WINDSOR TERRACE – Casually strolling along a quiet Windsor Terrace street, passersby might be surprised to come across a bold graphic sign by the beloved Brooklyn artist ESPO, aka Stephen Powers, reading “True Love Always” above 191 Windsor Place.
The sign bears the name of a new retail shop in the neighborhood which some might think would blend in better in downtown Manhattan or trendier parts of Brooklyn. True Love Always sells a meticulously curated mix of vinyl records, vintage clothing, home design, and gift items.
The brainchild of Windsor Terrace residents Damian and Sarah Genuardi, the husband-and-wife team opened up the shop in December 2017. “The response has been great, especially opening in December, holiday season. We got a lot of love from the neighborhood, a lot of people coming in and saying ‘This is great. This is just what we need,’” Damian told BKLYNER during a recent visit to the store.
The former DJs previously sold vintage clothing at Brooklyn Flea and say they enjoyed the “retail aspect of it, the customer service.”
“We’ve been wanting to open up a shop for years,” Damian said. “We wanted to start something in our community,” Sarah added. “We thought it would be great to have something close to home that we could bring our kids to and meet people in our community.” The couple has a three-year-old son and a six-year-old daughter.
“We felt there was something like our store missing from this area,” Damian continued. “There aren’t a lot of places if you need to get a quick gift for somebody.”
Shoppers have a wide array of cool, beautifully designed items to choose from, ranging from graphic t-shirts emblazoned with images of Sade or Grace Jones, jewelry, cards, candles, tableware, children’s toys, contemporary art books, records (including Francoise Hardy, The Velvet Undergound, Violent Femmes, The Smiths and many other indie Brit bands the couple favor), and much more!
“We’re trying to offer something that’s unique, is close to the maker. A lot of this stuff is Brooklyn-made,” Damian says of the inventory. “I think we offer a fresh perspective. We have a great mix of local designers plus some really classic tried-and-true American brands like Filson and Pendleton. I really think there’s something for everyone here.”
“We’re constantly switching things up,” Sarah adds. “We want to keep our taste and aesthetic but when we see that something sells well or if there’s something that people are asking for, we listen. And we try to have different price points.”
“There’s always a little bit of a rock ‘n’ roll, pop culture edge to the things we love and appreciate,’ Damian says. “We really just went off our own instincts and what we like and hope that other people will like them too.”
Don’t let the store’s slick facade keep you away. The super-friendly, music-loving couple are happy to have visitors stop by and chat with them about their favorite bands. “We were scared. We hoped people wouldn’t think, ‘Those hipsters.’ I love talking to people. Come in!” Sarah insists.
Damian, a musician, notes that having a selection of vinyl on display can attract curious music lovers. “The vinyl records are not much of a mark-up for us, not much of a profit, but I’ve seen over the years people just want to come in and tell us what records they’re listening to.”
Regarding the store’s moniker, “true love always” was a message the couple used to write on notes to each other. It’s also the name of a “Teen Beat band,” they explain. “There was a band named True Love Always and I always thought the name was cool and half-nicked the name from them,” Damian says.
When renovating the storefront, Damian says, “I thought I’d really love to get ESPO to paint something. When the gate’s closed, [the sign] almost exists like its own art piece. With all the negative feelings and emotions and contentious talk, I thought let’s just put something that doesn’t make someone even think of a store. Let’s put a positive message.”
True Love Always
191 Windsor Place (between Fuller Place & 10th Avenue), Windsor Terrace, 718.576.3193
Website coming soon!