Best of the Bricks: Cog & Pearl

Seth and Kristin have truly created a gem in their Brooklyn neighborhood.  They are excited to share their philosophy and passion for handmade goods with their community making, Cog & Pearl a must visit brick and mortar shop.

Cog & Pearl opened in fall of 2002. Our idea for the store grew out of a desire to both support local artists and have a space that enabled us to express our particular esthetic. We wanted to start a venture together in our local community. Neither of us has an art or design background, but our own creative interests (literature/music) have given us a deep affinity with independent creative people.  We also share a love of handmade goods of all kinds. New York City, and particularly Brooklyn, has a ton of these creative people who love to make things.

In our wanderings we would often noticed these beautiful items in various unlikely places: in a hair salon, a boutique, a bar, an art gallery, etc. We also had friends who made lovely objects. Our goal was to gather these items, and present them in one space–a kind of physical celebration of local creativity.

Our vision was to have a gallery-meets-neighborhood-store feel. One-of-a-kind and rare art objects can happily co-exist with indie/handmade more “everyday” goods. We wanted to be able to feature everything from jewelry and ceramics to personal accessories, clothing and fine art, as well as books–a very personal take on the lifestyle store, if you will.

From the beginning we thought of “handmade” as our defining feature, and this has often included a number of recycled/re-made items. Over time, we began branching out to include artists from other areas, though our artist base is still about 60 percent Brooklynite.

The philosophy/mission of our store is simple. We try to make it as easy as possible for artists to connect with customers who appreciate them.  We aim to be easy for artists to work with, we have flexible and open store policies, and we display artists names and information. Though we offer some of our wares on our website, to us, having a brick and mortar space is the only way for us to do what we do.

There’s really nothing like the experience of seeing beautiful handmade objects up close and personal. As much as the internet has enabled more people to become aware of handmade goods and indie designers and artists (thankfully!), we get consistent feedback from customers for whom there’s no substitute to shopping in a store.

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Cog & Pearl
190 Fifth Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11217
718.623.8200

One thought on “Best of the Bricks: Cog & Pearl

  1. “there’s no substitute to shopping in a store.”

    I’m so glad I keep hearing more people agree with me on this point. I wrote a post on this topic on my blog awhile back, wondering if brick & mortar will ever die out. It upsets me a little, because this is my ultimate goal but I’ve encountered a lot of people who act like this idea is crazy. I know that I would rather see handmade goods in person, and I wish there were more local venues for this. But some people just don’t get it and they act like it would be a silly venture and I should concentrate online. Glad to hear others share my opinion that shopping in person for handmade goods is a good thing!

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