West Elm opened its first New York store almost 10 years ago and, to the surprise of many at the time, it was in the Dumbo neighborhood of Brooklyn, not Manhattan. It seems appropriate, then, that the company would choose the same location for the first shop and corporate headquarters for its West Elm Market, a new venture the company says will give customers a “total home tool kit” in the categories of kitchen, garden, and home and personal care. With the tag line “Tools to Make Work Wonderful,” the shop stocks tools for kitchen and garden, plus baskets and bins, candles, cleaning products, an artisan pantry of food products and even Smeg appliances. While Smeg is an import, the new market’s overall emphasis is on locally made products. “We have been working with Brooklyn makers, in terms of collaborators, for a while now and went into this planning with a very strong ‘Made in the U.S.’ and ‘Made in Brooklyn’ filter,” explains Vanessa Holden, West Elm’s creative director. “The shift was to find the more utilitarian, everyday things that we haven’t stocked in West Elm stores that are coming out of Brooklyn specifically.” In addition to its products, the shop will have a café (in collaboration with Philadelphia-based La Colombe Torrefaction) and a kitchen space where customers can watch product demonstrations and take classes that tentatively include Knife Skills and How to Fry a Chicken.
50 Washington St.