A new homewares store, small-scale manufacturing hub and teaching space, UR Fancy Shop, has opened on Irving Avenue in Bushwick with the mission of embedding the manufacturing process in the shopping experience.
The store at 219 Irving Ave. had its opening party Saturday, where colorfully dressed visitors perused the range of bright textiles, vintage glassware and other home goods while a DJ — aided by pizza, wine and the sunny day — set a celebratory mood.
The shop’s founders are vintage collector Katie Beitzel, sewing teacher Lauren Hansen and her husband, photographer Cole Hansen (the couple also own textile business Ugly Rugly). UR Fancy Shop combines the trio’s passions and skills in three areas: retail, teaching and small-scale manufacturing.
The retail space includes Ugly Rugly products, vintage finds and products made by artisans across the U.S., many of whom started making their wares during the pandemic, Beitzel said. Behind the store sits a classroom fitted out for sewing lessons and small-scale production and, behind that, there is an office full of supplies. Ugly Rugly will make its wares in the space.
Classes, which start Oct. 18, will launch with beginner sewing for adults, and branch into a range of topics led by local artists, including textiles taught by Lauren and photography by Cole, Beitzel told Brownstoner. Children’s classes and classes taught in Spanish will also be added to the roster in coming months, she said.
“We thought there was an opportunity to offer a creative space besides just the shop,” Beitzel said of locating in the neighborhood. The classes and manufacturing space cater to the large number of artists in the area. “We’re excited to engage the community and want to figure out different ways that we can contribute.”
The manufacturing space, she said, will be “a one-stop shop for a lot of local designers that need help” with a focus on completing small product runs that are difficult to get fulfilled elsewhere. Meanwhile, Beitzel said the retail experience weaves everything together, “providing transparency with the manufacturer and the production process.”
“It might take [Lauren] six hours to make a bag and the price is reflective of that. We want to show how the goods are made and sourced, and you can pop by and actually see her making them.”
Lauren said the trio spent months bringing the project to life, including doing a gut renovation of the ground floor space on the corner of Irving Avenue and Harman Street. (It formerly housed Botanica Las Mercedes.)
The shopping experience is intrinsically tied with the creative process, she said. “This stuff wouldn’t exist without makers. Our vision is to join those two and create a customer-facing maker space where people can come and engage and make things for themselves, see us making stuff and then also shop.”
“And I just love sharing the sewing and the making aspect of what I do,” she added.
This story first appeared on Brownstoner.