in the beautifully put together store, a shop small enough that a little bit of unpredictable product placement adds to the experience. Vases costing around $30 sit right next to a variety of organic hygiene products running anywhere from $8 to $36. Next to that? Unreasonable mountains of candy from all over the world including Dutch liquorice, a delicacy that several of us at the grand opening tried for the first time.
The shelves are stocked but not yet full. More and more shipments will continue arriving, says Ben, adding more books and goods to the options. After a well executed opening night, it’s absolutely worth stopping into Collyer’s Mansion today, over the weekend and into the future to see just what stands out for you.
Collyer’s Mansion, 368 Stratford Road ear Cortelyou, is open from 11am-8pm Monday through Saturday and 11-6 on Sundays.