Brooklyn Collective

Brooklyn Collective


Neighborhood: Carroll Gardens
Type of Place: Arts

In this age of mass production (and massive corporate profits), places
that sell only the work of local artisans--and where those artisans
receive 100% of the sale proceeds--would seem to be fading into fantasy.
But clothing designer Tessa Phillips and jewelry designer Rachel
Goldberg keep the vision real with Brooklyn Collective, which just celebrated
its second anniversary on a charming block in the Columbia Waterfront
district, adjascent to Carroll Gardens and Red Hook.

Ten to twelve artisans at a time display their work in the shop. All
are Brooklyn-based (thus the name). All share the rent while their work
is displayed, and each artist gets all the money from every sale of his
or her pieces. The artists rotate every 3 months, with the exception of
Phillips and Goldberg, who maintain a more permanent presence.

"We were frustrated being 'edited' by other shops--here, artists can
show what they please," Phillips explains. If you design clothes and also
make soap, so be it. If you're a photographer who happens to knit as
well, no problem. Jewelry, skin products, fine art, clothes, and home
accessories are sold here, with artists free to ignore preconceived

Fine-art-wise, we especially noticed Nicole Ugay's painted portraits,
starting at $300, and
Matt Schwartz' photographs, based on early-70s polaroid transfers,
starting at $200. The skin products and clothes are distinctive and
affordable; and Phillips practices her own boundary-trashing philosophy by
offering not only clothes but "porno yo-yos" (not really as racy as they
might sound, but quite cute, and well within reach at $12).

Here's a chance to support working artists and end up with unique,
well-crafted, and reasonably priced items to boot. Take it.
  - Pamela Grossman; Oct 8,2006

Brooklyn Collective
198 Columbia Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 596-6231