Come Inside Cortelyou’s New Brooklyn ARTery Gift Shop

By Friday afternoon, the newly opened Brooklyn ARTery gift shop at 1020 Cortelyou Road was already busy. Susan Seigel was standing behind the counter buying jewelry from a local woman, a couple of neighbors browsed the merchandise and one man from another area said he was happy to find the new shop while “exploring what’s new on Cortelyou.”

“Tell people about us!” said an excited Susan. She was personally welcoming everyone who opened the door.

The opening of Brooklyn ARTery’s gift shop was announced in September and is expected to run for the next several months before moving into a bigger, more permanent space on the block. Co-owners Jocelyn Lucas-Rosenberg and Susan Seigel (pictured above) have created a “store and classes promoting making things by hand,” said Susan.

Here’s a sampling of what’s available:

• Recycled vinyl records turned into ornaments ($13.50) and clocks ($46)

• Scarves ($30)
• Necklaces ($90)
• Chocolate ($5.50)
• Book-earrings ($34)
• Paper cut-out ornaments in shapes such as clouds and stars ($26)
• Wind car building kits for kids ($19)

• Recycled soda can elephants, lions ($21) and dinosaurs ($25)
• Coin/card purse ($15.50)

• Children’s shirts ($26.50)
• Lamps with world map shades ($69)

• Coffee mug ($38)
• Roli poli wine glass ($12)

The items are varied and made mostly by local artists or businesses. If not, the emphasis on fair trade will sit well with many of the shop’s potential patrons. Almost as interesting as the items themselves are the prices. As customers browsed and interested passers-by peaked in, Susan continued to buy jewelry from a local woman.

The two women threw around prices low and high as they tried to figure out just what was the right price point for this, that and the other thing. Jocelyn is better with prices, said Susan, but it seems that both owners will be buying and selling.

“This is my first retail experience,” said Susan,” so I’m figuring it out. We have to make sure we price for the neighborhood. The same things might sell for $10 to $40 more in Park Slope.”

As the two women went through item after item of jewelry, they agreed upon several prices. $275 for this, $40 for that. “Things for under $40 have flown off the shelves,” said Susan.

What’s too expensive to sell? What’s too cheap to be sustainable? What price is right?

This is a scene that will repeat itself over and over again in this store. Local artisans sell their work to Susan and Jocelyn who then market it to the neighborhood at large.

As the prices become fine-tuned, as the inventory expands to include more and more artists’ work and as DIY classes begin in December, the goods will change and the prices will go up and down. Some will be low and some high.There’s already some very cool stuff on the shelves here. It’s worth checking in at the new Brooklyn ARTery shop to see if there’s something just right for you.

Brooklyn ARTery is located at 1020 Cortelyou, between Stratford and Coney Island Avenue. It’s open every day except Monday, 11-6pm, and until 7pm on weekends.

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