You don’t have to look hard to find great products made in Brooklyn. New designers are popping up on my radar and in my inbox every day, and it is exciting to sort through them all and pick out the best to feature on bkstyled.com. Sometimes though, it’s nice to get to know the folks who have gone ahead and done a lot of the legwork already, which is how I came to meet Gaia DiLoreto.
Gaia, a recovering corporate finance robot, has lived in Brooklyn since 1998. After bumping around the corporate world for 12 years, she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of attending culinary school and enrolled in the Culinary Management program at the Institute of Culinary Education. Her experience there helped her realize she did not want to open a restaurant, but instead focus her attention on the local food movement.
“I like buying things that are locally made. Why can’t there just be one place where I can go and find all of them?” This question led Gaia to take a risk, as all entrepreneurs must do, and open up her own retail location, appropriately named By Brooklyn, in Carroll Gardens. In her own words, “By Brooklyn is a unique space that exists beyond its brick-and-mortar walls, creating a community for artisans to share their experiences, hone their craft, and create further opportunities for the expansion of their artistic endeavors.”
As crazy as it sounds, By Brooklyn is (as of this article’s publication) the only shop in Brooklyn that sells exclusively Brooklyn-made items. There are plenty of other great shops that focus their attention on Brooklyn goods (One Well and Green in BKLYN, for instance) but none that are as exclusive as By Brooklyn. Gaia’s guidelines are very strict: all items carried in her shop are made (not just designed) in Brooklyn with the exception of her books, which have to be written by Brooklyn residents.
Gaia’s favorite food items include Tallyhos (made by Liddabit Sweets) and Everything Bagel Fusilli (made by Sfoglini). Her favorite decor items include Voice Box Recorder – Nob Nob (made by Brand New Noise) and Mason Cocktail Shaker (made by W&P Designs) — all of which are available in the shop or via their online store.
I would love to go through and list all the great items available at By Brooklyn but you really ought to go and have a look for yourself. Have a look around, pick up a yummy treat or some new decor, and be sure to say hello to Gaia for us!
Photography: Jocelyn Baun