Have you heard of Koan? Not only is it one of our newest stockists, it's also one of New York's newest shopping destinations. Koan officially unveiled their charming East Village location just a few weeks ago, and we're pleased to be included in their eclectic selection of offerings. Read on for an interview with the shop owner to learn just what Koan is all about!
Tell us a little about your shop! What inspired you to open it? What kinds of goodies can we expect to find there?
There wasn't much forethought actually. The opportunity came up to acquire a little retail space in the East Village and I said, why not. I wanted a space that was creative, fun, pleasing to the senses, playful and unpretentious.
So I went about trying to fill the space with things that would make people smile - new & vintage clothes, gifts, unique design items, art from local artists and artisans, practical yet quirky household items. For the gifts section, I wanted it to be a place that you would stop in to buy a little present for a friend you were going to meet. And I also wanted to fill the space ultimately with items that you couldn't find in every other store, items that have the power to inspire and that are more thoughtful about the world - whether that means in the style of an item, or the ethos of the company, or the materials used (or not used) in the manufacturing process. So we have a focus on recycled items, upcycled items, items whose design have a purpose or a meaning, companies that donate to related charities. For example, we carry this awesome brand of sunglasses called Article One that donates a portion of its profits to provide Vitamin A supplements to children to prevent poor eyesight and blindness.
What's your typical shopper like?
We are still trying to figure that out. I think we cater to millennials, artists, young professionals, but also people who have lived in the neighborhood for a long time, who still have a sense of community and really want to know the small businesses in the area. They are really great and super supportive of our endeavor.
How would you describe your personal style?
I wouldn't. I don't want to be pinned down in terms of a brand, label or style and I don't necessarily want that for my store either. I wanted to create a space that is undefined but still appealing and full of surprises. I'm still trying to see if that's possible...
What three things in your wardrobe do you wear most?
Long loose black dresses, boyfriend jeans, oversized black shirts. pretty nondescript and not particularly stylish admittedly. (Ed. note: I think a black tee and boyfriend jeans is a classically cool look!)
Personally, I love shopping. For clothes, of course, but I also have a weakness for plants, old books, and makeup. When you're shopping for yourself, what do you have the most fun looking for?
I love stationery stores, but that's not related to my store really. but i also love cute, precious items that you can put on your dresser or display on your shelf.
You've probably been busy getting the shop ready for it's official opening. Now that it's happened, are you able to take a rest, or do you have more big projects scheduled?
Both. I just have to find the time - there's always a million little things that need to be taken care of before i can even start on the big projects.
You can find Koan and the treasures within at 117 East 7th St. in NYC. Drop by for a spur-of-the-moment gift, something to brighten up your desk, or something totally unexpected. Happy Shopping!