A veteran of Brooklyn’s flea market circuit is making the jump to brick-and-mortar.
New York City native Julia Small O’Kelly repurposes vintage objects into accessories and housewares, using shark teeth and Buffalo nickels to create bracelets, turning mason jars into lamps, and even creating tiny taxidermy out of rubber animal heads. Since starting Smallhome Studio in 2009, the 28-year-old has sold items at Brooklyn Flea, the Night Bazaar and Artist & Fleas.
Now she’s made a small home for herself at 770 Metropolitan Avenue, between Humboldt and Graham Streets. The sign out front still reads Cute Attack! (the children’s toy and clothing store vacated last month and is now online only), but Smallhome will officially open March 1, with a soft-opening set for the week of Valentine’s Day.
Small O’Kelly is paying $2,000 per month rent for the modest space, but she’s confident it’ll draw customers. “This whole movement of ‘made in the U.S.A.’ is sort of coming back,” she says. “I think people like to know where things come from, especially if it is from local artists, handmade and based on sustainability.”
The store will feature much more than just Smallhome products — it’ll also host small community gatherings such as art shows, music events and other expositions.
Correction: the original version of this post was revised to correct an error. Cute Attack! didn’t close because it was priced out; rather it is now online only.