Gifts, Discovered: Unique Finds

We’ve been shopping around for our top picks for this year’s official Artists & Fleas Gift Guide and we think you’re gonna like what you see in our “Unique Finds” gift guide, where we’ve scoured our markets for the most unique, personal, and show-stopping gifts. Find these and so many more gifts at one of our four locations in Soho, Chelsea Market, Williamsburg, and Venice this December.

NPR Public Radio American Design Club

"Public Radio" that is tuned to NPR from American Design Club, $60
Shop IRL: Soho, through January 13th

Unique Monocles Moderne Monocle

Unique Monocles by Moderne Monocle, $65-$158
Shop IRL: Venice, 12/1

Argaman and Defiance

Raw Silk Blanket Scarf by Argaman & Defiance, $88
Shop IRL: Chelsea, through January 13th

Vintage Rehabbed Hawaiian Kimono I Stole My Boyfriends Shirt

Vintage Rehabbed Hawaiian Kimono by I stole my boyfriend's shirt, $78-$85
Shop IRL: through December 29th

Vintage Treasures Feather and Foxglove

Vintage Treasures from Feather & Foxglove, prices vary
Shop IRL: Williamsburg

Gifts, Discovered: Hey, Big Spender!

Looking to make a big impression this holiday season? We’ve been shopping around for our top picks for this year’s official Artists & Fleas Gift Guide and we think you’re gonna like what you see in our “Big Spender” gift guide, selectively curated for those who are going big for their loved ones this holiday season – all featured gifts are $250+. Find these and so many more gifts at one of our four locations in Soho, Chelsea Market, Williamsburg, and Venice this December.

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One-Of-A-Kind Kantha Caftan Kimonos by Julie Raj, $395
Why we love it: All Kantha caftan kimonos are one of a kind and made from handwoven & hand embroidered silk & cotton. Flip side is made from woodblock printed textiles. They are reversible and come with a sash.
Shop IRL: Chelsea Market, through February 2019

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Kyanite Necklace from Jewels by Atlantis, $1275
Why we love it: Kyanite is known as a stone with strictly positive energy – it’s blue radiance harbors nothing but good vibes. Adorn the apple of your eye with these stones for a New Year filled with love and joy!
Shop IRL: Chelsea Market & Soho, through February 2019

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Luxe Vintage Furs curated by Gypsy Nation Vintage, Prices Vary
Why we love it: Dress your loved ones in vintage glamour this holiday season with treasures that have stood the test of time. Show your support for sustainable fashion by gifting a vintage fur (real or faux)!
Shop IRL: Williamsburg or Soho, ongoing





Meet our Merchant: Lythe Leather, Winner of the Weebly "Makers to Merchants" Competition

The Wild West takes on NYC! Meet Blythe of Lythe Leather, the winner of Weebly’s Portland Makers to Merchants competition – we sat down with Blythe to talk growing up in the back country, craftsmanship, and the importance of shopping small. Find her beautiful products in our Soho Marketplace December 10th through the 16th.

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A&F: What inspired you to start your own company, Lythe Leather?

Blythe: In a disposable age where products are made to last a season of use, Lythe Leather goods pay tribute to a time when craftsmanship mattered. Meticulously hand crafted for strength and durability, they reflect functional elegance and old-world beauty. Our products defy the status quo, and endure to tell the story of their use. Slow fashion, time-tested craft methods, and conscious consumerism are what inspired the genesis of Lythe Leather.

Growing up in the back county of the Pacific Northwest, having quality everyday tools and equipment was of great import. With little access to urban amenities or store-bought fixes, hand-craftsmanship was a way of life. Hunting season brought a bounty of deer and elk hides, and so I began my journey in leather craft, making custom pouches, bags, and holsters. As my craft has evolved into a business, I am continually reminded of the value in a hand-sewn product. I believe that integrity marks the difference between success or failure. It is in this spirit that I continue to make products that bring beauty and ease into daily life. 

A&F: Why should shoppers consider shopping small this holiday season? What do you think makes Artists & Fleas a great place to do that?

Blythe: There is nothing quite like gifting a one-of-a-kind special item to those you love during the holidays. Instead of purchasing a mass-produced ‘department store’ product (most likely assembled and manufactured in China) why not actually meet the creator and learn how your gifts are made? Artists & Fleas offers a thoughtfully curated shopping experience. It stands out for shoppers in its variety of artisan products, and guarantees a personalized touch you can find no where else. Shopping ‘small’ for gifts at A&F SOHO is the best was to finding something truly unique, that stands out beyond the mainstream.

A&F: Can you tell us a little more about your leather-making process?

Blythe: First, I hand-select every leather hide for grain, texture, and desired weight. I use only the highest quality European vegetable tanned cowhides, and source my leather from only reputable tanneries in the US, Italy, and Belgium. Every Lythe Leather goods is constructed, cut, and saddle stitched by hand. Heritage leather-craft tradition is the hallmark of a Lythe Leather product, and because of it each product is guaranteed for life.

A&F: What types of products can shoppers discover at Lythe Leather? 

Blythe: I sell a well-curated collection of small and large goods designed for both men and women. Products range from leather key lanyards, coasters, bracelets, uni-sex wallets, clutches, and tote bags.

A&F: What excites you most about your residency at Artists & Fleas Soho?

Blythe: I’m most excited to share my rugged yet refined products to a the New York market. I’m introducing a piece of the slowed down Wild West to one of the the fastest-paced fashion capitals of the world.

A&F: Anything else you'd like to share with our community?

Blythe: I believe the future trend in fashion is a movement back in time to our heritage & roots. Slow fashion, conscious consumerism, and buying from your own back yard is exactly what you’ll find at Lythe Leather.

Gifts, Discovered: Gifts at Any Price

We’ve been shopping around for our top picks for this year’s official Artists & Fleas Gift Guide and we think you’re gonna like what you see. This guide will help you find the perfect gift for your special someone by price point! Find these and so many more gifts at one of our four locations in Soho, Chelsea Market, Williamsburg, and Venice this December.

Under $50

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ID “Letter Necklace” from Brooklyn Bleu, prices vary
Shop IRL: Chelsea Market, through February 2019

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The Sailor's Knot Headband by Rooey Knots, $40
Shop IRL: Chelsea Market, December 17 through January 13

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T-shirts by Artinisto, $48
Shop IRL: Williamsburg, through November

Under $100

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Sunglasses from Chacana NYC, prices vary
Shop IRL: Chelsea Market, through February

Ties-Tiepologie

Unique Ties by Tiepology, $65
Shop IRL: Venice, November 10, 24, December 1, 15, 22

Vintage-ad-Arthurious

Vintage Ads from Arthurious, $65
Shop IRL: Williamsburg, ongoing

Under $250

Gold-bracelet-Automic-Gold

14k Gold Hand Bracelet by Automic Gold, $209
Shop IRL: Soho, through January 13

Strand-Book-Hookup

Strand’s Book Hook Up Full Year Subscription, The Strand Bookstore, $200
Shop IRL: through January 13

Arian-Bohling-alpaca-slippers

Alpaca Slippers by Ariana Bohling Shoes, starting at $198
Shop IRL: Chelsea Market, through February 2019

Gifts, Discovered: For the Friends

We’ve been shopping around for our top picks for this year’s official Artists & Fleas Gift Guide and we think you’re gonna like what you see. Find these and so many more gifts at one of our four locations in Soho, Chelsea Market, Williamsburg, and Venice this December!

Gifts for the Wellness Guru

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Soaps from Soap for Sinners, starting at $8
Shop IRL: Soho everyday through February, Chelsea everyday through January

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Hanging Macrame Succulents by Succulents for Haiti, prices vary
Shop IRL: Venice, November 10, December 1, December 8

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Face masks by Scentual Aroma, starting at $22
Shop IRL: Chelsea, December 17 through January 13

Gifts for the Wing Woman

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Bold & Empowering Tees by Rawly Bold, Prices Vary
Shop IRL: Williamsburg, December 1-2 & 8-9

Effy-B

Rhodonite Wing Woman Bliss Bracelet Set by eff.y.bee jewelry, $42
Shop IRL: Soho, November 26 through December 2

Sipping-This

"Badassy Mixed Coaster Set by Sipping This, $24
Shop IRL: Soho, November 26 through December 9


Gifts for the Friend with the Best Playlist

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Embellished Flannel Shirt by Sojara, Prices Vary
Shop IRL: Soho, through January 13

Eat-records-vinyl

Records from EAT Records, Prices Vary
Shop IRL: weekends in Williamsburg, every day in Chelsea

made-in-claremont-music-coasters

Handmade coaster sets by Made in Claremont, starting at $24
Shop IRL: Venice, November 24, December 1, 8, 15, 22

For the Furry Friend

Hey Puppy

One-of-a-kind artisanal dog leash in leather and nylon by Hey Puppy, $45
Shop IRL: Venice, November 17, December 15, 22

Pet-portraits-peyote-coyote

Custom Pet Portrait Necklace by Peyote Coyote, From $118
Shop IRL: Venice, November 10, 17, 24, December 8, 15, 22

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Candy Canines: handmade, organic peppermint & coconut dog treats by Puggletown Pastries, $12
Shop IRL: November 17

Gifts, Discovered: For the Family

We’ve been shopping around for our top picks for this year’s official Artists & Fleas Gift Guide and we think you’re gonna like what you see. Find these and so many more gifts at one of our four locations in Soho, Chelsea Market, Williamsburg, and Venice this December!

Gifts for the Baby Winning at Instagram

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Lil Gypsy Shades by Gypsy Soul Shades, prices vary
Shop IRL: Venice, November 17th

MoMeMans

The MoMeMans Signature Baby Sherpa Blanket by MoMeMans, $65
Shop IRL: Williamsburg, November 3-4 & 11-16

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Books Are Cool Onesie from Strand Bookstore, $19.95
Shop IRL: Soho, through January 13

Gifts for Her

Marina Pecoraro

Long cube gemstone necklace by Marina Pecoraro Jewelry, $95
Shop IRL: Soho & Chelsea, every day

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Mimi Bag by Soi Studio, $150
Shop IRL: Venice, every Saturday from now through December

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Custom Macrame by Vesper Rose, prices vary
Shop IRL: Soho, November 26 through December 23

Gifts for the Trendy Teen

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All Eyes on Me – black and gold gift set by ISLYNYC, $100 for the set, $75 for necklace, $35 Earrings
Shop IRL: Chelsea, December 3 - February 25

Thriftwares

Vintage denim by Thriftwares, prices may vary
Shop IRL: weekends in Williamsburg & every day in Soho

Jaima

Statement backpack by Jaima
Shop IRL: Chelsea, December 3-16

Gifts for Him

Curated Basics money clip

Brass money clips by Curated Basics, $30
Shop IRL: every day inChelsea Market & Soho, weekends in Williamsburg

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The Valparaiso in mahogany by Adelante Shoes, $245
Shop IRL: Venice, November 17

Real Bearded Men

The Beard Package Gift Set by Real Bearded Men, $54.99
Shop IRL: everyday in Chelsea & weekends in Williamsburg

New Right Now at Chelsea: 7/2/2018

We’re so excited to have several of our favorite merchants return to Chelsea Market this July! From beachy jumpsuits to acrylic sunglasses, we’ve got your mid-summer essentials waiting for you this month.

 
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ISLYNYC  serves up laser cut acrylic jewelry and accessories made by hand in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. These experimental statement pieces are refined and daring, walking the line between small-scale craftsmanship and the aesthetics of synthetic mass-production. ISLYNYC has worked with celebrities like Beyoncé, Madonna, Missy Elliot, and Sasha Velour.

 
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Pinky Pilots
These adorable hand illustrated prints were started by two friends (Megu & Mush) from Japan with a background in art, rock & roll and a love of animals and irony. We love seeing the world through a Pinky Pilots point of view (Megu describes her style as seeing the world through the eyes of an animal!). Their art will positively energize not only a space in your home, but also a space in your heart.  

 
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Julie Mollo
Julie Mollo is best known as the designer behind pop star Katy Perry's iconic fruit inspired ensembles and is the go-to stylist for rockstars and party girls looking to make a statement. Julie’s designs are made for those who are looking to stand out in a sea of similarity, so if you’re feeling bold or want some exciting accessories to add to your everyday looks, Julie has got you covered! Her designs are flirty and fun with a retro vibe, and it doesn’t get much better than that.

 
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Chains by Lauren
Lauren Noon--designer behind Chains by Lauren--fantasized about opening a friendship bracelet shop. A native Californian heavily influenced by her beach town roots, her line of braided bracelets, delicate chokers, and textured bangles have been featured in Real Simple Magazine. Most recently, Vogue India highlighted her horn threader earrings! We’re in absolute love with her beachy, boho jumpsuits.

 
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Spooksvilla
Shahrzad Ghadjar is a New York native who's made her name as a coast-hopping illustrator, editor and creator of visual art. Her brain child, Spooksvilla, is a line of pins, lighters, greeting cards, prints and more emblazoned with her unique hand-drawn illustrations of mythical creatures, city scenes, and tattooed women. Self-described as “Metal-Eastern” her work spans some very esoteric subject matter, some of which is perfectly suited for the spookier season. We're totally in love with all of her creations, and with magical finds like the adult coloring book Dinosaurs Smoking Weed, who wouldn't be?

New Right Now at Chelsea: 6/18/2018

 
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YAH YAH Jewelry
We are excited to welcome YAH YAH Jewelry to Artists & Fleas Chelsea for the first time.  YAH YAH is a a minimalist jewelry line founded in 2014 by owner/designer, Andrea Zeuner. Her love for jewelry was inspired at an early age by the adornments of her world-traveling grandmother. When Andrea was very young, she was unable to pronounce her own name so she decided that her name would be "Yah-Yah" instead. Because of this, it only seemed fit to call her business YAH YAH as well. Their pieces are delicately handcrafted in our Brooklyn, NY studio using recycled brass, silver, and 14k gold. The collection draws inspiration from the marriage between simplistic geometry and the beauty of organic chaos. YAH YAH makes jewelry knowing it will be the treasure of another. It will transform into a memory to the wearer, a reminder of a loved one, or a mark of a special day. We make the jewelry, you create its story.

 
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Metrix Jewelry
Lisa Mignoli founded Metrix Jewelry in 2013. Growing up in New York City, and graduating from the prestigious Fashion Institute, Lisa is used to a constant state of motion. Therefore, she takes solace in the few things that remain constant. Geometric shapes are at the center of all of Metrix Jewelry’s collections. Lisa’s love of combining materials that aren’t usually put together defines her signature style - futuristic, funky, and always unique!

 
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Yania Creations
Yania was introduced to her first set of jewelry pliers by a family member in 2007. What started as a hobby – wire wrapping and working with semi precious stones – turned into a full-fledged passion. In 2008, Yania transitioned from her career as a television producer to focus her energies full-time into Yania Creations. Her beautiful designs are created with healing gemstones which are also sure to add a dose of sparkle to your ensemble. You’re sure to find a new favorite to add to your collection!

New Right Now at Chelsea 6/4

 
Chelsea Market Chains by Lauren Photo.jpg

Chains by Lauren Lauren Noon--designer behind Chains by Lauren--fantasized about opening a friendship bracelet shop. A native Californian heavily influenced by her beach town roots, her line of braided bracelets, delicate chokers, and textured bangles have been featured in Real Simple Magazine. Most recently, Vogue India highlighted her horn threader earrings! Her grown-up take on friendship bracelets and more is worth checking out.

 
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Kate Koel creates jewelry that finds style in the details. Her original designs are simple and easy to coordinate, with their geometric shapes and sleek colors. Kate’s Galaxy collection seeks to embody the unique and vibrant energy that runs through the universe and each individual, encouraging wearers to embrace their authentic selves. Kate approaches her craft like the continuation of a story, connecting with each piece and customer as they add her jewelry to their journey.

 
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Min & Mon is a New York City-based handbag label dreamt up in 2015 by three friends, an artist, a musician and an architect, who were inspired by the idea that bags should be fun, changeable, and beautiful. Their bags and accessories are finely crafted in the artisan tradition of the Andes, and their signature prints and eye decals add personality to any outfit. Each piece is guaranteed to inject some creativity into your accessory game!

Merchant Highlight: Ariana Bohling

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Ethically sourced and produced by craftspeople in Peru, Ariana Bohling first arrived on the scene with her luxury Alpaca Slippers. Shortly thereafter, Ariana launched a second collection, "AoverA" composed of high quality leather and focuses on comfort and style. Together with her partner, Alyson, the two Brooklyn natives know exactly what the New York woman is looking for. We sat down with Ariana to chat business and inspiration. Check our her collections daily at our Chelsea Market location!

What inspired you to start your first line and how has your brand evolved since then? I wanted to design comfortable, good quality, genuine leather shoes with designs I would wear all over the city.  Shoes I could walk or bike in, but also look stylish in and be comfortable.  

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When you are not busy building your business, what are some things you love to do in your spare time?  Yoga, Bike riding, Prospect Park bird watching, Cooking delish food, and reading.

The one thing you wish you knew before you started your business:  Sales is everything, making yourself different will make your product stand out, it is important to fill gaps in the market with product that does not yet exist.

Any upcoming projects you're looking forward to? What's next in the pipeline?  Can't wait to produce and deliver AW18, lots of amazing new boots, clogs, and slippers coming!

A mantra that you live by: "OM"

Your absolute favorite place to eat/play/hang in NYC:  Prospect Park

Lastly, if you had to choose one song or color that captures the essence of your business/brand, what would that be?  Not sure about capturing the essence of the brand but the Beyonce song 7/11 pumps me up and she is a fierce role model that motivates other woman to achieve the way she has.

New Right Now in Chelsea: 5/21/2018

 

Nicole Rose Studio creates exactly what’s missing from your apartment decor and aromatherapy routine! NRS offers organic and fair trade textiles as well as aromatherapy goods such as incense, candles and lavender hot/cold masks to soothe your aches and sinuses.  All items are minimally processed, handcrafted and delivered ethically to you. Her pillows, throws and runners are a great fit for any room in your home, or apartment. Needless to say we’re thrilled to have Nicole Rose Studio with us!

 

Laser Eye - NoDa Design Studio is a Brooklyn based brand that are long term members of our A&F merchant community, with pop-up shops in our Soho and Brooklyn location- they're even sold with us out in LA! They create a range of laser cut and laser-engraved home accessories, greeting cards, wall art, table games, and other innovative gifts. Inspired by the natural elements wood and fire, NoDa Design Studio combines these forces using laser cutting technology to create their custom wood magic. Some of their favorite pieces to make are custom created for their customers’ dogs, how sweet is that?

 

Most Wanted USA was founded in 2015 by two sisters with the hopes to inspire travelers and dreamers. Their leather bags and accessories are constantly evolving, they listen to customer feedback and then redesign their bags to fit their customers wants.  Their bags combine rustic western elements with bohemian accents to create pieces designed for men and women who are constantly on the go.

Summer Saturdays in Venice Kicks off Next Weekend

 
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As Artists & Fleas celebrates 15 years of bringing creators, makers and collectors together with cool-hunters and trend-setters on both coasts, we're psyched to share the news – we're launching our first-ever Summer Saturdays series on Abbot Kinney in Venice!

We'll be open every Saturday this Summer from Memorial Day (May 26th) through Labor Day (September 1st).

Join us for the party! We'll have a live DJ, plenty of Food Trucks, a designated Picnic Area so you can shop and snack with ease, and featured Special Events every weekend to bring a little more zest to your Saturday shopping spree.

Summer Saturdays kicks off this weekend, Saturday May 26th, with a fresh line up of Art, Fashion, and Vintage. Click here for the full merchant list. 

Interested in selling with us? Contact california@artistsandfleas.com

Merchant Highlight: Peaches N Cream Vintage

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Fashion industry native, Johainess Suarez started her Vintage boutique out of a desire to step outside her comfort zone and into something that she could call her own. A favorite at our Brooklyn market, Johainess talks to us about how she got started, her best advice, and how she came up with the name “Peaches N Cream.”

What inspired you to start Peaches N Cream Vintage? And how did you come up with this fun name?

Peaches ’n’ Cream Vintage began as escape from the fashion industry. For about 15 years I worked so many different avenues in the fashion industry, from model to corporate, and yet never felt fully fulfilled. When I decided for a career change the universe made it more and more apparent that it was time to chase my passion and dream, owning my very own boutique focused vintage quality goods. I thought this would be something I pursued when I retired, but life had it planned out differently. 


The name comes from my high-school nickname, Peaches. I have always carried that name with me because it remained one of my alter-egos. Beyonce has Sasha Fierce, I have Peaches. With my love for RnB music what better name than 112’s unforgettable “Peaches ’n’ Cream” song had a better ring? Life should be Peaches ’n’ Cream anyway!

What attracted you to sell at Artists & Fleas? 
For a little over 2 years I worked as creative director’s assistant for a vendor at the Artist & Fleas Chelsea, which whom to date has one of the most impressive vintage jewlery collections I have ever seen! Throughout those years working there I was stunned at the fact that none of the "fashion influencers or tastemakers” I knew of were aware of this little gem right in front of them, literally milk studios is right across the street! That was a huge motivation. I felt Artist & Fleas was the best location to inspire young tastemakers in fashion and the creative arts to do the same as I did and go for your dreams.   

What advice might you have for anyone looking to get into a similar career?
My advice to anyone wanting to go into vintage is be prepared to work hard, know or find your customer, do a lot of research, work or volunteer for a thrift, consignment, and/or vintage shop before starting your own, know the difference, know what your talking about and what your selling! I feel too often people get into this business from it being a hobby and expect it to be the same. It is not: there is a major difference from being a collector and being a profitable dealer. 

What is your favorite vintage find that you own?
So I’m SUPER obsessed with Betty Boop, it’s pretty ridiculous! Right now my favorite vintage piece I tracked down all the way from Italy is a rare pair of: 1990’s Gianni Versace x Andy Warhol Collection: Marilyn Monroe & Betty Boop Pop Art Printed Jeans. DEAD!

Describe your style in a few words:
Very multi-faceted; I embrace diversity in the way I dress so I find my style to be defined by the way I feel. Often times I am inspired to create juxtaposition such as grunge mixed with dainty, streetwear yet business casual, androgynous clothing with a fem hairstyle and masculine shoes - I mean the list can go on and on.  So words to define: ever-evolving, diverse, juxtaposition, and ambiguous.

The best piece of advice you've ever received:
Love yourself and know your worth then add tax

Your all-time favorite restaurant in Williamsburg and why:
OK! So it's not a restaurant BUT they have food and drinks and always a great time. Union Pool, has the BEST taco in WillyB hands down! They are a bar that has a little taco truck El Diablo Taco in their outdoor backyard, where you can eat, smoke freely, listen to some good music and just have the greatest vibes even if you're there by yourself. Did I mention the Tacos?

A mantra that you live by:
Love thyself, be present and aware, create and spread positive energy.

New Right Now at Chelsea: 5/7/2018

 
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Argaman&Defiance (A&D) was founded by Lydia Crespo in Chicago, Illinois in 2010.  Each item is created with 100% silk and is naturally dyed by hand using natural dye extracts responsibly collected from tree bark, roots, and leaves. Then, each piece is hand painted or printed to create a unique design.  From scarves to crop tops, you are sure to fall in love with something (if not everything) at her Artists & Fleas pop up. 

 
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Flutter by Katie is back at Chelsea, just in time to ring in spring! Katie’s objets d’art featuring gorgeous butterflies are stunning conversation pieces that you’ll want to spend hours staring at. Each handmade sculpture is a piece of nature frozen in time, and a testament to enduring delicacy. Katie’s work is a great way to bring some nature into your home (especially for those who have trouble keeping plants alive).  Whether for gifts or wedding centerpieces, these sculptures are sure to capture everyone’s attention.

 
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Oohlala Petite Boutique is a Brooklyn based line of all natural beauty products and candles created by Eni Xhori. Each of her candles are 100% soy wax and are housed in unique containers, like hand painted mason jars and antique teacups. Eni’s beauty products use natural ingredients and high quality essential oils, and her soaps are pure eye candy! You will definitely want to come by Chelsea to see and smell them for yourself. They’re perfect for treating yourself, or anyone else you know who could use some pampering.

 
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Patches & Pins is welcomed to our Chelsea Market location for the first time and we're so excited to house their playful products! One of their graphic designers describes their products as "born in New York and designed in Paradise." Their bright and colorful patterns combine creativity and wit - something we're big fans of here at A&F! Come visit their pop up and find your next favorite pair of socks and tote bag!

 

Selah Vie Jewelry is designed and handcrafted by Certified Gemologist and Goldsmith, Selah Michelle. Her modern bohemian jewelry blends the spirit of her California upbringing, her travels around the world, and the vibrant fashions of NYC. Each edgy and elegant piece is perfect for everyday wear, so you’re sure to find some beautiful new additions to your daily rotation.

Merchant Highlight: Melsy's Illustrations & The French Mermaid

At Artists & Fleas, we strive to create a community where ideas are shared, collaboration is encouraged, and entrepreneurs are able to showcase their brands in new and exciting ways. Jamel of Melsy's Illustrations and Arzu of The French Mermaid are great examples of that spirit. With an effortless friendship and complementary aesthetics, these two decided to collaborate and take their brands to another level by creating a combined concept space at Artists & Fleas. Since it's inception, Melsy's Illustrations has expanded to not only prints but to cards, phone cases, totes, t-shirts and more. Her one-of-a-kind fashion illustrations are super chic and stylish, and made for the girls who see themselves in her work. The French Mermaid is a vintage collection comprised of classic vintage finds reworked into unique statement pieces. We sat down with Jamel and Arzu to chat business, life advice, and their absolute favorite places to eat in NYC.

Melsey's Illustrations and The French Mermaid

Tell us a little bit about your friendship and why you decided to work together to sell at Artists & Fleas!

When the two of us met we knew it was a match made in heaven. Our aesthetic and business fundamentals aligned so well. After, we would notice that we would have the same customers, so we decided to combine forces.

The French Mermaid

Arzu, what inspired you to start The French Mermaid and how has your brand evolved since then?

I love creating, making and styling. I was always the girl that would buy something and had to make adjustments/personalize it. So I decided to make a line out of that concept. I love things with history. It's fun to think, where or who owned these components from the re-purposed pieces or pre-owned accessories. I listen to my customers and try to constantly evolve and curate an assortment that entices them.  

Melsey's Illustrations

Jamel, you've worked with so many large-scale brands since launching your shop a few years ago, what advice might you have for someone interested in building similar relationships and collaborations?

Since starting Melsy's Illustrations I have had the opportunity to work with Bloomingdales, Reebok, Hallmark, TJX companies and more. For any creative/artist out there I HIGHLY suggest using social media platforms, such as Instagram, as tool to start your own little digital portfolio. Using social media as a tool to promote your business and creativity has definitely served as an advantage. I remember tagging Hallmark in a photo on Instagram a few years back and DM-ing them about collaborating. I thought it was a long-shot but it worked! They actually responded to my messages and we've been working together ever since!

When you both are not busy building your business, what are some things you love to do in your spare time? 

Arzu: I love to spend time with my sweet little girl, Essy and watch Netflix if I can manage to stay awake.
Jamel: I love illustrating and creating when I'm not fulfilling orders. I also love working out as an escape from the every day hustle.... it also sounds weird but I love watching other people's Instagram stories as well! I feel like it's replaced TV for me!

A mantra that you live by:

Arzu: "Hustle until you don't have to introduce yourself"
Jamel: "When you become a Diamond, you'll see why life had to pressure you."

Your absolute favorite place to eat in NYC:

Arzu: Serendipity...Humble Pie with a side of Frozen Hot Chocolate anyone? 
Jamel: I loveee Pietro's chicken and eggplant parm...also love while we were young and Pietro Nolita because it's pink inside!

Lastly, if you had to choose one song that captures the essence of your business/brand, what would that be?  

Hmmm... For both of us, we would choose "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" by Cyndi Lauper.. because that's all Arzu and I have when we are together - no drama... just FUN! It's so hard to find that. We are pretty blessed!

For more on Melsy and how she started her business, check out this video.

Merchant Highlight: Hudson and Kings

 
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A long-time Brooklyn resident and fashion industry veteran, Lan Park launched Hudson & Kings in 2015 out of a desire to create a new kind of NYC brand. Mainly inspired by her Brooklyn roots, she combines the edgy feel of the city with a modern and industrial look to create the one-of-a-kind home decor products. 

A staple at our Chelsea Market location, Hudson & Kings is joining us this week as we head to Osaka, Japan for the Hankyu World Fair. In anticipation of this brand new venture, we sat down with Lan to get a behind the scenes look at her brand, what attracted her to sell at A&F, and advice she has for young entrepreneurs.

Introduce yourself to the Artists & Fleas community via your favorite song:

"Feel so good" by Chuck Mangione.

What is one of your favorite pieces from your collection?

"NYC SEWER" manhole cover embossed cushion which is my first product.

What attracted you to sell at Artists & Fleas?

People who come to visit Artists & Fleas are looking for more than just "things". They are informed and aware of local artists and makers who are in tune with New York's art and design. This is exactly what Hudson and Kings is all about.

What advice might you have for anyone looking to get into a similar career?

Be prepared to do anything and everything it takes to get a business going. About 5% of the work is actually designing. Material research, sampling, production, marketing, retail. social media and all give you MANY hats to wear. And stay healthy to keep going and going and going...

When you are not busy building your business, what are some things you love to do in your spare time?

Too many things and interests. "Curiosity" is my current problem!

A mantra that you live by:

"I am not like the others" by Ralph Steadman.

Artists & Fleas is headed to Japan!

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We're going international!

Artists & Fleas is heading to Osaka, Japan to participate in Hankyu Department Store's Annual "New York Fair". The fair, which runs from May 9th - 15th, will feature a fantastic lineup of cutting edge New York makers, including the 13 Artists & Fleas brands listed below.

Check out this fun feature on us by Hankyu, and keep up with our international adventure via instagram by following @artistsandfleas and @HankyuWorldFair.

New Right Now in Chelsea: 4/23/2018

 
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Glitterlimes is a collection of  jewelry made from real fruit and candy! Each item is preserved and then coated in a durable and delightfully sparkly glitter resin. Designer Debbie Tuch creates colorful, cute and sparkly pieces for everyone – from gummy bears to swirly rainbow lollipops and perfectly preserved slices of strawberries and other delightful fruits. Debbie is always on the hunt for new and exotic pieces to preserve and add to her collection, so keep an eye out to see what she comes up with next!

 
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Rooey Knots is a sustainable fashion brand that transforms neckties and menswear pieces into modern, unique fashion accessories. Inspired by a love of prints and pattern mixing and devoted to sustainability, each piece is hand sewn and made with upcycled materials sourced from vintage and thrift shops and Rooey Knots customers themselves!

 
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By Aris  Aris is a jewelry designer from Athens, Greece, now living in NYC. He founded Jewelry Designs By Aris in 2014, but his jewelry career didn’t start there. He first began learning the trade and working in the jewelry industry in Athens circa 1992. After he started his own jewelry business at 2001 in Athens, he expanded his business to wholesale production and built strong relationships with hundreds of customers from all over Greece. In the span of 15 years, his collections have been sold in many more stores throughout Greece, Europe, and the United States.

 
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Pinky Pilots These adorable hand illustrated prints were started by two friends (Megu & Mush) from Japan with a background in art, rock & roll and a love of animals and irony. We love seeing the world through a Pinky Pilots point of view (Megu describes her style as seeing the world through the eyes of an animal!). Their art will positively energize not only a space in your home, but also a space in your heart.  

 
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Ashley Carson Designs (ACD) is a true story of a passion turned business. What was merely a personal hobby quickly grew into something more after garnering attention from the jewelry she had designed for herself. Only two years since she’s launched, ACD has been featured in People, Style, Esquire, and Cosmopolitan Magazine, as well as trunk shows throughout New York City.