When Kate Schmitz, the owner of Flying Squirrel, learned that she and Academy owner Mike Davis had to clear out of the space they share on N. 6th St., she decided to follow her longtime friend north.
Schmitz first met Davis when she was 20 and her roommate played in a band with him. About ten years ago, when Davis decided to bring an outpost of his East Village record shop to Brooklyn, they put their heads together and realized that selling baby stuff and vinyl in tandem was a no-brainer.
“We definitely thought moms would be stopping in here and dads would be stopping in the record store,” said Schmitz of their weirdly obvious retail brainchild. “And that’s exactly what happened.”
But last week, Davis told Bedford + Bowery that his building at 96 N. 6th St. was “getting torn down to make way for much needed luxury condos.” (Yesterday his landlord, Moshe Braver, said he was “negotiating with several parties,” but declined to comment about the possibility of condos.)
At the 4,000-square foot space she’ll share with Academy at 83 Oak Street, Schmitz will continue to offer the same variety of kid staples (toys, new and low-price consignment clothing, books, etc.) – but she’ll have a “much bigger and nicer place to hang out.”
Which is just part of the allure. “Oak Street is gorgeous and it’s a friendlier community and cleaner, as opposed to N. 6th Street, which is packed with tourists,” she said. “It’s no fun to be here at all anymore.”
Schmitz hopes to make the Greenpoint outpost of Flying Squirrel a “very convivial place” via coffee, tea, snacks, a play area and a station for changing diapers and breast-feeding. There will also be a pass-through to promote free-flowin’ traffic between Davis’s store and hers.
“Academy people from all over will come to us,” Schmitz hopes. Hence the Academy baby tees.