Better than Jam is a fantastic handmade co-op in the heart of Brooklyn. Owner Karin has made her shop a fixture in the community by recognizing and appreciating the great artists and artisans in her neighborhood. She shares her thoughts on her business model, her community, and her love for handmade.
Better than Jam isn’t just another boutique. It is so much more than that because the designers are a part of the space. The community here in Bushwick is so full of creative artistic people, so it’s important to encourage and support the arts in the neighborhood. I like to invite local artists to install monthly shows in the space, so people feel like a part of the store. I hold First Fridays, where the designers come to introduce themselves to their customers. They hold workshops and teach the basic skills that got them started. It is such a privilege to know exactly where a piece came from, and who made it for you.
The space is set up to be self-sufficient. All the designers put in for the rent and the costs to run the space. This structure allows the designer to keep all the profit and the customer isn’t paying as much as a regular boutique. What I make as the shop owner, is based solely on the sale of my own products.
Ever since I was little, I have enjoyed making gifts for my family and friends. It was always such a personal experience to make something special for someone who is important to you. I now feel like I am making gifts for a larger audience. Each piece is different, and it always finds it’s way to the right person. I feel like I am making a friendship when I hand over a piece, and I love to see how happy it makes the recipient. That’s is what I have enjoyed most about having my own shop, as opposed to selling through others on consignment or online.
Better Than Jam
1095 Flushing Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11237